EU gets the urge to go to the bookies
Europe's move to deal with dangers of online gambling is welcome, but will not be a winner
The European Commission has issued new recommendations in relation to online gambling, which it hopes will "safeguard health and minimise the eventual economic harm" suffered by the punters.
It is easy to dismiss this as a pious and a conservative document which will achieve nothing of any value. Which shouldn't stop us dismissing it, as we are about to do in a moment. But we should still acknowledge that the fine minds of the European Commission, God love them, have at last noticed that something very strange and very troubling is going on here, which has moved them to make some sort of a statement, to conceive the vague outline of a plan. The leaders of our political parties have a plan too, which largely involves kicking off the next election campaign by having their pictures taken laughing their heads off in betting offices, backing themselves to win 70 seats, to show the voters what great crack they are.
For the few of us still keeping vigil on this phenomenon, there will be darker visions of bankruptcies and divorces and suicides, but sure, it's a free country.