On this new world order thing

The European Union is planning to “own and operate” spy drones, surveillance satellites and aircraft as part of a new intelligence and security agency under the control of Baroness Ashton.

It\’s an interesting thing for a vice chair of CND to be in charge of, isn\’t it?

17 comments on “On this new world order thing

  1. In Ashton’s case, responsible for rather than in charge of might be the better description. Although she’ll no doubt be ever ready to deny that.
    She’s a fine example of how you can go a long way in politics with no detectible abilities whatsoever.

  2. One of life’s delightful ironies.

    On the other hand, thinking about it for more than 10 seconds, I think you should replace the word interesting with terrifying!

  3. You know that “the Peter Principle” thing? Is there a term for somebody promoted far beyond their capacity, again and again?

  4. Unless the aircraft are going to carry nuclear weapons, I don’t see the irony. OTOH, Cathy Ashton in charge of a whelk stall is a bad idea.

  5. How is Edward Snowden blowing the gaff on snooping, spying govt filth a reason for the vermin of the EU to extend their own snooping antics?.

  6. Calm down. Baroness Ashton is a responsible and well briefed politician with an impeccable record and clear conscience. The drones will not be armed, the very idea is ridiculous, and all the intelligence gathered will be carefully and sensitively handled. The EU, as a sovereign body, has as much right to protect itself from domestic terrorism as any other democratic and open-government state; much of the externally supported recent violence in Greece and Portugal might have been avoided, or more efficiently quelled, had intel. been better. The Citizenry of Europe should be grateful that their tax-Euro is being spent so efficiently on their behalf and for their own good. Only those with reason to be afraid of being found out should be concerned by this sensible and caring demonstration of the democratic and open government enjoyed by the 200 million peace-loving peoples of Europe.
    It is not, after all, so very different from the fact gathering organizations that were to be found across Europe within living memory; just the methods have been updated with the technology now available.

  7. Sounds suspiciously like a military-industrial complex support program as much as anything else. Member states aren’t buying enough kit in big enough and co-ordinated enough orders in order for European defence firms to compete with US firms.(Which is always a motivating factor)

  8. You might be right, Gareth.

    I’m sort of waiting for the bait and switch: “OK, if you object to us watching you sunbathe or are worried about that swimming pool undeclared for council tax purposes, we’ll tap your phone instead”.

    But I might be waiting a while. This is a ludicrously expensive programme for very little purpose, but that’s the feature, not a bug.

  9. OK, conspiracy theory 101.

    We all know that extra virgin cold pressed olive oil groves cover the entire Mediterranean Sea. They are going to use those drones to prove – prove, I tell ya! – that it ain’t so.

    So there’s nothing wrong with the CAP at all. The Drones say we haven’t discovered any fictitious olive groves, so there can’t be any fraud in the CAP.

  10. I see no contradiction: CND was not, as far as I could tell, bothered about totalitarianism, the Surveillance State or suchlike. It wanted to end the West’s use of nuclear weapons in the naive hope that this would also encourage other, less benign regimes, to follow. I detected very little in the way of genuine liberalism, or indeed much intelligence, in CND.

    So this woman’s position is not so ironic. She is on the Left, and the Left has – with certain honourable exceptions – been quite at ease with this sort of development.

  11. Yep, massive communist influence in CND. They were overwhelmingly collectivists, and we all know that lot are very fond indeed of invasive surveillance.

  12. “Is there a term for somebody promoted far beyond their capacity, again and again?”

    Yes, Ian, I call it ‘corkscrewing’ – a reference, as you’ll know, to Gerald Templar’s observation of Mountbatten (repeatedly and criminally promoted beyond his abilities) that he was ‘so crooked that, if he swallowed a nail, he’d shit a corkscrew’.

  13. Baroness Ashton is proof that you should not let the lack of abilities stand in the way of your ambitions.

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