Crackers! That's the British Retail Consortium¹s predictable, if justified, response to the latest crackpot scheme dreamt up by our bureaucratic chums in Brussels.

Now shopkeepers could face six months in jail or a £5,000 fine for selling Christmas crackers to anyone under the age of 16.

That's right. The rubbish gift, paper hat, crap joke-bearing favourites of the Yuletide dinner table are now classed as fireworks. Come on. Surely granny's at greater risk of her sides splitting all over the bread sauce after hearing a cracker joke, than being done any damage by the measly bang delivered by your average cracker.

The Con-Dem coalition has pledged to unwind some of the red tape businesses find themselves tangled up in today, but somehow they¹ve missed this humdinger of a directive (the age limit was upped from 12 to 16 in August). There¹ll surely be cause for fireworks when this directive is finally overturned. 

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