For the last month Agent Triple P has been looking for a 150 watt bulb for his kitchen. He has looked in all the normal supermarkets and some specialist electrical shops. He got so desperate that he looked online (although the idea of light bulbs and the Post Office aren't a very reassuring combination). There he stumbled into the answer. Yes, Mr Gordon (there will be no fun) Brown has banned them! They were officially phased out in January and it looks like 100 watt bulbs may have gone too. In fact all normal light bulbs will go by 2011 in order to be ready for an EU-wide ban.
A few thoughts occur as a result of this little publicised decision.
Firstly, why is it always the UK that instigates these bans before the EU requires it? Does the government think we score extra points for being good boys? We don't. It's the EU. They hate us. Do what the French and Italians will do. Claim that the introduction of these bulbs will cause hardship to people living in the mountains and ask for extra time to bring it in. Then ignore it for a couple of years and pay the derisory fine for not doing so. Easy!
Secondly, these low wattage power bulbs are rubbish; really dim and we have yet to see one that gives out the equivalent of 100 or 150 watts. 60 is as high as they go. We are all going to have to live in depressing, dimly lit houses. It will be like Victorian Britain. This is a dark country in the winter; we need light. We bet the suicide rate goes up as a result.
Thirdly, all of these bulbs are large and unwieldy. Are we all going to have to change our light fittings and lamp shades? We've not seen a low energy candle bulb; they are all the size oif Orangina bottles. Has anyone even thought about that?
Fourthly, why are we having to save energy from lightbulbs? We are a G8 country (for the moment anyway), we have the right to burn lots of lightbulbs on account have having invented the industrial revolution and changed the World! Is China going for low wattage lightbulbs? I'll bet they aren't! We just need to build a lot more nice nuclear power stations and then we can sit in our house and actually read under artificial light. No doubt Mr Gordon Brown would prefer us in the gloom learning the bagpipes, the only recreation that will be permitted if (horrors) he is elected (not re-elected of course as I don't remember being offered the chance to elect him in the first place).