Well, kind of. Here's one for the nationalists, and the 'life means life' brigade.
Under discussion in *this* country by *this* Goverment (not Brussels) are possible new agreements on EU laws: the relaxing of certain rules under which continental polices forces must operate when in this country. It is in the hope that this will allow British police to work under similarly relaxed conditions when they go onto the Continent in pursuit of criminals.
At the moment, the agreement clause as it stands says that foreign police in this country are allowed to carry weapons (even though they should only be used in self-defence, according to the treaty) - which is why, until now, the British Government have not agreed to it. Britsh rules mean foreign officers must leave their arms at their 'port of entry', and can only spend 5 hours hunting their suspects independently before they have to notify british police forces.
So here we have a juxtaposition of issues for all those who frown upon the EU. We don't want goddamn Frenchies catching our crooks do we? Why, it undermines our boys! They're taking the Mickey out of our Bobbies, our own police force...on our own soil!
That's all very well until a criminal being persued by EU police kills someone or commits a crime in this country, and the EU police in question were held back by red tape preventing them from apprehending the criminal.
At the other extreme, passing this legislation could instantly mean many more armed officers in Britain, which is a good thing for those concerned with how well criminals in Britain are treated these days - but the last time the country was caught up in catching international criminal hysteria, an innocent Brazilian was shot dead and the Met. Police spun a cover story out in the media about it.
So there we go. On one hand, tougher times for criminals are in the offing. On the other, yet another of our country's institutions is now adhering to EU laws. Whichever way the Government goes, you can bet the Mail, Express, Sun and Mirror will be screaming about it.
Thought for tonight, adapted from Slaughterhouse 5.
- "Boy, they sure picked the wrong guy to pick on!"
That idea has a brother. If there are wrong people to pick on, then there must be right people to pick on. -
Doesn't that seem to apply to the world at the moment.