This week brought two great writers and arbiters of truth to Washington, DC. Authors Richard North and Christopher Booker were in town to talk about their new book, Scared to Death. The book is about the politics of fright that have dominated the media and public policy on both sides of the Atlantic the last two decades, starting with the egg scare, and going right through asbestos, mad cow disease, and to the biggest scare of them all: GLOBAL WARMING. I will write more on the book later, but I wanted to write about North's amazing new discovery, the dual international quasi-legislation/commitology mechanism. You are lost as well? I had a long lunch in the sun with North Friday trying to unravel his important discovery. Basically, it is a mechanism by which a country's civil service overrules its own politicians by sitting on international committees that passes down regulation to lower instance international committees, which then pass legislation by which the individual countries are bound. After our conversation, I have revisited the eminent British comedy Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, which is less fun after my conversation with North. His discovery has lead North to be somewhat dismayed about the future of freedom, and we should all try to understand this organism which threatens the fight for freedom: Here is a comment from one of the regular readers of North's eminent blog EU referendum.
"Richard, I must congratulate you on this important discovery, which to my shame I must admit I missed when you presented it the first time. The find of this new species must be on par, at least, with the discovery of the okapi. Apart from the fact that both the okapi and the diqule-comm (or just diqule for short) only were known to the natives of their respective habitats until the beginning of the 20th (the okapi) and the 21st (the diqule) centuries, both species appear so unbelievably strange that mere descriptions hardly suffice to convince any learned society of their existence."An important aspect of diqule is the ad hoc/standing committee's which is standing committee's by any measure I know. The ad hoc quality of them is that membership is transient, it consists of whichever civil servants are relevant for the issue on the agenda, but it is never listed whom these civil servants might be. The agenda is also not published anywhere. Diqule is sort of a black box where issues go in, magic happens, and regulation come out in the other end years and decades longer. The Permanent Secretary tells the Minister, "We have worked on this legislation for years, and we are bound by international agreements to pass it Minister!" The Permanent Secretary did of course attend the international meetings where the agreements where made and the legislation was formulated, so in essence he sent the instructions to himself. "These mechanisms where not created for mere mortals to understand and access," says North. And for those Americans that think this does not concern you as the U.S. is not a member of the EU, think again. The U.S. is a member of UNECE, which is one of the primary commitology mechanisms for our part of the world. The federal bureaucrats have discovered diqule and you should be afraid, very afraid!!!