Friday, 26 March 2010

Do You Really Want to be Part of the EU?





There is a new European intelligence agency which has been handed frightening powers to pry into our lives.

Europol can access personal information on anyone - including their political opinions and sexual preferences - if it suspects, rightly or wrongly, that they may be involved in any 'preparatory act' which could lead to criminal activity.

The vagueness of the Hague-based force's remit sparked furious protests yesterday with critics warning that the EU snoopers threaten our right to free speech.

It is understood the agency will concentrate on anyone thought 'xenophobic' or likely to commit a crime involving the environment, computers or motor vehicles. This could include covert monitoring of people who deny the existence of climate change or speak out on controversial issues.

Until January 1, Europol was a police office funded by various states to help tackle international organised crime, but it has been reborn as the official criminal intelligence-gathering arm of the EU and Brussels has vastly increased its powers.

It can now target more than simply organised crime and the burden of proof required to begin monitoring an individual has been downgraded. Europol has also been absorbed into the EU superstructure, so it will be centrally funded, sweeping away a key check on its independence.

The Home Office insisted the changes were in Britain's interests.

Do you really want to be part of the EU, which wields so much power with little transparency and even less accountability? I certainly do not.


41 comments:

Dramfineday said...

Associate membership would be more than adequate. Pick and choose your own stuff then.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

Subrosa

William Hague and I respectively disagree

we intend to maintain and value the bonds of our relationships with our European partners," William Hague said.

subrosa said...

That's what I would prefer Dram, but then you know that.

subrosa said...

So you don't agree with Labour's policy that we should be a main member of the EU then Niko?

Sue said...

Nope. We hate the EU, it's become our master, a pure totalitarian, police state, headed by Merkel and Sarkozy, the New Nazi's!

subrosa said...

It's not just Merkel and Sarkozy that trouble me Sue, it's a great deal more. For starters they have a justice system which overrules ours. I could go on ...

Sandy said...

Did we ever have the slightest bit of choice in this ?

A sad state of affairs but there is absolutely nothing we can do.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Short answer "No". Where do I vote?

Long answer, what D says, first comment, it's called Article 7A Constitutional Treaty, which means a country can pick and choose which bits it likes or doesn't like on a bilateral basis. All perfectly above board and legal, even by the EU's warped standards.

Hythlodaeus said...

I'm rather dubious about the Express' claims. There aren't databases containing information on sexual preference for a start and the only ones I can think of which might cover political opinion are the ones held by the Secret Service on political extremists (which are exempt from the law banning the recording of such information - the Observer has been running some pieces about it recently). The legality of collecting such data is actually slightly dubious.

I can also think of at least four laws, one of which is the EU Data Protection Directive, which exist specifically to prevent exploitation of data.

-

Having just had a look at the relevant sections of the Lisbon Treaty, there is slight cause for concern - namely the organisation has insufficient oversight. That is also a problem in the UK (as illustrated by ongoing investigations in several forces) and I suspect many other countries.

However, the collection and use of data is limited to combatting "serious crime" in two or more countries. Previously this was limited to combatting organised crime. Expanding the role of Europol to cover cross border murder investigations, kidnapping and so on sounds like a reasonable use of resources. It may well save national forces time and money, not least when it comes to attempting to translate both language and procedure.

The Express would actually have a genuine case if it focused on the wording of the article and the oversight of Europol rather then by attempting to scare people into hatred of Europe via exaggeration and groundless hypotheticals.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

I used to know a shopkeeper who after decimalisation kept converting to old money..........At first he was very funny but as the years passed and he never changed he became a rather pathetic figure.

Thats you lot to a tee!


And his younger customers didn't have a clue what he was on about.



Old Euro-sceptics never die; they just fade away.

Stewart Cowan said...

Hythlodaeus,

There is talk of including 'sexual preference' in the 2011 census.

I'm with Vaclav Klaus (Czech President) who equates the EU with the communism they escaped from 20 years ago.

How soon they forget what tyranny means.

No wonder the leaders of the 'free world' love to spread 'democracy' when the people vote for their own enslavement. By that I mean voting Lib/Lab/Con.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

Thats why i wished they did have a referendum on the Lisbon treaty so just as in Eire I could of watched you lot get absolutely,totally and completely crushed by the 'YES' vote

cynicalHighlander said...

Voted No before when we were allowed a vote and will do so again if I'm given the chance.

Strathturret said...

I'm reminded of the old Monty Python joke,
'What did the Romans ever do for us?'

I think the answer was roads, sanitation and central heating.

What did the EU ever do for us?
Apart from 60 years of peace, and freedom to work anywhere in Eu and common standards.......

subrosa said...

Scotland, when independent, could choose to be like Switzerland and Norway Sue.

Hythlodaeus said...

Stewart,

There was talk of including such a question, but it was mooted by the Government. At least on LGBT organisation actually opposed this decision (http://www.lgf.org.uk/no-go-for-sexual-orientation-question-on-the-census/).

The ONS is apparently looking at including questioning on sexuality in Social Attitudes Surveys, but unlike the census these do not include personal identifiers such as name, address etc. Having seen the raw data for such surveys, I'm happy to vouch for their anonymity. Even then they probably will not be fully accurate.


Strathturret,

Don't forget the banning of several dozen extremely harmful pollutants which were devastating our rivers and independent regulation of nuclear safety.

subrosa said...

Our current politicians refuse to acknowledge this though Mark. How can people insist they do?

subrosa said...

I would disagree Hythlodaeus. There are bound to be databases containing sexual preferences if anyone has every declare theirs or had problems with the law.

The EU Data Protective does not protect the citizen, it protects governments. I'm sorry I can't find the reference I had discussing that fact but it was a reliable source. Data protection is no help whatsoever to the common man.

I don't think people are scared into hatred of Europe, I think many have given the evidence careful consideration and decided rules are being made which affect the freedoms of the individual.

subrosa said...

Niko there are plenty young people who are sceptical of the EU and the power it wields.

subrosa said...

Me too CH and there is now nothing which could persuade me to ever reconsider.

subrosa said...

Strathturret, there was always the freedom to work anywhere within the EU, in fact even further afield. Yes I know a vista had to be had and work permit, but that was a small price to pay.

The years of peace could well have been reached without a superstate.

Stewart Cowan said...

Strathturret said...

"What did the EU ever do for us?
Apart from 60 years of peace, and freedom to work anywhere in Eu and common standards......."

The EU has been going nothing like 60 years (talk about rewriting history!). Peace has been nothing to do with the EU. In fact, the more dictatorial it becomes, the likelier trouble will flair up all over the continent.

Did you think the USSR was great because it standardised things?

Your arguments are totally invalid.

Sorry. ;-)

Stewart Cowan said...

...trouble might even *flare* up.

(I don't usually correct the mistakes I notice afterwards, but this was a bad one.)

cynicalHighlander said...

Strathturret

Why are we still dumping shiploads of sewage into our coastal waters if the Romans gave us sanitation?

Why should our fishing grounds be dessimated to near extinction by a foreign government to appease its other members?

If one wishes to work in a foreign country then one should move lock stock and barrel over there to show commitment to that country otherwise its exploition for personal gain nothing more.

scunnert said...

Do You Really Want to be Part of the EU?

NO!

scunnert said...

Hythlodaeus said:

"Having just had a look at the relevant sections of the Lisbon Treaty, there is slight cause for concern ..."

As the Lisbon Treaty is an amending treaty surely you would have to look at the original treaty as amended?

If those politicians supporting membership in the EU were so convinced of the benefits the UK and others would have been given a referendum. Further, as the only country to be given a referendum had to rerun the process in order to get the correct response it is patently obvious that:

EVERY COUNTRY IN THE EU WOULD VOTE TO LEAVE IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY.

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson said...

Subrosa,

The solutions to most of our economic and security problems in this transanationalised and globalised age is further, not less integration of power around Brussels.

Europol should be made to have police authority across the member-states, with a recognition of its superior authority. This is vital in our fight against organised crime, which increasingly opperates across boundaries.

But we need more than this, we need to establish a new political framework for European military, and foreign offices to become harmonised.

The solutions to most problems facing the UK today demands that we harmonise more with our European brothers, not less. In the words of Edward Heath, it is time for the British to accept our place in our "common European destiny"... let us abolish the nation-state.

Deanthe[rather pro-European]tory
new-right

Fausty said...

Bye to UKIP and the BNP, then.

I don't support the BNP, but I support its right to exist.

Without UKIP, what are our chances of exiting the EU?

subrosa said...

You'd like us to be part of a European Superstate then Dean? I cannot agree. I've written quite a bit about why I disagree so I'm sure you know my reasons.

subrosa said...

We do need UKIP Fausty and the BNP I suppose.

What worries me is that if Nigel Farage leaves Brussels then who will represent UKIP. They need a very strong voice.

Hythlodaeus said...

Scunnert,

If you wish to split hairs, what I looked at was the relevant sections of the Lisbon Treaty, the sections of the previous treaties as amended and the explanation (which I didn't pay much attention to) ;)

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson said...

The Lisbon Treaty is the heir of the constitutional forbare, and I would argue that; easily; enough of the substance filtered across into Lisbon to maintain some kind of constitutional element which keeps it apart of the western conceptualisation of constitutionality.

As for calling it a superstate..thats a little provocative a terminology. I'd rather call it a European Federal Union.

Richard Lucas said...

I worry more about the UK Gov't assaults on our freedom more than anything the EU dreams up, to be honest.

Mrs Rigby said...

"harmonise more with our European brothers"

Trade union speak?

subrosa said...

I've never approved of the UK being more than a trading partner with Europe Dean.

subrosa said...

Aren't they one and the same Richard?

subrosa said...

I thought that too Mrs R. I'm not into thinking family with total strangers.

Stewart Cowan said...

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson has sent shivers down my spine. He is the future of the Tories.

I see he is 20 and "a politics student in Stirling university. Serving currently a third year as Vice-President of Conservative Students Stirling."

Lib/Lab/Con - all are removing our freedoms because they want us to believe that a European Utopia is possible.

It wasn't under the famous nutters who tried with weapons and it won't be by stealth either. That was the idea from the very beginning - create a united Europe by stealth, but do it so that the people don't realise until it's too late.

People you can trust with your freedom and prosperity?

The expanded EU now has many politicians who served in the old communist regimes in the East.

Hitler was such a fascist, he wanted to restrict smoking in many places, just because he was a grumpy ex-smoker.

The EU goes further (or Fuhrer?).

subrosa said...

Give Dean time Stewart, he's only a lad. He'll maybe begin to think out of the box once he's in the real world and then experience what's happening.

Stewart Cowan said...

You're right, SR. I used to vote Labour, for goodness sake!

subrosa said...

There you are Stewart, we all live and learn. Dean is impressed by everything at his age but the petals will slowly fall from his eyes.

You never know, he may become one of the tories' shining lights - if they have such persons nowadays.

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