Friday, December 22, 2006

And now… a single EU driving licence

Despite a recent survey establishing that religion is as divisive in Europe as it ever was, the drive towards a single political entity continues apace. The EU already has a flag, an anthem, a passport, a currency, a central bank, and a parliament. It has common policies on agriculture, fisheries, food safety, industry, and employment. It has a common foreign and security policy, and an embryonic army. It is pressing for harmonisation of fiscal policy, and a common judicial system, both of which are being realised. It is intent on acquiring a constitution, giving it a legal identity, a foreign minister, common diplomatic representation, and unitary representation on international bodies including the UN Security Council.

Amidst all these trappings of state, it comes as no surprise that the lawmakers in Strasbourg have agreed to a single EU driving licence. It will be in a credit card format, with a photograph, and an (optional) microchip. But this is not simply a single licence to facilitate Brussels bureaucracy; it presupposes common jurisdiction on the EU’s road network, such that offences committed in one state have repercussions in another; or its withdrawal for health reasons in one state leads to an EU-wide ban.

For the United Kingdom, it is also likely to be an ID card by the back door. Apparently, the Government has already suggested that the chip ‘could contain information about the driver, as UK citizens have no ID card, while the Nordic countries suggested it could be used for paying road taxes’. EU-wide road taxation?

Welcome to the Peoples' Republic of Europe.

Cranmer agrees with Mr Churchill on this matter:

‘We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe but not of it. We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed. And should European statesmen address us in the words that were used of old, 'Shall I speak for thee to the King or the Captain of the Host?', we should reply with the Shunamite woman 'Nay sir, for we dwell among our own people.’

If it is no longer possible to be interested and associated without being absorbed, it is time to disassociate, and to dwell among our own people.


Anonymous Uncle Joe said...

Better dead than Red

22 December 2006 at 10:22  
Blogger chris said...

Another thing to add to your list, control over the setting of certain taxs. That is why we cannot sort out massively over complicated the fraud magnet that is VAT without EU approval.

22 December 2006 at 10:30  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

I think 'Uncle Joe' is overreacting a wee bit - I wouldn't rather be dead than red, or dead than in a country called Europe, or even dead than in a Catholic united Ireland. There's nothing political worth dying for.

So I wouldn't rather be dead than have an EU driving licence. But it doesn't half piss me off (sorry, Cranmer).

22 December 2006 at 10:31  
Anonymous anonentity said...


I recently watched A Clockwork Orange for the first time in ages.

It rather tickled me to see that the piece of music which Alex is accidentally made averse to is the Ode To Joy.


22 December 2006 at 10:38  
Anonymous bob said...

This is actually an EU initiative I'd welcome. Having a uniform driving licence across the Union would help in issues of road safety. Speeding ofeences, drink driving and all other road offences could be policed more effectively and would, in my opinion, save lives.

Just as an aside, and apologies for veering off the issue, I wanted to tell Ulster man, that as a Catholic citizen of Ireland (i.e. the area incorrectly termed the Republic of Ireland) I have no desire to see a united Ireland for several reasons, among them economic concerns that a united Ireland would be economically disasterous. I also have no desire to see a Unionist population in a united Ireland who don't want to be part of a united Ireland. As far as I'm concerned Northern Ireland is a foreign country and I am happy for that staus quo to be maintained, except in matters of rugby.

22 December 2006 at 11:19  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The hook on which this is caught is the desire they have to revoke all existing driving licences in favour of new ones which presents a real stumbling block to them.

The strongest lobby group in Germany is ADAC which makes RAC and AA look like Women's Institute - it is a very well capitalised lobby and probably the most powerful in Europe. The EU would like to do these things; the British Govt would like to do these things..............and the forgers will do something else.

Currently the Passport Office and DVLA swap photograph details on applicants and cross-check with credit-agencies on addresses but there are no Europe-wide databases yet..............though they are building a centralised database on vehicles in the EU.

I recommend a trip through this site

22 December 2006 at 12:03  
Anonymous Voyager said...

22 December 2006 at 12:05  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

The problem, Bob, is that it's not just in rugby. The Vatican appoints a cardinal for 'all-Ireland', therefore not recognising that Ulster is another country altogether, while the rest of the UK has distinct cardinals appointend for Scotland, and another one for England & Wales.

You are obviously an enlightened Catholic, Bob, and I like talking to those. Sadly, too many of your co-religionists insist on the political union of Ireland as thought it was an article of faith. The EU is now involved in the restoration of devolution and the maintenance of cross-border authorities (including the economic, no matter how 'disastrous'). Bloody EU has its tenticles everywhere. What business, I ask you, is it of theirs?

22 December 2006 at 12:07  
Blogger Sir Henry Morgan said...


How does 'Better dead than Muslim' sound to you? I can't believe that you think NOTHING political is worth dying for.

Incidentally, why do you think it fine to have a Catholic archbishop of 'England and Wales', but not of all Ireland? Don't Welsh people matter?

I'm Welsh.

22 December 2006 at 12:22  
Anonymous bob said...

Well, as regards the appointment of Cardinals etc, the Catholic Church on the island of Ireland has historically been seen as comprising a single entity, just as it is a single entity for most, if not all, the Protestant Churches. The Free Presbyterian Church, for example, has churches in Donegal, as well as Cavan and Monagahan I believe, of which Dr Ian Paisley is the Moderator. I've had occasion to meet my local Church of Ireland and Presbyterian ministers who hail from Belfast and Ballymena respectively. Whether this historical model is best suited to our contemporary situation is a matter for debate. There is also the difficulty that the borders of the Irish Catholic dioceses date back to the 12th or 13th century, and so some dioceses such as Armagh for example, occupy areas on both sides of the border. The problem is rather complex.

As for the EU, I'm afraid Ireland is hellbent on the European project, mainly because Ireland has done well out of membership of the EU. The current healthy state of the Irish economy is due in no small part to massive investment in Ireland from Europe for the past thirty years (there are other factors, but EU investment is perhaps the key factor), and so the EU probably feels quite entitled to poke about in Irish affairs. Ireland seems quite determined to hand over sovereignity, which is ironic considered the course of Irish history.

As for Northern Ireland, I'd happily settle for peaceful co-existence but unfortunately this does not seem to be an option, thanks mainly to the political virus that is Sinn Féin.

22 December 2006 at 12:30  
Anonymous Voyager said...

As for the EU, I'm afraid Ireland is hellbent on the European project

That will change as German unemployment becomes intolerable in the East -

These chaps seem rather miffed about the EU and will increasingly appeal to a disenchanted population not too happy with VAT rising from 16% to 19% on 1st January so Ireland can entice companies to found invoicing centres and pay low taxes

22 December 2006 at 13:01  
Blogger tim said...

It strikes me that the EU is pushing for the steps of single-nationhood in reverse order. It's got an anthem, flag, single currency, and now maybe a single driver's license.

The United States went about things in the opposite order. We didn't declare a national anthem until the 1930s, I think (although we did have a flag from the beginning). We didn't have a single currency until several years *after* our various sovereign states had created the union. And even today, we don't have a single driver's license. Each state issues its own--the Federal government has no authority over driving.

(Although I think there was some intrusive law on standardized I.D. format passed recently by the Feds, but I think it's unconstitutional.)

On top of this list, we see the EU extending its own authority into silly things like child spanking, how to make cheese in France, and so on. Things that we don't let our Federal government get away with here in the United States, and we're an actual country.

So where will it go next?!

22 December 2006 at 13:22  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Things that we don't let our Federal government get away with here in the United States, and we're an actual country.

Yes but you are not Europe...................Germany is just like this internally........defining everything down to the standard DIN size of a letterbox; how high each step may be on a household staircase; that a light must illuminate each step on a public staircase;

22 December 2006 at 13:39  
Anonymous bob said...

Voyager - I'll trust your economic view as I am a stranger in a strange land when it comes to economics. I can only say that I wouldn't underestimate the Irish tendency to Europhilia. Bertie Ahern is, after all, the man who managed to get the EU leaders to agree of a draft EU Constitution. Ireland entered the Euro with blind enthusiasm. Ireland has effectively killed it's farming and fishing industries in favour of EU subsidies. It held two referendums on the Nice Treaty because the Irish people had the bad manners to give the wrong answer the first time, and the only thing that comes close to an anti-Europe party in Ireland is Sinn Féin, and frankly I'd rather subject myself to a federal Europe than vote for them.

22 December 2006 at 13:52  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Yes Bob from an Irish perspective if it rains manna from heaven one should feel blessed................the Romanians are hoping to find salvation by looking skywards too...........

It is just that the situation in Germany is not widely reported in British media and people have little comprehension of spreading poverty because of a) Euro b) Hartz IV c)economic mismanagement..............and the falling satisfaction with democracy as it is practised

There are all sorts of things bubbling eneath the surface and often the EU reminds me of the complaceny that led the Communist regimes to crumble in 1989-90

22 December 2006 at 14:05  
Blogger tim said...

Yes but you are not Europe

Well, you have a point, there. I was about to write that since the EU seems to be a federation in principle, that it would make sense to have a similar understanding of the zones of sovereignty and states' rights that we do in the American federation.

But then I noted your comment about Germany, which is also a federation...and, well...your point is made. Canada also strikes me as an odd divergence from my understanding of a federation. It considers itself closer to a confederation, but yet the federal law enforcement has (I've been told) entirely overlapping jurisdiction with the provincial police. (So, for instance, a "Mountie" could give you a traffic ticket.) Something that, again, we wouldn't tolerate in the U.S.

Anyway, my feelings (if I were European) would be the same as Cranmer's: disassociate and dwell among our own people.

P.S: My wife's Rumanian and is in favor of joining the EU. I've told her I'm surprised, because I see the EU as a corrupt, overbearing and overcentralized bureaucracy. She agrees and says that would be a step up for Rumania.

22 December 2006 at 15:09  
Anonymous Colin said...


"the EU reminds me of the complaceny that led the Communist regimes to crumble in 1989-90"

My Russian friends told me that nobody thought that the Sovjet Union would fall apart. Yes, Russians realised that there were economic problems but everybody thought that the SU would somehow continue. And then all of a sudden, it happened.

22 December 2006 at 21:02  
Anonymous Shunamite Woman said...

When I lived in Spain the driving test was "Drive from the Church to the Town Hall" (a straight line)...

24 December 2006 at 11:54  
Blogger Death Bredon said...

Dear All,

By accident of birth, I live in a "Union of States" in which the driver's license from my home State must be respected in all the other States. Admittedly, this has proved convenient, especially when I drove 2000 miles accross the continent in four days without doing any paper work or being delayed by any border crossings--they are only marked by green signs on the side of the roadway.

OTOH, the price paid for such convenience is extremely high. For instance, in my State has historically illegalized abortion on demand. But, as a price of Union, infanticide at whim is now the imposed law. Of course, this state of affairs is of great moral offense to the Christian majority in my State. But, there is little we can do now that Union and its "conveniences" have been forcibly imposed upon us.

So as a plea to my mother country: don't follow your wayward son's path into Union. Resist with all your might.

From Occupied Central Kentucky,

Death Bredon

27 December 2006 at 15:43  
Anonymous Voyager said...

By accident of birth, I live in a "Union of States" in which the driver's license from my home State must be respected in all the other States.

Same as the current situation in the European Union where each licence is valid for 12 months but thereafter must be exchanged for a local one. The proposal is to have a driving licence and test common to all 486 million Citizens of the European Union which i believe is not the case in the United States which does not yet have a Federal Driving Test nor a Federal DMV with records of all motor vehicles and a re-validation of all drivers over 50 years old

28 December 2006 at 20:12  
Blogger Death Bredon said...


Correct. A license issued to a 14 year old girl in South Carolina without any driving test because the local sheriff "knows her family," must be respected on the mean streets of New York City and Los Angeles.

Of course, no 14 year old girl from a reputable South Carolina family would ever be caught dead in either of those two places. But, that is another story about an attempt at dis-Union. BEWARE, the EU will be like the Delian League or the USA -- once fully in, you can never go back!


30 December 2006 at 16:51  

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