Monday, October 01, 2007

Cognitive dissonance

The BBC's Europe correspondent, Mark Mardell picks up Gordon Brown's speech and his promise to kick foreigners out of Britain if they are convicted of dealing drugs to children or having guns.

Mardell then follows through with a commentary about secretary of state for communities, Hazel Blears, who was interviewed on the Today programme whence the point was put to her that, given EU law, this was not possible. He writes:

She answered that people would like such a law. She found a few figures to quote. She sounded firm and purposeful. Almost. But it was clear she hadn't got the slightest idea how such a policy proposal would be translated into action.
Mardell supposes that it is an act of faith, a declaration of purpose, but, he adds: "it always surprises me when senior politicians make bold announcements with no idea of how they are going to turn them into reality."

It should come as more than a surprise, though. It is deeply disturbing that senior politicians are either unaware of the law by which the are governed or are simply not able or willing to admit that they are governed by EU law to such an extent that things they want to do – or say they will do – simply cannot be done.

Once again, we are talking about Directive 2004/38/EC, the entry into force of which we blogged at the time and have since watched the politicians wriggle and squirm - most recently in the Learco Chindamo affair – as they struggle to come to terms with this law.

But what is utterly bizarre is that these politicians, who are being forced to confront the fact that, in key areas of policy, they have given away their powers, are still so anxious to give away yet more powers – as in the EU's constitutional treaty.

There can be only one explanation for it.


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