We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

A nasty taste

An opinion piece in today’s Telegraph alerts the readers:

A dangerous and disagreeable piece of legislation comes before the House of Lords today. In order to implement the EU’s directive on higher-dose vitamin supplements, the Government proposes to ban nearly 300 products currently on sale in our health stores.

The proscription of these vitamins is the first in a series of EU regulations dealing with alternative remedies. A second directive, covering herbal medicines, is already clanking its way through the machinery of state. There are proposals to regulate homoeopathy, and even to require a standard European qualification for herbalists (who, in England and Wales, have operated under a statute dating from Tudor times).

These restrictions are driven by something called “the precautionary principle”. The concept, emanating from Brussels and very popular with the EU types “holds that nothing should be legal until it can be shown to be safe”. In other words, it reverses the burden of proof.

The issue is not one of science, but of freedom. Here is a horrible demonstration of how the EU system can work, elevating corporate interests over individuals, and tossing aside all considerations of liberty and fairness in pursuit of harmonisation.

Voting against the legislation is, alas, only a gesture, since EU rules come into force automatically in Britain, but it is a gesture that should be made none the less.

Treated like criminals

EU Observer has an article about the European Commission’s proposal to treat European citizens as criminals or at least as criminal suspects. No really.

Apparently, the heads of state for EU countries who met in Greece last week have given the ‘green light’ to the process of collection of biometric data such as fingerprints, iris scan or DNA for a chip inbedded in the passports of all EU citizens.

Thomas Rupp of the European Referendum Campaign is not impressed:

Somehow – obviously – I suffer from a clash of realities: Didn’t a lot of people last year talk about “democratisation” of the European Union and making it more “citizen friendly”? – Right: this event was called the “Convention on the Future of Europe”. Obviously the future of Europe now begins with the need of EU citizens to provide their most intimate data to the state.

[...]

Provided this law will pass and they ask me for my personal data… Shall I give my fingerprints – or even my DNA – to a growing state which does not fulfil the minimum standards of a modern democracy? Where there is no separation of powers? That has a parliament, which has no right to initiate law? Where – instead – non-elected public servants have the monopoly to initiate law, which in the end is decided by the executives of the member states – avoiding control by their national parliaments?

[...]

Suppose I refuse to give away my fingerprints? What would happen? Would I immediately be classified a criminal? Someone who has to hide something, with bad intentions? Would I have to go to jail? Would I have to leave the European Union?

Well, rhetorical questions aside, there are no surprises here from the European Commission.

Link via World Watch Daily.