Friday, 18 July 2008

Tories Vote For Fingerprinting Of Children

Via Hugh Muir:

Tory MEPs, that is. While David Cameron and David Davis stand up for civil liberties in the UK, in Europe, all but one of the Conservative Members of the European Parliament voted down a resolution condemning ethnic profiling, including fingerprinting, of Roma children in Italy by Silvio Berlusconi's government.

"Fingerprinting is the only way to ensure the children are sent to school" - Charles Tannock MEP

Of course, the representatives of the Tory party in the European Parliament are different to those predicted to form a majority at the next General Election. All the same, these events hardly paint a picture of a Conservative party that is unequivocably committed to the defence of civil liberties that are under threat from myriad angles, one of which is the spread of fear of minority groups - such as, in Italy and elsewhere on the continent, the Roma.

Hat-tip for this post goes to, believe it or not, Drink Soaked Trots


Patrick Vessey said...

Good find. Tannock has form for supporting ID cards as well.

I find the europarl website a nightmare to use -- by design, no doubt -- do you have any further info on this story? A list of the Tory MEPs who voted the same way as Tannock? Did they vote for a different resolution that was condemnatory instead?

Any information would be gratefully received, as I'm seriously minded to write to Cameron officially to inquire why he hasn't withdrawn the Tory whip from these guys. After all, the Conservatives are (falsely) claiming the mantle of party of civil liberties (David Davis etc.), and it's always helpful to point out the inconsistencies between what our politicians say, and what they do.

QT said...

Took a bit of detective work to find this!

The voting on the resolution can be found in the PDF linked from here (for some reason a direct link won't work). See pg29-30 of the PDF for the relevant vote.

The text of the resolution (RC B6-0348/2008), which "urges the Italian authorities to refrain from collecting fingerprints from Roma, including minors", can be found here.

The full list of Tory MEPs is here.

Of these: Sumberg, Atkins, Sturdy, Parish, Chichester and Stevenson did not vote or were not present. Only John Purvis voted in favour of the resolution, which passed overall by 336 votes to 220.

Crushed said...

Seems quite a sinister bit of racism involved here.

Mind you, I don't think the Tories record right now on civil liberties is that great.

Otherwise Davis wouldn't have had to pull his little stunt.
Think it shocked his own party as much as anyone else.

leg-iron said...

With the EU/PC influence in schools the kids might be better off not going there.

I don't see how fingerprinting makes them go to school anyway. It looks like another ID-card-type scam, just an excuse to get hold of identifying information.

Seems the Tories aren't going to be that much of a improvement after all. Not that they were ever likely to be, but I had hoped for something a little better that the current lot.