Monday, September 22, 2008

EU in 'lack of democracy' shocker

Lots of lovely bloggers have been writing about this example of 1984 style legislation instigated by a former hack who decided life would be more cushy being an MEP rather than getting a proper job. She clearly doesn't like the fact that bloggers aren't bound by who their editors are having lunch with that week or, more importantly, who they'd like to have lunch with and so can actually write things as they are such as the news that the Government used the fact that you can't trust a word they say, as their legal defence which was not touched by the dead tree press or telly.

They can also publish videos of events happening in the European Parliament which the MSM don't touch because either they don't understand it or they do but they'd have to explain why so much domestic legislation comes from Brussels and yet they still count it as foreign news and they don't really understand it anyway.

It starts with:

having regard to Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
which fellow political geeks may recall was not supposed to be binding in the UK
From the explanatory statement:
In this context the report points out that the undetermined and unindicated status of authors and publishers of weblogs causes uncertainties regarding impartiality, reliability, source protection, applicability of ethical codes and the assignment of liability in the event of lawsuits.

It recommends clarification of the legal status of different categories of weblog authors and publishers as well as disclosure of interests and voluntary labelling of weblogs.

Because, of course, the EU has found a way of ensuring one sided media coverage by using tax payers money for its own set of tv channels Goebbels would be proud of, and a bargain at only £7million a year.
And when journalists try to cover, say, a protest by MEPs objecting at the lack of democracy in the EU, they get told not to film it by the Head of the Parliament's audio visual services.

Tory Chris Heaton Harris has jumped on the bandwagon
Chris Heaton Harris, a British Conservative Euro MP, has rejected any moves to "regulate and restrict independent media sources".
"Mrs Mikko obviously does not understand that blogs have become the life blood of a vibrant democracy," he said.
"I hope these proposals are kicked out."

So do I and, I would hope, so do all right thinking individuals.
However, I notice that some of CHH's colleague don't.
Tories voting in favour of reports in the main committee or the committees invited to give an opinion: Den Dover (twice), Giles Chichester, Jonathan Evans, John Purvis and possibly Philip Bradbourn (someone in his committee voted against it - just the one - but there are no names).
Lib Dems: Sharon Bowles, possibly Bill Newton-Dunn (see above)
Labour: Michael Cashman, Peter Skinner (who I used to like) and Fiona Hall.

And that's just in committee stage.

Now, before you eurofanatics start jumping up and down and saying it's only an own initiative report, you know (or you should) that the Commission use INI's as a way of gauging the reaction of MEPs to proposals which they, as the unelected bureaucrats and the only people who can propose legislation, will then put forward in a legislative document. As Bruno Waterfield reports in his article:
A recent internal European Commission report, leaked three weeks ago, found that the EU was losing the battle for hearts and minds online.

"Blog activity remains overwhelmingly negative," it said.

Wonder what that memo will lead to?

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