Here's an interesting little article from the New York Times about EU plans to hand over personal details about us to the US government, including credit card transactions, travel history and internet browsing history.
What? Excuse me? The above is absolutely nothing to do with my government, let alone the government of another fucking country.
Let us set aside the concerns about our government's absolutely God awful record of data handling and the very lax rules and slip-shod fashion about personal data in the US.
The fact is, which internet sites I visit and what I spend my cash on is absolutely nothing to do with the Seppo's. Look west and you will see the future for us in the UK and EU. American society is dog whistle politics at its very worst.
I recently had a trip to Canada and got talking to a Toronto native about their relationship with the USA. This individual was telling me about the ridiculous demands the US made of Canada in this respect and that September 11th had turned the Americans into a victim society. Her point went something like this: 'In Europe, certainly the UK, you've become used to terrorist attacks, you just get on with life. Over the border it is the end of the world and no-one else could understand what it's like, because these were attacks on Americans.'
It struck a chord, Pearl Harbour and the half-arsed attempt on the WTC previously aside, America has never had to deal with this before, the British, Spanish and French have all had terrorist problems and are well used to dealing with them, the Americans aren't. It is so startling to see the land of the free, a country prone to paranoia and isolationism at the best of times (McCarthyism, anyone?) give up their liberty so freely, never have the words of Ben Franklin rung so true.
That is a point for them though. But I cannot tolerate our anti-democratic EU commissariat just handing over my details. I'm assuming that this will only apply to people flying from the EU to the US. A shame, despite my ranting here, I enjoy visiting the USA, I like the people, New York and Boston are two of the most stimulating and exciting cities in the world, watching ice hockey at the Garden, or baseball at Fenway under floodlight and a whole host of other things make going there a real pleasure. However, my very occasional trips over the pond will be restricted to Canada, a much more civilised place.
Just because I have nothing to hide doesn't mean I need to walk around bollock naked. My business is mine, no-one else's.