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'Secret' Euro meetings under fire

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posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 05:03 AM
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Ministers from the UK and the EU's largest states have come under fire for holding meetings on issues about terrorism and immigration "in secret".
The UK House of Lords EU Committee says the public has a right to know what goes on behind closed doors.

The peers claim important decisions are reached, yet no report is ever made to Parliament and no publicity is given about them by the Home Office.


news.bbc.co.uk...


Why not disclose this information? 3 years of meetings and we don't know any of the conclusions or debates that went on. They have said that they will publish the conclusions of the next meeting. We'll see!!




posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 06:23 AM
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Originally posted by Yossarian
Why not disclose this information?


What? Disclose actual information to the public? They won't even let us in on their secret handshake, although my sources tell me the handshakes are often greased with money and favours


The real politics go on behind closed doors with people we've never heard of, politics isn't rallies and speeches, its backroom meetings and personal gain.



posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 09:01 AM
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What? Disclose actual information to the public? They won't even let us in on their secret handshake, although my sources tell me the handshakes are often greased with money and favours


Thats the problem though, they are supposed to let the public know what is happens or the outcome of any meetings, after all they were elected by the British Public and are answerable to the British Public, (and off course secret handshakes are greased with money and favours), Unless it would be against national security to let us know what is going on just another way of taken awayour rights as citezens,
. Just shows how mutch this Gov's power has went to its head, come the next general election we will see The British Public using its power to slap this Gov down.

[edit on 20-7-2006 by spencerjohnstone]



posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 10:08 AM
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By what yardstick are people judging this?

Hmmmm.
A couple of points instantly spring to mind.

Did the HOL suddenly stop being a highly political extension of British politics or something?

They aren't non-political (despite the laughably patronising claims of some, usually members) and unless the people making these claims were privy to the talks themselves then they aren't really in much of a position to make these kind of claims (it's that old 'someone who wasn't there and therefore can't know what was actually said is trying to tell you to worry about what was said there' routine).

Politicians may not be held in the best public affection but to suspect their every move as anti the public's' best interests - at all times - seems to me to be a silly and ultimately dangerous mentality - particularly as they regularly have to stand for public vote/approval; unlike members of the HOL.

Perhaps the conspiracy in this is the planting and attempt to build a widespread and sweeping general consensus that there are no honest politicians anywhere and that they all act with total and utter dishonour at all times?
(The irony in this is that the idea is generally one 'fed' and sustained by political journalists.....not exactly the first in line for the 'public trust and affection' awards themselves......which, rightly, would have us move on to open up another debate about whether all political journo's are, and/or deserve to be, on a sub-'pond-life' reputation and degree of credibilty with the public).

Anyhoo, we all like the idea of 'open government' but without any limit?
Where would you stop?

Do you never take their word for it when they claim to need to maintain confidentiality?
God knows it is an imperative in business so who knows when it comes to international politics - and it may not necessarily be because of keeping things quiet in the UK either, we may be required to keep a confidence on behalf of others.
What about the things said that may not be desired in 'the public domain in some countries in the rest of the EU.......perhaps some ex-communist new member states, yet to 'catch up' fully with some of the security arrangements?

Since when does a reported series of comments in the media equate to the total and utter complete story, the gospel truth and something we should all instantly believe in it's entirety?

This story (if you read the report further down) says that it is in the UK that these things go unreported (despite a press conference and the details being reported in the host nation).

The problem the HOL are really complaining about is that the EU is almost the lowest priority to the British public.

Our media doesn't/won't carry the straight reports of what really goes in the EU in much detail because they patronisingly believe it bores the British public rigid.
They prefer to carry idiotic and absolute garbage myths like 'bent sausages' or 'straight bananas' stories.

......so, we all know which gang of decades-long 'wolf' criers in politics (along with those press idiots) are to blame for that unwelcome reality, right



[edit on 20-7-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Politicians may not be held in the best public affection but to suspect their every move as anti the public's' best interests - at all times - seems to me to be a silly and ultimately dangerous mentality –


Ok so you think its “dangerous” that someone amongst the public will always suspect our politicians actions as anti the public good?
Well (with all due respect) thank god you didn’t design the Health and Safety Act (I would dread to think what might have been in it).

Aren’t you totally disregarding another point of view which goes something like this… “throughout both past and recent history politicians the world over have shown themselves to be capable of immense sin; therefore it is good that they are fully exposed to A public scrutiny and B hostile public suspicions, which C they must ether answer or remain answerable to.

Please enlighten me more about how hostile public suspicion from anyone anywhere can ever be dangerous. Heck once the public starts fearing public political suspicion, then you know our world is sliding down an authoritarian route.

The way I see it you don’t know and I don’t how honest or decent any of our politicians really are. And until you have some proof about how extensive their moral compass really is; then you have no right to criticise someone’s suspicions (just for being suspicions). It is anti democracy (although that is of course your right).


Anyhoo, we all like the idea of 'open government' but without any limit?
Where would you stop?


Well now that you ask I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t mind tripling the pay of every politician in exchange for every phone call, and every word in every meeting they ever [b[legally have (whilst in office) being recorded. I wouldn’t mind if everything they said would be disclosed to the public after a short period (unless they would argue that what they had said “wasn’t relevant to politics” (something the media may choose to have challenged behind the closed doors of a court of law). You might ask who run for politics? My answer is “only the good ones you talk about”. Hay if was being offered several hundred thousand pounds a year (or certainly a million) then I too wouldn’t mind. (And that’s nothing compared to the over 520 billion pounds a year they spend on everything). It would cost about 1000th of all tax money, and perhaps people like me really would believe that politicians were acting in the public interests (after all we would be able to see and look it up).
If you are worried about the loss of public confidence in politicians then its solutions like mine you should propose, or certainly not attack the public suspicion itself.

But till then we have to rely on thinking about politicians as the filth the leading ones usually are (do some history its where their moral crimes turn up most). Though its arguably an exaderated test it’s one of the few ways we have of handing on our freedom to our children as we found it.

Regarding the subject directly I'm sure there are a few things politicians need to discuss in private like how many weapons we sell to Africa, or more seriously who would be the first candidate for starting a nuclear war. However by and large their reasons turn out to be bull. It was arguments of confidentiality that kept television cameras out of the House of Commons for years (one of Thatcher’s few good deeds). PM’s might be a dramatised verbal battle between two clones but I would rather see it on TV than read it in the middle pages of the newspapers, or God forbid not see or read it at all.

By the way sminkeypinky I think you will find its mass media baron Rupert Murdoch’s anti EU bias that’s most responsible for keeping the EU out the papers. And apart from when they are endangering our democracy (like asking us to go along with some treaty which will make Brussels more powerful than Westminster, and with zero need for a referendum) then generally most of what they does bore me.

I think their chainsaw noise restriction ideas were quite funny, and there was something about electronic waste our own government should have sorted out years ago. But although I have a big interest in politics you need a real interest for nitty gritty details that I rarely have (mostly because I'm not actually employed by Westminster), and in any case I am only one of 60 million people, and we are only one of 25 EU members, and counting.


[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
Aren’t you totally disregarding another point of view which goes something like this… “throughout both past and recent history politicians the world over have shown themselves to be capable of immense sin; therefore it is good that they are fully exposed to A public scrutiny and B hostile public suspicions, which C they must ether answer or remain answerable to.


- I didn't say anything about not exposing public representatives to proper public scrutiny or that they should not be answerable for their actions and as far as a hostile and suspicious element within the general public goes I accept that is perfectly normal.

Where did you get those ideas from, because that was quite clearly not what I was talking about?


Please enlighten me more about how hostile public suspicion from anyone anywhere can ever be dangerous.


- Well perhaps you can't see it.

I contend that a permanent, total and general suspicion and paranoia about everyone in politics is unhealthy, counter-productive and potentially dangerous as well as fundamentally wrong.

(because when it boils down to it it is a paranoia; despite the 'music hall gags' there are genuinely public-spirited and self-less people in British politics at all levels and, because I have met them to my own certain knowledge , in all the major parties and a few of the smaller ones.
No doubt that applies to the smaller political parties whos' members I haven't personally met too.

We have some of the 'cleanest politics' and most rigorous scrutiny and law in relation to 'clean politics' in the world.
'We' fret about the (properly declared at the time) personal gift a cowboy hat, boots and belt as maybe an example corruption; which as far as examples of actual political corruption go is pretty laughable.


The way I see it you don’t know and I don’t how honest or decent any of our politicians really are.


- Speak for yourself because you most certainly can't speak for me.

I am old enough to have met (and known personally) several British politicians.
I have also met with several senior government people (including Cabinet Ministers) in this government and the last tory one.

Whilst I disagreed, vehemently at times, with their politics they were, without exception, decent hard-working (the hours put in were often just terrifying) people trying to do an incredibly hard and exhausting job constantly juggling conflicting important (and at times simply and truly the impossible) priorities.
They're all also human beings, as fallible as any of us.

Believe it or not.


Well now that you ask I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t mind tripling the pay of every politician in exchange for every phone call, and every word in every meeting they ever [b[legally have (whilst in office) being recorded.


- Well I'm sorry to say Lib that those kinds of black and white 'solutions' rarely work out in the real world.

All that would happen would be that people would either find ways to avoid your nightmare confined world of permanent surveillance, or simply not enter into it at all.

That's not a very realistic or credible idea no matter how you try and dress it up.



[edit on 21-7-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 09:09 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
- I didn't say anything about not exposing public representatives to proper public scrutiny or that they should not be answerable for their actions and as far as a hostile and suspicious element within the general public goes I accept that is perfectly normal.


I know that but I thought you were disregarding this point of view by accusing the public of being paranoid about our politicians. This is because surely we will not have a system that demands political scrutiny if we don’t have a public that’s paranoid (and therefore determined enough) to get it?

That said I reckon my last response was unfair to you because (looking at it again now) it was definitely very rash and extremely over aggressive. So (though no ones telling me) I’m sorry to you for doing that. I wasn’t in a very good mood and probably shouldn’t have been at the computer, or certainly shouldn’t have sparked up over quite a small thing you said.

But I still disagree with you though!!!

In particular with what you said about politicians. I’ve met about two (well for more than ten minutes) and I too thought they came across as very nice people; even though I'm almost certain that one of them in particular isn’t. He supports the arms industry, the use of depletive uranium despite acknowledging to me that it probably harms our troops. And if you met Blair, Bush, Hitler, perhaps even Stalin (well if Stalin was in a good mood) then I would put 9 out 10 odds you would think they too were a nice person.
The best bad people always have good people's skills. And if you’re a politician then no one is going to want to elect you if you come across as a bad person; but coming across as “nice” didn’t prevent most of the political crimes of the last century, and I don’t see why it will be different now.

Most of the bad people I've met in my life initionally came across as nice people. Every horrible person worth their skin will take advantage of peoples perception in order not to change. I reckon I might have an example of this...

Blair did Live Eight with his multi millionaire friend Bob Guildoff when (even ignoring our role in Iraq) we are the worlds second biggest arms exporter. Blair appeared nice on Live Aid but I bet he couldn’t care less about Africans in reality. We would never have dropped the ethical arms policy approach he spoke about on coming to government, in fact we would have implemented it!! After its war and the weapons we sell that’s responsible for many of Africa’s problems.
In fact I reckon he probably did it as a public distraction from Iraq as the Hutton inquiry had recently cleared the government of “sexing up” the intelligence used for the war in Iraq. Although blatantly incorrect the eyes of many, we could have the public criticising the public inquiry justice system.
What better way to distract the attention of people who care about humanity than to bring up Africa, and push it to the top of agenda.
As a side note perhaps when hospitals in Iraq run short of painkillers you have to ask couldn’t we find the money for that; before we cancel say unpayable (even virtually worthless) debts?

You could say what I’ve written is paranoid as it’s based on a negative interpretation of the facts. But is it incorrect?

How paranoid does something have to be in order for it to be “unhealthy-dangerous”? I might be unimaginative but there must be a few good (perhaps hypothetical) examples, so could we here them please?

Why would we ever need any additional cure to paranoia other than political scrutiny and accountability? And if the publics paranoid is it something in the tap water or those who govern us that’s responsible?

Filming EU MP's is scrutiny and in a sence accountability. It worked in the Commons despite the protests "over confidential buisness", surely it will work there too?



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 07:50 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
That said I reckon my last response was unfair to you because (looking at it again now) it was definitely very rash and extremely over aggressive. So (though no ones telling me) I’m sorry to you for doing that. I wasn’t in a very good mood and probably shouldn’t have been at the computer, or certainly shouldn’t have sparked up over quite a small thing you said.


- Very decent of you Lib, I appreciate that & I know it isn't always an easy thing to admit.
Credit to you.


But I still disagree with you though!!!


- No-one ever said you had to.
That's what it's all about.
Debate, conflicting information, opinions, views & attitudes (all within the T&C, of course
)


if you met Blair, Bush, Hitler, perhaps even Stalin (well if Stalin was in a good mood) then I would put 9 out 10 odds you would think they too were a nice person.


- That's a fair point (and one more or less born out by some of the contemporary reports).
Mind you, comparing Blair to a world-war starting multi-million murder like a Hitler or a Stalin is precisely the kind of absurd OTT stance I am talking about.

In any case whilst it is an interesting debate and it is true that Blair is PM of one of the world's largest exporters of arms he is not exactly and entirely responsible for the actions those buying the arms nor the minutia of those private companies selling them, correct?
You can take the view that all arms manufacture and sales should be banned but it's hardly going to go too far beyond the debating stage.


Blair did Live Eight with his multi millionaire friend Bob Guildoff when (even ignoring our role in Iraq) we are the worlds second biggest arms exporter. Blair appeared nice on Live Aid but I bet he couldn’t care less about Africans in reality.


- Well how do you classify the vast amount of debt relief that has been achieved under this Labour government (both that held domestically and that abroad which this government has played such a large role in encouraging others to relinquish)?

Would you also assess as completely uncaring the large increase in UK humanitarian relief that has happened under this Labour government?

Or the armed interventions to try and stop bloodshed and war in Africa?

Bob Geldof may be many things but the image of an uncaring and utterly self-interested multi-millionaire you have tried to picture here (and on a couple of other threads I've noticed) is a gross distortion of the truth.

......perhaps if you dedicated so many years of your life to the practicalities of this matter in the way he has you could have grounds to criticise.

Does that mean he has to be a pauper and wear sack-cloth and ash all of his life?
I don't think so.
If only there were more wealthy people with attitudes like his.


We would never have dropped the ethical arms policy approach he spoke about on coming to government, in fact we would have implemented it!!


- Whilst it may be far from perfection the UK still does have an 'ethical' dimension to it's 'arms policy' quite unlike what went before, it was not "dropped" - even if the 'black and white' crowd see the shades of grey as of no consequence.


As a side note perhaps when hospitals in Iraq run short of painkillers you have to ask couldn’t we find the money for that; before we cancel say unpayable (even virtually worthless) debts?


- Wow, talk about wanting to have it both ways.

The debt was a grossly debilitating burden and it most certainly was not a "worthless" nothing to those saddled with them for decades.

As for Iraq?
It's, sadly, in large parts a war zone.
Not surprisingly you'll find areas with appalling conditions, including wrecked hospitals without supplies.


You could say what I’ve written is paranoid as it’s based on a negative interpretation of the facts. But is it incorrect?


- In large parts, sorry but yes, I think so.


How paranoid does something have to be in order for it to be “unhealthy-dangerous”?


- Well, it's true that it isn't the story in it's entirety but it is a significant element of it, I think 1920's Italy & 1930's Germany in particular are excellent, if horrendously tragic, examples of what can happen and exactly how dangerous it can be when a permanent suspicion, paranoia and hostility to a countries' established 'body politic' goes too far and takes hold in the populace generally.

It allows unreason a chance, it devalues fact and truth and it tarnishes decent people.


Why would we ever need any additional cure to paranoia other than political scrutiny and accountability?


- Like I said there is absolutely nothing wrong with proper scrutiny and rational levels of accountability (which we do have in this country).

The problems arise when a chorus of seemingly credible critics would have people utterly disregard that reality as worthless or totally insignificant and to be completely ignored.

If that kind of irrationality takes hold then yes, IMO that can become dangerous, particularly as there is rarely a shortage of those who would seek to exploit that kind of unreality......and actions and attitudes held on the basis of an unfounded and irrational belief have that potential, wouldn't you agree?

Do you really need examples?
History is full of them.


And if the publics paranoid is it something in the tap water or those who govern us that’s responsible?


- There have been times when governments have exploited this, yes of course, I have never said otherwise.

Nevertheless the fact remains they are not the only ones that will seek to use and exploit this trait.


Filming EU MP's is scrutiny and in a sence accountability. It worked in the Commons despite the protests "over confidential buisness", surely it will work there too?


- I think you'll find the EU Parliament is considering televising it's proceedings (on the web) but even so there are a host of reports on it's activities if you look (the trouble is that most people don't).

But if you really imagine 'the power' in the EU lies with it's Parliament then you are sadly mistaken.
Despite the garbage talked about an EU more powerful than the sovereign nation states the fact is that the EU institutions remain deliberately weak precisely so as to keep them subordinate to those nation states.

The real power in the EU rests with the democratically elected governments (through the PMs, Chancellors and Presidents along with their Ministers and the nominees those elected governments send to the various institutions).
They are not going to televise their meetings (and when negotiation and private debate are so crucial to some of their dealings who can blame them?).

100% transparency at all stages of human negotiation is not necessarily a healthy or productive thing or achievable thing
(but then I suspect the reason why some ask for such an superficially appealing and plausible, but utterly impossible, state of affairs in practice is because they already know it to be impossible; a tactic often used by Marxists & Trotskyists actually).

[edit on 23-7-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 08:07 PM
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A good way to measure.

If after the secret meetings we see a trend of disturbing EU-wide terrorisim and immigration laws, then its time to worry.

of course, disturbing is a relative term these days.



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