Oh, those Lib Dems, they're so Liberal and, er, Democaratic. Aren't they?
If one listened to them in the UK you could be forgiven for thinking that, given their opposition to ID cards and the such, but not if you have access to what they say in the EU. Which isjn't easy, I'll grant you, given that the press like to adopt an ostrich like attitude with all things EU.
So, I'll plug the gap.
Last week we voted on the biometric details for the Visa Information System for the Schengen area which, because I found the original document from the Commission in a restaurant in Brussels, was written about in early 2007. It plans to take control of immigration, granting of visa and all that sort of thing away from national government appointed organisations. Like UKPA, for example, if we were in Schengen.
The lady who wrote the parliament opinion on this proposal was a Lib Dem called Sarah Ludford, and I am lucky, lucky, luck luck luck to be in receipt of one of her press releases:
I am disappointed that we have been unable to reach agreement, but the Council and Commission have not sufficiently thought through how their proposals would work. No decision to require fingerprints from six-year-olds should be made without taking into account doubts over reliability due to rapid change in young children's' prints, and the significant costs and inconvenience for their parents if the solution is to impose collection every two years instead of five.Note, the 6 year olds are not escaping because it might be wrong to tag children who haven't done anything wrong, but because they change when the children grow, which is quite rapid then.
That is why MEPs are making the reasonable proposal of starting with twelve-year-olds for fingerprinting and re-examining age limits after a three-year study. I want the Visa Information System to succeed, and we cannot afford to make it into one vast experiment with 70 million entries at any one time.
That's much better. Pre teen, and we take your prints. Who could say fairer than that, eh? Make sure it all works nice and smoothly, the EU can be in charge of all the data because they are going to be in charge of all migration soon, and then before you know it, George Orwell will be going 'finally! They worked out that it was an instruction manual...'
Next time a Lib Dem tries to make out they are libertarian, tell them when they open their mouth, all you can hear is the sound of dripping arse gravy.
Now excuse me, I must dry my hair by poking it outside for 20 seconds.