Well dang me… this is a good one: you certainly couldn’t make it up!
Just before Xmas the Brexit Minister, David Davis – yes, him, the one charged with taking us out of the pernicious, interfering EU, so we can take back control of our own affairs – takes the government to the EU’s highest court over the rights they, the government, are depriving us of – AND WINS!!
This is so deeply ironic on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start.
First and foremost there is the ideological hypocrisy of the man who most wants us out actually making use of the legal protections of Europe to fight against his own government… the very one he says should be most in control! We were bombarded during the referendum campaign with the message of how fundamentally important it is to Take Back Control. And here he is pleading with Europe to save us from ourselves. Whew!
This would be riotously funny … if only it weren’t so vitally important. One of the chief reasons given for leaving is demonstrated to be critically flawed even before we begin the process of withdrawal.
No matter what the issue, this would be proof positive of the ideological weakness of the core principle for pulling out: we have BETTER guarantees of protection from our own government with an EU court.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the nature of the rights that this case was about. For at the heart of it was the notorious Snooper’s Charter that PM May recently rushed through Parliament. ALL our online communications are to be retained, and open to examination at any time by numerous agencies – by no means all of them related to the security services. The Department for Work and Pensions as well as the Food Standards Agency, for example, would have a hard time convincing us that were serving the cause of protecting us from terrorism. (A menace, in itself, which governments have not been above manipulating for their own ends, of course!) Even those agencies with a genuine responsibility for this task should not be given free reign over all citizens’ private lives – we used to call that totalitarianism, and along with Orwell condemn it as fundamentally at odds with a free and open society.
This is the kind of control that we would most definitely be better off without our government being able to take!
Not the least extraordinary thing about this outcome is the lack of outrage to be found in the MSM coverage of this decision. Scour the pages, onscreen and on paper: you will find the ruling reported, but little or no analysis of the body-blow that this gives to the case for leaving the EU. It’s as if the crowing chorus of commentators have accepted the fallacious case made for leaving – as the money-men and offshore owners want them to – and are now incapable of seeing through the delusion.
And this is only the beginning, of course: already, talks have been held by ministers with business about which workers’ rights they would like to see done away with.
Austerity has already taken us back years in terms of standards of living: now our government wants to take us even further into the past.
Marc Lavelle is the author of the near-future fiction The New Panopticon (click here to download), which deals with the topic of the dangers inherent in an overly intrusive government control of citizens, which is available from Amazon online publishing for free on a special promotion for readers of BBTNTBBC from 1-5 January, 2017.