Agreeing Manufacturing Standards and Other Standards

A comment on my last post set me to thinking briefly.

How can a ‘standard’ be decided unless a product already exists and is on the market? I have a shredder which can be used to shred any type of leaf, including you know what. I bought it for about £20 from an EU source. Did it conform to some sort of standard for shredders? I have no idea. All I know is that it works perfectly well. It is made of steel, which is very tough, and, as far as I can tell, it has no bearings. I know that it will gradually wear out, although I try to delay it by cleaning with water and oiling from time to time. What is likely to happen is that the cutting cylinders will become looser and looser and that the shreds will become wider and wider as the cylinders separate more and more.

That does not bother me one iota. When the shreds get too wide for my liking, I’ll replace the machine. I have now had it for a couple of years, and it is still working fine, even though it is beginning to wear a little. Actually, it is the condition of the leaf which is the biggest factor. Dry leaves shred much smaller than dampish leaves. Also, dampish leaves tend to clog the shredder. I made a mistake this evening by not drying the rather large leaves out a little before shredding. Half an hour spread out on the floor would have sufficed. I guess that I was impatient, although my impatience cost me more time in the long run. I had to pass the leaves through the shredder four time to fragment them sufficiently, rather than twice. But the leaves can be too dry. If they are, then they tend to turn to dust.

Is every item which is sold by one person to another tested for compliance to some sort of standard? Is that why the sale of home-made cakes etc on stalls at church fetes frowned upon or even forbidden by local authorities?

We used to have fairly simple ways to solve problems of failure of equipment. You could demand your money back if equipment failed within a reasonable amount of time by law. That gradually converted itself into manufacturers’ guarantees – making the best of a de facto situation. Is the EU gold-plating a perfectly satisfactory trading arrangement? I have no idea. All I know is that it is unlikely that my shredder is not also sold in the country of the manufacturer. People would soon start to shout if the shredder was crap.

I have only been conned once. It was when I imported a tubing machine from the USA. I had to pay not only USA VAT equivalent but also UK duty. It was only after a few weeks that I discovered, by taking the machine apart, that it was second hand. What recourse to Trading Standards did I have? None.

We do not need a permanent, massively expensive ‘standards quango’. Does every State in the EU have such quangos, in addition to the EU quango? They must have, for how would the EU know what enterprise was not complying and what would the EU do about it? The answer is nothing, since the EU quango merely draws the lines and issues directives. Its processes must, unless it is staffed by saints, be totally corrupt. I do not believe that the UN is staffed by saints.

It is hard not to believe that our whole political system is not corrupt. I don’t mean that all politicians are thieves and vagabonds, even thought the expenses scandal suggested so.

No. It is more about The People knowing more about the candidates who stand for election in a General Election. The labels ‘Tory’, ‘Labour’, etc, are no longer sufficient. Who they ARE is more important than the label.


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