As mother always said, if you make a mistake you should apologise, attempt to make amends and then try very hard not to do that again. And mother, Mrs. Worstall (or as she is known around the ancestral seat, Mrs. Worstall), did manage to make that little piece of wisdom stick.
So I'd like to apologise, for when that ruling came down from the European Court of Justice that gender could not be used, whatever the actuarial evidence, to vary insurance premiums or annuity payouts, I fulminated about the idiocy, the stupidity, of courts and lawyers. And I was wrong to do so, as has been explained to me.
You see, it wasn't actually that court, nor the judges in it nor lawyers arguing before it, that generated a decision of such purblind ignorance. All they were asked to do was to confirm that this is actually what politicians meant to happen. And it is indeed what politicians meant to happen, this is part of a Directive passed (meaning that each individual EU government signed up to it, the European Parliament said "rightie ho!" and the Commission itself proposed it) all the way back in 2004.
Yes, those who rule us really did think that women should have to pay more for car insurance and that men, even though they die younger, should not get better annuity rates. Yes, the entire European political class decided that reality should be ignored and their fantasies imposed upon the populace.
So as I say, I apologise to the judges for getting this wrong. Amends are made by said apology and as to trying very hard not to do it again....
Yes, I do pledge not to cast aspertions, to blame others for what is not their fault. To, as manfully as I can, not blame the poor bloody infantry for what is best explained by the fantastical dreams, downright stupidity and gross ignorance of the politicians who rule us.