Whilst most of the media and many people are worried and thinking about war and peace in the Middle East and Ukraine, up pops the EU with its latest idea. It has banned powerful vacuum cleaners.
Why? If people want to buy them and manufacturers wish to make them, why shouldn’t they? Has the regulator thought about the possibility that a less powerful vacuum cleaner might not pull up all the dirt in a timely way? Might it not need more passes of the carpet to get them clean? This could use more energy than having a more powerful machine in the first place.
This change follows on from others which mean that we have a generation of products that often work less well than the older ones they replaced. New light bulbs offer less light than the older banned ones. As a result, far from saving energy, people are driven to go and buy extra reading lights and lamps to boost the light available. Newer toilet flushes flush less water. As a result you often have to flush them two or three times to clean sufficiently, delaying you and wasting more water and effort than the older better ones.
Some of the changes for the worse are home made, like the BBC going digital. Their digital switch meant I lost two older tvs completely that were working fine before the switch. The new digital one I bought gave me several months of appalling pictures with frozen frames and lost pictures during the transition. Sometimes the machine has a hissy fit and you have to sit down and re programme it before it will function again. Now it seems the BBC have either worsened their normal radio signals or have some problems with them, so presumably more people will be tempted to buy the unloved digital radios in the hope they might work.
Most modern technology is great. Most things about the private sector world of products and services is greatly improved on the offers of the last century. Yet when government gets involved in setting too many standards, banning things and changing the delivery mechanisms we can end up with worse and dearer. Just leave us alone.