EU ID Uh Oh
The EU is an incredibly, stupendously, mind-numbingly, soul-crushingly dull institution. For most people this would constitute a downside. For the British government desperate for a way to push through unpopular legislation at minimal cost it is something of a boon. The specific piece of legislation is the introduction of ID cards. Nosemonkey's picked up on this on Monday:
So, your own Treasury is reluctant and your own parliament can't be trusted to vote the way you want them to? Simple - pop over the Channel and try and get your plans imposed on the country from Brussels (or, in this case, Strasbourg). ID cards - even if not quite such hardcore ones as Blair's lot want to impose - have existed in several EU states for years. Most can't see the problem, and would likely not need to change much should some new EU legislation over ID come into force - in Germany, Italy and France, not to mention several other countries, ID cards are simply a fact of life. So French, German, Italian and God knows how many other MEPs would - the Blair government hopes - simply not understand the fuss, and vote through new legislation, to become binding on Britain, without even thinking about it.Nosemonkey wrote more earlier today before and after Charles Clarke's speech to the European Parliament. All far from reassuring. Dissapointingly there doesn't seem much - if anything - on this in the media, at least if Google News is anything to go by. Like the man says, it's all about information.
Game, set and match Blair - ID cards get introduced without a vote in parliament, Gordon can't complain about the cost without getting into trouble with Brussels, and any public complaints about the new bits of intrusive plastic can be fobbed off with the old "it's the EU's fault - it's out of our hands" excuses which get trotted out pretty much any time European governments think they can get away with it.
Not good, folks. If you can track down reports of these meetings, or hear of any more, I reckon they'd be grateful of a tad more publicity - after all, the whole point of this scheme is to have more information, surely?