Why I’ll be voting Green – and it’s not about the environment!

Green PartyThe forthcoming European elections are important in a lot of ways – but one of them, for me a critical one, is barely making the news. This European election could be crucial for privacy – and that’s one of the main reasons that I will be voting Green in May.

There are many, many issues that are coming into the public debate on the European elections within the UK. Our very future in the EU, for a start. The spectre of the rise of UKIP – whose campaign poster launched over the Easter weekend was truly vile and xenophobic. The likely humiliation for the Lib Dems – their duplicity and complicity in the nastiness of the Coalition government  has not been forgotten, and neither should it be. The subject of privacy – and in particular data privacy – has been barely mentioned – and therein lies the problem. We in the UK do not, in general, take privacy seriously at all. The limpness of our reaction to the revelations of Edward Snowden is just one example. The way the government is attempting to sell health data (and more recently HMRC trying to sell our tax data) is another: privacy is very low on the priority list. Data protection is the best example of all – the UK resisted proper data privacy from the start, and has continued to campaign against it, with a mixture of whinging and wining and actual undermining of the legislation: the UK’s implementation of the 1995 Data Protection Directive was flawed to say the least.

That has continued with the current drive to reform the data protection regime for the internet era. Negotiations on that reform have been going on for some years – and the UK government has been doing its best to water down the potential reform, to weaken our privacy rights as much as possible. They’re doing so still, both in public and in the background – and at a time when we need those rights, that protection, more than ever. Data protection is deeply flawed and fundamentally incomplete – but it is still a crucial part of the picture, and one of the few forms of protection that we have.

One key to the reform as it is currently set out is that it is a regulation rather than a directive – which means, in effect, that it will be automatically implemented in a uniform way across the EU. Specifically, we in the UK would not be able to produce a weaker implementation, more ‘business-friendly’ (i.e. less privacy-friendly) with more holes in it to exploit. The UK government is still lobbying against this move – though it seems unlikely that they will succeed.

However, the reform is at a pivotal stage. The European Parliament has passed it in a fairly strong (though far from perfect) form – but with the intricacies of the European system, that does not mean that everything is finished. There are several stages to go through, and the Council of Ministers (effectively the representatives of the governments of the member states) still have a hand in it. It seems entirely likely that they will attempt to water it down – effectively to reduce our privacy protection. At that point, there will need to be as strong a European Parliament as possible to resist this. If we care about privacy, we need strong data protection – and that means we need to do our best to get a European Parliament that understands the issues and is willing and able to drive this through.

That’s where the European elections come in. It would be great if the regulation was agreed before the election – but it seems very unlikely now. That, ultimately, is the reason I shall be voting Green. The Tories have consistently tried to undermine data protection. The Lib Dems have largely done what their Tory masters have told them. Labour are just as bad – and just as much in the hands of the industry lobbies as the Tories are. UKIP are so repellent in every way that even if they were fully in favour of strong data protection reform, I would never vote for them. The Greens, on the other hand, get the issue right. It’s in the manifesto of the Green candidates in my particular area – and the Greens throughout Europe have been very positive for privacy. Jan-Phillip Albrecht, a Green MEP from Germany, has played the lead role in ensuring that the reform has not been driven off track by the lobbyists.

What is more, in my region at least, a Green vote could well be effective. Because there is a form of proportional representation in the European elections, in our region, the East of England Region, it will not take that much of a swing to elect a Green MEP. People should check their own regions carefully to see whether the same would work for them. If there’s a chance, I think it’s a chance worth going for.

There are of course other excellent reasons to vote Green – but this one is quite specific and is one of the particular areas where (in my opinion) European politics and European law can really help. If left to our major political parties, we in the UK would make a godawful mess of the whole thing.

66 thoughts on “Why I’ll be voting Green – and it’s not about the environment!

    • This is true you get vile europhiles like Clegg lying about how little the eussr affects our lives but is desperate to stay in it because apparently we can not run our own nation, and have to have a bunch of unelected political failures decide what is best for us. The more often people like Clegg open their mouths and try to debate with the more knowledgable people like Farage and Nuttall the better people will understand the truth. As Farage states Rumpoy is the best recruiting officer UKIP has.

    • Paul if you are posting as two people as you clearly are then why should anyone bite rot answer your questions the eussr is based in brussells and is taking over previously free democratic nations and forcing its lowest common denominator one size fit all fits no one over regulation on everyone just like its wicked uncle the origin version the ussr did. I’m still waiting for you to explain how wanting control of your own borders is xenophobic but your insistence that the europeans are more able hardworking and better in every way than the british isn’t.

  1. What on earth is vile and xenophobic about UKIP’s posters, unless you are a dyed in the wool traitor who thinks we should be governed by a bunch of unelected political failures in brussells, you couldn’t possibly come to that conclusion, maybe the truth hurts more that you like to admit.

    There is no future in the eussr, other than the rich getting richer the poor needy incapacitated and disabled being starved to death, and brain dead policies that will increase the speed of this occurring, as the unelected commission spews out more and more brain dead regulations that make the area less competitive throughout the world.

    The greenies are all for the very things you are complaining about, they are the most pro eussr party of all even worse than the lib dums.

    • Perhaps you don’t know what the word ‘xenophobic’ means. Xenophobia is the fear of strangers – and trying to scare people that 26 million foreigners are about to take their jobs, complete with a huge pointing finger, is pretty close to the definition of xenophobia.

      • Under UKIP, there will be no one on social security. They will have abolished it to fund their planned 50% increase in defence spending and their energy plans, predicated on a vast expansion in non renewable electricity generation, including coal fired plants.

        Their hostility towards the environmental sector and, in particular renewable energy technology if enacted would lead to job losses (and little or no job creation in the sector) and zero growth in renewable knowledge, technology and energy exports.

        And these are they guys who would trade their way out of the EU!

      • I do know what xenophobia means and as UKIP has stated clearly time after time that it isn’t anti immigration just anti unfettered immigration and wants a system where people come who are adding to society not taking from it like just about every country outside the eussr does, is not xenophobic, it is the people who try to claim that UKIP is racist who need to look at themselves and what they stand for. If you think that a massive influx of immigrants is not taking British peoples jobs then you must think they are coming for benefits only, or doesn’t that fit in with your idea of these hard workers coming to take jobs that Brits won’t do, because that it a xenophobic stance being anti British.

      • If you know what xenophobia is, then how can you claim that a poster that’s designed to scare people that 26 million foreigners are after their jobs isn’t xenophobic? Racism is another matter… and a straw man, as I didn’t mention it!

      • So clearly you do not know what xenophobia means then, as I stated UKIP is not against immigration, just unfettered immigration and the use of cheap foreign imports to prevent British people from working if that’s xenophobic then i prefer to be that rather than a traitor to my own country.

      • You really should read a little more carefully. I said the posters were xenophobic – as they are, deliberately designed to inspire a fear of foreigners taking people’s jobs. More straw men… and I thought UKIP was supposed to be into ‘free trade’? No? Protectionism too ? Pull up the drawbridge!

      • How do cheap imports prevent people working? Surely they give us a better standard of living because our money will go further. Also we can use the cheap imports, add value to them by our own work, and make more profit.

        Labour is a resource; in fact in modern currencies it is the means of production which underlies the value of the money. It is not too large a jump to say that the active workforce of a country takes the place of gold as the foundation of the country’s currency.

        Jobs are not a limited resource – workers are. If you have more workers, a properly run economy will be able to expand by using them to create more business, generating more goods and services. Unemployment is a sign of a badly run economy where resources are being horded rather than used productively.

      • The cheap imports I was referring to are the peoples from europe, who can freely come here and supply cheap labour, because when it is supply and demand the greater the supply the cheaper it becomes so the average wage is being driven down, good for the rich but this more than anything is the reason we have food banks, and sanctions on the unemployed.

      • And there we have it. Blaming the immigrants for pretty much everything, despite the evidence. We have foodbanks because of austerity, not because of immigration. Actually immigration boosts the economy… But no, let’s find a foreigner to blame. More convenient.

      • So Paul you don’t understand that if the supply of workers outstrips the available jobs that the wages will be less because they don’t need to be attractive then. How does increasing the amount of people earning less than the living wage and increasing numbers of unemployed boost the economy for the majority? I’m sure the millions of unemployed who can’t find a job, and the disabled who are being denied help, and those having to wait for months to get a hospital appointment are overjoyed by your definition of the economy being boosted.

      • Sigh. This isn’t a zero-sum game. When the ‘supply’ of workers increases, so does demand. The economy grows. Immigration boosts vacancies, as well as filling them. That’s why immigration-based economies are generally healthier….

      • How do workers from the rest of the EU undercut UK workers? There is this thing called “National Minimum Wage”- it is an offence to pay workers less than that. Perhaps you think the rate is set too low? In that case it’s nothing to do with the EU, it’s set by Westminster.

        As to the numbers of unemployed, that is nothing to with the EU, that’s down to too many wealthy people hoarding too large a proportion of national resources instead of applying them to creating businesses which would enrich the whole nation. Plus lack of action at Westminister promoting or assisting business creation.

        Regarding the disabled, that’s another failing which can be set fair and square at Westministers door, or haven’t you been reading the news over the last couple of years.

        Workers are a resource: the more we have, the more we can produce. With 26 million workers armed with only shovels, we could turn the whole A9 into a motorway inside a year. We could build enough reservoirs and flood defences in England to end hosepipe bans and winter flood damage in the whole country. And we’re not talking about navvys; the majority have useful skills which could be applied in a whole range to beneficial work improving the wealth and standards of living of everyone in the UK. If only we could prise the wealth required from the super-rich few represented by the current Westminister cabinet. Does UKIP intend to do anything about that?

    • I take it the Queen, a big recipient of monies from the EU, in the form of the Common Agricultural Policy is a really big traitor, then? UK share of CAP amounts to 3 and a half billion pounds.

      If we were to leave EU, under a UKIP government what would you put in place to replace the CAP?

      • The visible and invisible benefits of being in the EU far outweigh the amount of money that we pay in. And these people agree with me:

        Federation of Small Businesses

        “The internal market offers easy access for first-time exporters with a market of 500 million customers and 23 million businesses on their doorstep. The internal market creates some legal certainty and a level playing field throughout competition rules and many harmonised rules. This means that businesses can save considerable cost when selling to EU countries.”

        Easyjet

        “EasyJet is a product of the EU’s deregulation of Europe’s aviation market. Without deregulation we would not exist.”

        Vodafone

        “The Internal Market has allowed Europe to influence economic policymaking in other regions of the world far more effectively than the UK could have done on a unilateral basis, allowing UK firms to enter and participate in global markets which might otherwise be less accessible to them”

        Kelloggs (which operates out of Manchester)

        “The biggest short term risk to Manchester’s competitiveness in the EU is a simple one. It is the risk the UK could leave it.”

        Nissan

        “The UK is part of the European Union – [that] is very important….From the foreign investor point of view I hope that the UK will remain as an EU member.”

        Unilever

        “The UK economy is not strong enough [on its own] in a globally interdependent world. We tend to take for granted the good things the EU brings to Britain, [but] don’t expect the same benefits if you are out.”

        BT

        “The EU plays a vital role opening market access world-wide, with far greater leverage (for example into Asian markets) than could be obtained by nations acting individually.”

        Nestle

        “From a purely economic point of view, I can’t see that the withdrawal of the UK [from the EU] would be favourable for any UK industries. It would isolate the UK economically. Every company would be forced to re-evaluate the implications of investing in the UK. It would no doubt have an impact on its ability to supply European markets”

        Scottish Whisky Association

        “Sales of Scotch Whisky within the 27 EU Member States totalled more than half a billion bottles, or about 42% of the industry’s volumes. The EU is vital to the industry’s long term sustainability, both as an internal market and as a strong voice in international trade negotiations.”

        Ford

        “Don’t discuss leaving a trading partner where 50 per cent of your exports go, that would be devastating for the UK economy”

        Siemens

        “If we were not within the EU, Siemens would make it quite difficult for me to continue to invest in those factories.”

        Tata Steel

        “As the largest single market in the world, the EU has a strong bargaining position in trade negotiations. Conversely, on its own, as a relatively small market, the UK would not be as attractive for third countries to negotiate with and would not have the same bargaining power.”

        BAE Systems Chief Executive

        “Do I think it is the right thing for the UK to stay? Yes, to maintain the stability we have got.”

        Bosideng UK

        “As the UK re-examines its relationship with the European Union, we would certainly like to see the UK remain within the EU. Like us, a lot of other Chinese firms choose the UK as a base to address Europe as a whole, and the UK being in the EU certainly helps with that. If the UK withdrew, those investors might think again.”

        AB Sugar

        “It is particularly advantageous to operate within a trading bloc allowing the UK to have greater influence globally than might otherwise be the case.”

        Deloitte

        “The Europe debate does not help to create certainty. When I talk to US clients who have not been immersed in the European debate as we have, they say that what they need is clarity. There is no question it will impact business – it will hit investment into the UK.”

        Honda

        “Anything that weakens our ability to trade with the region would be detrimental to UK manufacturing…. There would have to be some penalty to being outside rather than inside that’s the risk I think.”

        Hyundai

        “Everything is much easier because of the single market, and if that scenario was changed it would make it more challenging.

        Kingfisher

        “Kingfisher is a steadfast supporter of the Single Market. As a pan European retailer with large operations in the UK, France, Spain and Poland and with joint ventures in Germany and Turkey, the company has a clear interest in the harmonisation of certain standards and legislation across the EU.”

        CBI

        “There are some who say that we could retain access to the single market without being a member of the EU; that the UK could withdraw and have a relationship more akin to Norway’s or Switzerland’s. I’d urge them to really look at the detail.”

        Airbus

        “Airbus Group, we note, would never have achieved its success to date without a working and effective partnership of countries and companies within Europe, which only collectively can deliver the scale required to be globally successful.”

        Citigroup

        “It’s not that international companies will stop investing in Britain, but their investment just won’t be at the scale we have become accustomed to”

        Boticca.com

        “One of the reasons we decided to set up Boticca in London is because its melting pot affords entrepreneurs immediate and easy access to the best European talent.”

        BMW

        “The UK not only has to be part of Europe. It has to be a fundamentally active part of Europe. To think about the UK being outside of Europe doesn’t make sense.”

        Diageo

        “We are a trading company. We must stay in Europe, we must position Europe for the future, which is more competitive, less regulation”

        DHL Express

        “If something went dramatically wrong with the trading relationships between the UK and the EU, it would affect us and a lot of businesses. If a parting regressed into protectionism towards the rest of Europe, then that would be a bad thing and a backward step.”

        Goldman Sachs

        “In all likelihood we would transfer a substantial part of our European business from London to a eurozone location – the most obvious contenders being Paris and Frankfurt.”

        Hitachi

        “The UK should be a member of the European Union from the standpoint of our operations. I had a meeting with the Prime Minister and I strongly requested him to do that. For Japanese businesses, the UK and the Continent are very complimentary.”

        The minute you go away from the single market, you reduce the certainty”

        JP Morgan

        “The UK acts as a gateway to Europe for many financial institutions and corporates from around the world. Their establishment and subsequent growth in the UK is no coincidence but is linked to the country’s membership of the world’s largest single market, the European Union”

        Llyod’s

        “Competence over international trade and investment negotiations should remain with the EU. The EU’s economic size and political influence give it substantial weight in the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral agreements with third countries.”

        City of London Corporation

        “The UK must remain a full part of the EU single market, while also continuing to have full access to the decision-making process that sets the rules for this single market.”

        Automotive Council

        “The Automotive Council believes that the UK’s active membership of the EU is an essential factor in the automotive industry’s current and future success.”

        Sanofi

        “The points outlined above clearly show the many benefits of the EU’s trade agenda. Member states gain from being part of the EU as it allows them to benefit from the preferential arrangements included in EU trade agreements.”

        CityUK

        “It is really poppycock to believe that the City can survive in its present form if it is not an integral part of the European financial services framework. London must have complete and unfettered access to the wholesale Euro markets”

        British Retail Consortium

        “Put simply, UK retailers get better terms of access to certain third country markets by virtue of their membership of the EU.”

        EEF, UK manufacturers’ organisation

        “The UK’s economic well-being is heavily linked to our biggest trading partner and we cannot afford to risk the disruption that leaving the EU would cause…… Rather than raising doubts about our future in Europe, the government should focus on making it work better for Britain.”

        British Bankers’ Association

        “The single market for financial services is a significant factor in the success of the UK as a financial centre and therefore of considerable value to the UK economy”

    • So the UKIP will be supporting Scottish independence, because they don’t think Scots should be governed by a bunch of unelected political failures in Westminister? Oh, I forgot, UKIP don’t have anyone in Scotland…not very “UK” that, is it? Never mind, I’m sure the SNP will be happy to say “There is no future in the UK, other than the rich getting richer the poor needy incapacitated and disabled being starved to death, and brain dead policies that will increase the speed of this occurring,”

      By the way what does “eussr” stand for? European Union of Sensible Simplified Regulations? Everyone Usually Supports Social Responsibility? Equality Usually Stymies Stupid Racists?

      Having a single set of legal protections for privacy across Europe seems a good idea, so why are you opposed to it? Because you object to it applying across the whole continent, or because you don’t like people having a right to privacy?

      • UKIP wants the whole of the United Kingdom to be free from the unelected foreign government in Brussells, Westminster is elected, some by Scots themselves just like Holyrood is. The SNP don’t have anyone in England Ireland or Wales so by your reckoning they shouldn’t have an opinion on those nations either. If you think that the eussr has any sensible simplified regulations then you haven’t been looking very closely at it have you, they are all brain dead lowest common denominator one size fits all fits no one over regulations that are allowing the rest of the world to go well ahead of the area., There is no social responsibility it is disrupting the region, and it is eussr regulation that is removing your right to privacy not the other way round. If you really want huge amounts of your tax to pay for the foreign countries why don’t you go and work there and then you can pay in directly as well.

    • Paul I don’t know if you really are such a dimwit or just pretending to be one, there is no correlation between the supply of workers and the increase in demand for workers both going up the demand stays the same but the supply means more people not getting jobs. In short 5 jobs 10 people 5 don’t get the job 5 jobs 100 people 95 don’t get the jobs, therefore the economic outcome is that you do not need to pay as much to employ someone, is that clear enough for you to understand?

    • Paul I don’t know if you really are such a dimwit or just pretending to be one, there is no correlation between the supply of workers and the increase in demand for workers both going up the demand stays the same but the supply means more people not getting jobs. In short 5 jobs 10 people 5 don’t get the job 5 jobs 100 people 95 don’t get the jobs, therefore the economic outcome is that you do not need to pay as much to employ someone, is that clear enough for you to understand?

      • There may well be a dimwit in this discussion, but I’m not convinced it’s me. I wonder if you might wish to take a course in economics – preferably one above primary school level. The supply of people is the key. People aren’t just economic units to add to the stock – they do lots of things. They buy things. They pay taxes. The stimulate the economy. They start businesses – and inspire others to start businesses. All those things, all those activities, create jobs. Immigration is beneficial economically, and not just at the top level. It helps create jobs at all levels. Now, if you’re concerned about British workers being paid too little, raising the minimum wage would really help. If you’re concerned about British workers being exploited, you need strong employment rights, like those brought in by those evil people in the ‘eussr’ despite the best efforts of the real culprits in this story, the unscrupulous employers….

      • No Paul you clearly do not understand economics at all clearly your primary school was bad at teaching sums. People with no money don’t buy anything and the number of people being sanctioned and living on handouts from food banks is increasing. Massive unemployment may be great for you Keynsians, because it means you can keep wages down and make more money for the rich, but for the people paying the price being out of work struggling to make ends meet with a heat or eat decision to make every day it is not a good thing. These people do not start business’ they have no money to do it with. They do not therefore create any jobs, immigration is adding to the welfare and health care bills and is not in the best interests of the people who they are having an adverse effect on. The so called employment rights have removed the right of workers to gain a little extra money from overtime. Only a right wing fascist would consider flooding the employment market a good thing, certainly the people denied the opportunity to work do not, and how many of those immigrants spend all their income here rather than sending large amounts to their families in other countries, and having food parcels etc sent here. how does that help our economy?

    • Paul having a greater number of people wanting jobs does not create jobs anywhere but in your mind. Highland Lawyer I hope that you don’t get any clients because they would all end up losing given your lack of understanding of the law.

      • I’m slightly concerned that you’re having difficulty either in reading, or in following logical argument. Try re-reading my last comment. It’s not the fact that the people want jobs that creates jobs – but their very existence in the country. They consume products. They open businesses. They pay taxes. They stimulate demand. They also do work… this isn’t a zero-sum game. Still, if you’ve got it fixed in your mind, you can’t see that.

      • Migrants also full key skills gaps, making the job market and businesses more productive – creating more jobs. There are lots of such gaps – like PAs for MEPs, or actors for election posters…

      • Paul if you read what UKIP stands for instead of vile attacks such as paragraph two of the paper on which this discussion is based you wouldn’t be making such a fool of yourself. UKIP isn’t that is not against immigration at all, just the unfettered immigration where we can’t decide who should come to the country, why should we have anti british people or those with long term medical conditions, whose own nations won’t treat their conditions, or criminals freely cross the border, do they add to our society or take from it? I’m certain that not every immigrant opens a new business, I’m sure they don’t all pay taxes, your utopian vision of the hardworking foreigner and the lazy brit as proposed by the conlablibdum party is xenophobic.

      • Start again, Barry. Remember what I said – and why you commented on this blog to start with. The poster campaign, which is what’s was commenting on, not the details of policy.

      • …and in no place have I ever said either that I support the major parties (I don’t) or that I characterise Brits as lazy or foreigners as hard working (I don’t). We’re all just people.

      • I’m not sure which comment that was replying to, whether it’s a non-sequitur, or just a straw man, but it doesn’t seem to have much relationship to anything that’s gone before. Anyhoo, let’s get back to the point that I made in the original post. Do you seriously think that the poster campaign isn’t xenophobic?

  2. The EU “government” consists of elected representatives from the UK (and all the other EU states), known as MEPs, and a Council formed from government ministers of the member states. So if that is an “unelected foreign government”, then the same applies for Scots and Westminster: it doesn’t matter what Scots vote for, the government in Westminister will be almost entirely decided by voters in the rest of the UK. Of course if you consider that Scottish MPs may have an important role in contributing to setting UK policy, you must also concede that UK MEPs and Ministers may have an important role in setting EU policy.

    Not being a member of the SNP I can’t speak for them, but my understanding is that they don’t think they should have an opinion on the laws in England, Ireland or Wales; they don’t vote in “England only” laws, and in fact are campaigning to remove all Scottish MPs from Westminister – you may have heard of that, referendum later this year on the subject? They also ask why Scots would “want huge amounts of your tax to pay for the foreign countries”. So the more you say, the more you indicate that UKIP should logically be supporting them.

    EU regulations are no worse written that UK regulations (though admittedly that is not a high bar to pass), and yes they are often “lowest common denominator” rules, since they set minimum standards that member states must apply – not preventing higher standards if a member state want to.

    Currently EU regulations are not removing our privacy rights – it is EU rules on data protection that prevent companies transferring our private data to jurisdictions with less stringent data protection rules without our consent.If you’ve read the blog that you are currently commenting on, you’ll see that a whole lot of political parties from different countries (including UK) want to reduce our rights on this, but other parties want to increase them. Is UKIP signing up to the WePromise 10 point charter of digital rights? https://www.wepromise.eu/en/page/charter if you need to look it up.

    Incidentally, you forgot to say what “eussr” means.

  3. Well as the charter you refer to is eussr legislation concerning the eussr why would UKIP want to sign up to it, we want freedom away from the eussr regulations.

    The Scottish Parliament gives Scotland more freedom to make their own decisions over Westminster than Westminster has from Brussells, why the Scots want to secede from Westminster but remain in the eussr makes no sense whatsoever. Only the Scots vote on Scots only law where the Scots get a say on England only law.

    Eussr over regulation which is lowest common denominator one size fits all fits no one legislation is creating massive economic problems throughout the bloc and the rest of the world is moving on well past the area due to this.

    Currently because of legislations such as the TTIP the eussr is making it easier for private companies to have access to our private Data, this is throughout the world, not making the protection more stringent.

    eussr is the international body that we have been forced into with no democratic agreement, and don’t even try to say that the referendum in the early 70’s had anything to do with giving our government the right to hand over control of our nation to an unelected committee of failed foreign politicians.

    • First, the charter is not legislation at all and it was created by 36 civil rights organisations. While they’ve targetted it at EU candidates, it is equally applicable to candidates to any legislature (as you’d see if you read it).

      You seem to be as uninformed about devolution as about how the EU is constituted. Holyrood has certain legislative powers granted to it by Westminster, but Westminister still reserves law making powers over Scotland in a whole range of areas (called “reserved matters”) and holds all the purse strings. The EU has no taxation powers and receives its funding from contributions from the member states; the legislation of the EU is created by agreement of member states government ministers with some input from MEPs elected from all the member states. So in both cases Westminister controls the money and agrees what laws can be passed by the others.

      Have you got any example where EU regulations have caused economic problems? I’m not aware of any…

      The TTIP is an international trade agreement (not legislation); the EU gives the member states a much stronger negotiating position than the individual states would achieve individual (collective bargaining is a useful tool for individuals and states). I thought UKIP policy was in favour of Free Trade so where does TTIP differ from any WTO agreements? Anyway, the EU has consistently excluded data transfers from the TTIP on the basis that the weaker US data privacy provisions would prejudice EU citizens data privacy rights.

      As to your final paragraph:
      “The United Kingdom is the international body that we have been forced into with no democratic agreement, and don’t even try to say that the referendum in the late 70′s had anything to do with giving our government the right to hand over control of our nation to an unelected committee of failed foreign politicians.” – so again you will be supporting the “Yes” side of the Scottish independence referendum?

      You still haven’t said what “eussr” means.

      • Ah, the ad hominem at last.
        Your clairvoyance is missing if you think I was not there in the early ’70s. However it was the late ’70s when the Scottish referendum was held. Is the only difference between your position on UK in the EU and the SNPs position on Scotland in UK the fact that the former referendum was 1975 and the latter was 1979?

        Still no explanation of what “eussr” stands for?

    • Well as I referred to the referendum in Britain not the one in in Scotland, so why are you referring to it. I know hoew the devolved powers work in Scotland, but you seem to be wilfully ignoring the fact that there are Scottish MP’s in westminster who have a say, in fact we have had them as prime minister, for example. If you think there is any logical and measurable correlation between Scotland devolving from the UK and the UK seceding from the eussr you are wide of the reality mark.

      • There are Scottish MPs in Westminster, which is the UK legislature. There are UK MEPs in the European Parliament, and UK Ministers in the Council of the European Union, which form the EU legislature. So what’s the difference?

        Still no explanation of “eussr” – European Union’s Simply Spiffing Really?

  4. The difference is that the eussr parliament has no right to raise any laws they are all decided on by the UNELECTED yes that is unelected not elected by any acceptable democratic means, bunch of political failures that are called the commission, if you are incapable of realising that then you do not understand meaning of the word democracy, or the manner in which the eussr works, and don’t even try to relate that to the house of Lords because it is far different the commons regularly overrule the house of lords the eussr parliament can never overrule the unelected commission of the corruption ridden democratically deficient eussr.

    • The European Commission is the EU civil service; it doesn’t make laws, it just implements the laws that the Council and Parliament pass. So by your reasoning, the UK is undemocratic because unelected Whitehall implements the laws Westminister passes?

      You raise a good point about the Ministers of the various EU governments having more legislative powers than the directly elected Parliament, the “democratic deficit” as it is often called, but that’s really no different from the way that Cabinet in the UK has got more powers to pass legislation than ordinary backbench MPs. So you’ll be campaigning for constitutional reform of the UK too?

      By the way, “eussr” meaning? We’re still waiting with bated breath for the explanation…

      • Well lets look at this from a reality point of view, the civil service in Britain acts on the legislation coming from Westminster, although most of this emanates from brussells, and is accountable for its actions in implementing the laws it has to abide by.

        The commission is unaccountable, the only body in the eussr that propose, and write new laws, the elected parliament can not, all it can do is look at them and rubber stamp what the unelected committee of failed politicians wants, now if you think that is the same thing you clearly do not understand simple management, The commission is not now and never has been, and never will be the civil service of the eussr.

        I’m waiting for your next incorrect statement .

      • The European Commission proposes laws – so do Whitehall and the Law Commissions in the UK. It is the Council (composed of Ministers from the national governments) which decide whether or not to make those laws, just as Cabinet and Parliament do in the UK. Once the legislature passes legislation, the Commission and Whitehall implement the laws. For your information the European can and does block legislation which has been passed by the Council – as any MEP can tell you.

        As to your claim that most UK legislation comes from Brussells, how do you come to that conclusion? There were 33 Public Acts passed by Westminister in 2013 – how many “came from Brussells”?

        Sorry for not giving you any incorrect statements, but I’m waiting for your explanation of “eussr” and I asked first.

      • Well Paul, why do you feel the need to post as a different person on your own blog btw, the council do not make the decisions, nor does the parliament and only the commission can decide which laws will be forwarded to the parliament to be rubber stamped. The commission is absolutely nothing like the civil service and no one with an iota of democratic principles would be happy to be governed by this committee.

      • Sadly, you’re verging on paranoia now! Highland Lawyer is a totally different person from me. I’m as interested as him in your term ‘eussr’, that’s all.

  5. The Commission does not only propose laws it makes enforceable edicts, The elected mep’s can’t stop any of it going through, that is not what is democracy and it is nothing like a civil service certainly not the British civil service. As to your attempt to pretend that the vast majority of laws 75% in fact don’t come from the eussr is as bad as Cleggs wet attempt to say it is only 9% when even the unelected commissioner Vivianne Redding says it is 80% so you are clearly sticking your fingers in your ears and singing la la la la la, instead of accepting reality. When we are a small part of a federalised USE your will no doubt be there moaning about how did this happen, and the answer is because people like you can’t be bothered to find out the truth.

  6. That’s a bit unfortunate, having your thread hijacked by people who don’t follow your work. Wonder what it’ll do to your google ranking hosting a conversation on xenophobia and immigration economics.

    You should look at http://wepromise.eu and recognise that the Labour Group in the PASD have played a positive role in supporting your digital rights agenda, they voted against ACTA led by a Labour MEP (David Martin), and for net neutrality and the rapportuer leading to the EP’s unequivocal criticism of the USA’s global surveillance regime and the proposal of the establishment of a European Digital Habeas Corpus law, to suspend the TTIP talks and commit to voting against it if data protection is included in the treaty, and proposing to revoke the US Data Protection safe harbour provisions and the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme was a Labour MEP Claude Moraes. See http://blog.davelevy.info/2014/03/17/privacy-is-a-human-right-get-over-it/ for more.

    It’s true that PLP is not yet there although some members have an exemplary record. Certainly better than any Lib Dem. But the position of the EP group and the position of the PASD suggests there is some evidence that those of us fighting the digital liberty fight inside the Labour Party are making ground as we are on TTIP.

    I wish you well and hope that the Greens keep their seats, but it’ll be a tall order for them to win a seat in the East, they might replace the LibDem, but the quota is 12.5% and they were well short of that in 2009.

    • Thanks Dave – though in the East the latest projections are that the Greens are going to win a seat – the Lib Dem vote has collapsed sufficiently, it seems. It will be very tight indeed.

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