How have we all survived without regulation of what is printed upon them? Credit Projectmanhattan CC-BY-SA-3.0

It’s possible to insist, as many within the European Union will and do do, that the new rules on the labelling of tyres are just an example of how that very EU makes the world a better place. Consumers will benefit, in time, from having the better information, CO2 emissions will fall and no doubt kittens will gambol in sunshine once again. It’s also entirely possible to take the Daily Express’ view of this and insist it’s a good reason to get out:

’It’s imperative we LEAVE!’ Motorists face soaring costs under proposed EU tyre rules
MOTORISTS could be hit by soaring costs under EU proposals for compulsory labels on tyres, anti-Brussels campaigners warned last night.

The details of the regulations don’t look that bad and won’t cost that much either:

The EU proposals, set to be voted on by the European Parliament later this year, seek to update existing tyre labelling regulations introduced in 2009.

An explanation of the move published by the European Commission said: “Improving the labelling of tyres will give consumers more information on fuel efficiency, safety and noise, allowing them to obtain accurate, relevant and comparable information on those aspects when purchasing tyres.

“This will help improve the effectiveness of the tyre labelling scheme so as to ensure cleaner, safer and quieter vehicles and to maximise the scheme’s contribution to the decarbonisation of the transport sector.”

It added: “This proposal replaces an existing regulation on the labelling of tyres, and the administrative impact and costs are therefore estimated to be moderate, as most of the necessary structures and rules are in place.”

Information is already printed on the side of tyres. As long as the new regs only come into effect as people change their moulds which determine what is printed on the tyres then the marginal costs are going to be mild in the extreme. So, why agree with the Express that this is a good reason to leave?

Because the European Union is a system of government which thinks that government should be determining what is printed on the sides of tyres. This is simply a level of detail that the ruling system of 500 million people just shouldn’t be involved with. Yes, sure, we might think this trivial. But exactly the same arguments – consumers will benefit, CO2 emissions will be saved – are behind the banning of incandescent light bulbs and now of halogens. Meaning we’re all to be forced to buy only LEDs from now on. From 30p a bulb to £15 in only 20 years, pretty good going there. And no, the new ones don’t work in all the old fittings, there’s a capital cost to the switchover.

Essentially, we’ve handed over the entire continent to the anal retentives. Who will fuss and bother at the most trivial details of life. Leaving, of course, no corner of it unregulated nor free. It really is time to bugger off and it is for this reason too. Every pub has one, the bore with the plan. How if only boilers for model steam engines were properly designed and regulated by the experts then children would be more interested and we’d gain an entire generation of happy train drivers, less drug taking and fewer feral youth. As all adults know – having been caught once by the obsessive and his plan in our youth – the correct answer is to ignore them and talk amongst ourselves as we sup. Perhaps they’re allowed to explain it all to us once again for 10 minutes at Christmas as a form of seasonal cheer. That problem with the European Union is that the pub bores have been put in charge to impose their obsessions upon us.

By the way, yes, there are EU regulations upon the boliers for model steam engines. No, really, and that rather makes the case, doesn’t it? Offski then.

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Neil McEvoy
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Neil McEvoy

Utterly pointless. No one ever looks at what’s written on tyres other than to find out what size they need when the tread’s wearing thin.

Rhoda Klapp
Member
Rhoda Klapp

Then you go on the net to find who locally has tyres for your car. All the mileage and so on info is there. Then you choose the cheapest brand you’ve heard of.

jgh
Member
jgh

I don’t even do that. I say to the MOT chappie*: if it needs new tyres, go ahead, put them on.

*I have a plastering chapess and had a gas-safe chapess, and trained with a sparky chapess 20 years ago, but I’ve not encountered an MOT chapess yet.

Spike
Member

Well stated, Tim. And don’t ask the “anal-retentives” to differentiate the worth of their idea and the worth of imposing it continent-wide at gunpoint. To ask that is to question the basis of their self-worth. Again, it is not about simply changing the lettering in a mold. It involves obtaining the regulations, learning them, complying with them (down to font and point size), documenting compliance, scrapping product when the first attempt was non-compliant, preparing to meet the auditor, and probably hiring consultants who have gone through this in the past and are able to accept the legal risk for doing… Read more »

Rhoda Klapp
Member
Rhoda Klapp

On the other hand, tyres are in inches. Good old inches. And millimeters. Weird.

Wack
Member
Wack

The LEDs are a bigger reason to be out. The blue light from LEDs communicates day time to the brain and has twice the melatonin suppression as incandescent bulbs leading to sleep issues with consequent health issues. As the RAND corporation estimate sleep issues costs the UK economy $41 billion it is no small issue yet a centrally decided change is increasing the problem

Spike
Member

When you base your argument on statistical totals across the human herd, you cannot expect anything but a “centrally decided change.” (Imagine, a simple about-face, changing the LED mandate to an LED prohibition, would instantly save the UK $41 billion!) Or were you using numbers to exaggerate? The right answer is, given higher initial cost versus lower energy use down the road (versus disruption of sleep), each individual has the right to weigh these trade-offs and determine the right answer for him or her. When it is night time, my LEDs are off, so they don’t communicate anything to the… Read more »

James Bayley
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James Bayley

No, not really. Your economics are simply wrong. This regulation will make us richer and should be supported. Business people who actually make things (like me) value regulations. Industry conformity lowers costs, increases productivity and creates a level playing field that promotes new entrants (OK I am not so keen on the last one but I expect that you are). They are an important approach to reducing non-tariff barriers to trade. This particular regulation also addresses the problem of transparency (market for lemons) where the seller may know more about the goods than the buyer. In summary, there is a… Read more »

Spike
Member

“Your economics are simply wrong,” and so begins your essay, not about economics at all, but politics. Standardization may indeed improve efficiency and thus productivity. We generally benefit from being able to rent a car without having to learn how to operate it. The additional step of standardization via government compulsion only adds situations that those affected would not have adopted voluntarily. Of course compulsory standardization does not promote new entrants, as you concede. For industries not as mature as cars or tires, it makes new entrants (which must be doing things in a novel way in order to carve… Read more »