Monday, 6 April 2009

Mark this day! It could be the day that Liberty died.

Citizens of Britain - be afraid - be very afraid. Today could be the day that historians will point to and say "That was the day that Liberty died."

I didn't know this was happening, many of you probably didn't know this was happening, but what is really disturbing is that your MP probably didn't know this was happening.

From the Guardian's Henry Porter:

Today, an EU directive comes into force which will compel all internet service providers to retain information from all emails and website visits. Data from phone calls and text messages will also be stored and made available to the government, its agencies and local authorities. Having seen how local officials have abused anti-terrorist laws, it's not hard to imagine the damage to privacy that will ensure.

These powers were brought in by a statutory instrument and so were not debated by either house. The accepted view is that the Home Office now bypasses parliament by lobbying Europe directly in the knowledge that the measures they desire will go undebated and unscrutinised, then be smuggled into British law as a European directive.

It is difficult to think of anything that makes the House of Commons look more feckless or more redundant (Full Story).
I don't know about you, but I find this truly frightening. Without my permission, or the agreement of my MP, my Liberty has been severely damaged today.

What Democracy? What representation? What Freedom?


Vindico said...

Statutory Instrument is how most EU legislation is enacted in the UK. No debate in Parliament.
Not exactly democratic is it? What is wrong with independent governments negotiating a static treaty to be approved by parliament for each issue? This retains democratic scrutiny and control.

Tony Sharp said...

I wrote about this last month - it seems there is some confusion about the dates.

Long sleepwalk to serfdom

From the EU Directive...

3. Until 15 March 2009, each Member State may postpone application of this Directive to the retention of communications
data relating to Internet Access, Internet telephony and Internet
e-mail. Any Member State that intends to make use of this paragraph shall, upon adoption of this Directive, notify the Council
and the Commission to that effect by way of a declaration. The
declaration shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Chris said...

It really is horrifying. I hate the idea of Westminster looking over my shoulder, let alone the local quangos and jobsworths. The Government has just crapped all over us. Yep, apparently, the UK Government was instrumental in bringing about this EU Dictate. Er, Directive.

Rayatcov said...

This, as a good many of us already know, is par for the course.
When indeed will the people of this country awake, although on reflection I believe it is already happening, how? You may ask.
Because the party who dare not speak it's name is on a roll.
In other words "The quiet revolution has started".

John M Ward said...

There are few freedoms in a Communist State such as Britain. All one has to look forward to are further moves to erode civil liberties still further, and even more encroachment of the State into everyone's life.

That's the reality. This is just one symptom of the underlying malaise.

John M Ward said...

The ever-Sharp Tony is of course correct regarding dates confusion, and I have over the months been following his own discussions on this very topic.

For my part, I have now stopped visitors using my online facilities, just in case they should leave trails that might (incorrectly) reflect on me(!)