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Bad ideas from unexpected places

I am NOT making this up:

"Italy is to spearhead an international campaign to win UNESCO recognition for the Mediterranean diet, Italian Agriculture Minister Paolo De Castro announced on Tuesday. The minister told delegates that Italy [would ask UNESCO] to add the diet to its World Heritage List".

The Italians are getting together with three other countries that really ought to be above this nonsense - Spain, Greece and Morocco. Meanwhile, if France and other countries with Med coastlines were asked to join in and turned the idea down flat, bravo.

It turns out that this is an extension of existing UNESCO nonsense, as "It has opened its register to include ''intangible heritage'', such as endangered languages or vanishing traditions. The Mediterranean diet is aiming for inclusion in this new category, which is so far home to music, dance and oral traditions from around the world".

Sooo, are Italians likely to stop cooking with olive oil or to shun pomodori any time soon? I doubt it, so what in the name of all the gods I cannot believe in is the point of this idiotic exercise?

A bit of rooting around has found a list of what UNESCO reckons to be 'Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity', and doubtless every Belgian would immediately have thought of Processional Giants and Dragons, Italians of Opera dei Pupi, and Czechs of Slovácko Verbuňk or Recruit Dances. Incest and folk dancing, eh?

Should we ever lose the ability to value our culture without first needing the Good Housekeeping UNESCO Seal of Approval, I foresee Morris dancing as a racing cert for inclusion.
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Anonymous David G said... 6:05 pm

"It has opened its register to include ''intangible heritage'', such as endangered languages or vanishing traditions.

Maybe we should register the UK "Holding elections for an autonamous national government" is a vanishing tradition.  



Anonymous verity said... 1:57 am

David G - Quite. How about adding ancient British freedom of speech?  



Anonymous nomad said... 3:46 am

Isn't this the organisation that both the UK and US withdrew from in (I think) the early 1980s because of some shenanagins going on in New York? I wonder who took the decision to rejoin - and why! As far as I am aware there is no compulsion to belong to or subscribe to any/all of the UN Specialised Agencies, so the UK can opt out again and save itself as few million pounds in the process.  



Blogger hatfield girl said... 8:46 am

The Proms and promenaders, and possibly the queue, had better go in before Hodge outreaches them into inclusiveness.  



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