February 24, 2006

Is the EU the answers?

The Data Retention Directive has finished it's passage through the democracy bypass that is the EU, so now New Labour gets the law on data retention that it could not get though the UK Parliament.

This is one of the reasons that I disagree with Nosemonkey that the EU can be used to protect our civil liberties from predation by New Labour. They do not in practice seem anymore likely to protect our liberties from a sustained assault of the kind that is currently being pushed through parliament. They have already shown that they are not particually fussed about the freedom of speach, or the freedom of the press, especially when it is pointing up some ugly home truths that they would rather stay buried.

Nosemonkey does not seem to think that the idea of a written constitution for Britian will work anyway, since parliament will just ammend it whenever it feels like it. Which is true, under the current constitution it can. But again the same could said for the EU, or any other supra-national entity. Does the solution to the problem of over-mighty and interfering government really lie in more government at a supra-national level? If the problem is too much government then surely the obvious solution is less government.


Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Although the data retention thing should not have been passed in any form, to be fair on the EU when it finally got passed it was in a massively watered-down form. Compare the final agreement to what was originally asked for, it's actually not that bad. Still a bit crappy, but not such an immense invasion of privacy as the original (British) proposals.

As for the free speech and freedom of the press thing - yes, there were proposals to clamp down on them. But one official proposing something stupid doesn't mean that "the EU' (whatever that may mean for each given situation) proposed it. And all suggestions of restricting the press or free speech at an EU level were rejected outright earlier this week.

2:49 pm  
Blogger chris said...

The final directive might be better than what was proposed by New Labour, but it is still worse than what was there before. That is; no directives requiring data retention.

With the case of Hans-Martin Tillack the EU has already shown in practice that sometimes, on some issues, it is willing to repress the freedom of the press, even if it does not want this written into law.

10:01 am  

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