Will the Staffordshire oatcake be joining Melton Mowbray pork pies, the Cornish pasty and Newcastle Brown Ale by having its status protected by the European Union?

Filled Staffordshire oatcakes

Filled Staffordshire oatcakes. Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The BBC reports that the the West Midlands Labour group of MEPs is promising to apply to get it protected by the European Union if re-elected.

One of the candidates, Sion Simon, is reported as saying: “They’re part of our heritage and culture in the West Midlands and they should be protected in the same way other European countries protect their food products.”

Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates are also said to be broadly supportive of the proposal, although UKIP are being curmudgeonly and refusing to support the move (another reason not to vote for Nigel’s Little Englanders? Ed.).

However, I cannot help wondering if this proposal is a local Labour response to the rise of UKIP, particularly amongst Labour’s long-term core voters – the traditional white working class – the people it has taken for granted for far too long.

It is unclear from the BBC’s article which type of protection – PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) or TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) – will be sought, although my feeling is that it should be one of the first two.

I hope this is not just another manifesto promise from Labour that, like so many others, will be quietly dropped after the election when they have served their purpose.