This is "Liddle Englander" writ large. Yet, even as he prattled, the French government was revealing it had "overwhelming evidence" of a major criminal fraud perpetrated by Spanghero, while The Observer
- no friend of ministers or the supermarkets - was reporting that key intermediaries involved in the horsemeat trade appeared to be using a similar secretive network of companies to the convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout.
The two things that most media commentators seem unenthusiastic about confronting, it seems, are EU involvement and the large scale fraud pervading the food industry. On the EU front, Owen Paterson is still a lone voice amongst senior politicians in insisting that food law is an EU competence. He is also largely alone in stating that too much of the EU system is paper-based. It relies on trust; there is not enough testing.
Particularly interesting here is the silence of the supermarkets. They have the most to lose from inadequate control systems, and also from food fraud on the scale experienced, yet they are keeping quiet about these issues. We are told they are battling to regain trust
, but they are not declaring their real agendas. And, while people may not understand what they are playing at, most can intuitively sense that the whole truth is not being told.
Thus, although some of the heat has come out of the issue, there has not yet been closure, and the media is still mischief-making
. There is, I fear, more to come.
COMMENT: "HORSEMEAT" THREAD