Thursday, January 19, 2012
Just a coincidence?
So, The Boy is coming out of the woodwork to tell us that he is going to do something about drug-driving. But road safety is, in fact, an EU competence, and the "colleagues" themselves have been showing a great interest in the subject, especially as dealing with this "menace" is part of the European Road Safety Action Programme.
However, while the EU is now responsible for legislating on road safety, drug-driving is, as yet, an "unoccupied field" – there is no specific Community law in place. Thus, with the permission of the EU commission, member states are still allowed to make their own law.
Any such law must, of course, be directed at achieving Community objectives, and be co-ordinated with other member states in this field, so it is interesting to observe that The Boy's initiative comes only months after the completion of a major EU-funded study on drug driving.
This clears the way for a new raft of "evidence-based" legislation, so one wonders whether it is at all a coincidence that Cameron should now pop up with "new" ideas on the issue, which just happen to conform with EU thinking, especially as Cyprus just happens to be following the same route (even if it is more honest about the EU link).
Whether good or bad though, what The Boy (and the media) carefully omits to tell us is that any new law can only be promulgated with the permission and approval of the EU commission. Even if it does not then bear the EU label, it will have the colleagues' fingerprints all over it.
Nevertheless, as long as the media doesn't blow the gaff, it gives The Boy plenty of opportunities for grandstanding, without him actually having to admit how little power is left to him.