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The Duplicity of Carl Bildt's 'Moderates'
'The data retention directive was wrong from beginning to end.'
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — 'We're not going to criminalise an entire generation!' said Fredrik Reinfeldt during the election campaign that saw his party, the 'New Moderates', with the guidance of Karl Rove, finally take power in 2006 from the social democrats who traditionally run Sweden.
Reinfeldt spoke in reference to his party's supposed opposition to criminalising file-sharing.
But Reinfeldt won and immediately turned an entire generation into criminals. And working closely with Britain's GCHQ as he'd done in his youth with the GOP, he forced some of the most invasion legislation the country had ever seen through the parliament: the FRA law and the data retention directive.
But things have changed. Mostly it's Edward Snowden that's happened. And although the once-independent EU is still mostly a lapdog of the US, there seem to be limits.
After considerable time, the European Court finally came with their ruling on the data retention directive - it's illegal. This means that ISPs all over the continent no longer need to retain user data (and should not retain it either). It's a big thing.
The 'Moderates' - or the 'New Moderates' as they fancy themselves today - are a piece of work who've systematically voted against every single piece of reform legislation for the past 80 or more years. Voted against it all. And then they went on to call themselves 'Sweden's Workers Party'. The horror of that is that enough people were suckered in, after more than half a century of unthreatened prosperity.
The agenda of the 'Moderates' is clear: dismantle the world-famous social system, put more money back in the hands of the rich, cut welfare and benefits across the board. Reinfeldt said he'd personally stop short of letting anyone starve, but even that proved to be a lie: the capital Stockholm's had a downtown soup kitchen for years.
Both Fredrik Reinfeldt and Carl Bildt have had a life-long ambition to destroy social democracy anywhere it's found. It's only now the world around can begin to see what they've been up to, what they've done, and how bleak their world's become.
Polls say Reinfeldt and Bildt and their 'Moderates' have finally run their course, that in the coming elections in September this year, the people of Sweden will finally vote the social democrats back into power. The social democrats don't have a 'celebrity' leader anymore, but no one's about to question the integrity of PM candidate Stefan Löfven - he doesn't even want the job.
Christian Engström, a Member of the European Parliament for Sweden's Pirate Party, has a few things to say about the past years and the struggles with Reinfeldt and Bildt and their party of GOP-sponsored 'Moderates'.
WikiLeaks exposed the duplicity of the Moderates
Christian Engström, Member of European Parliament for Sweden's Pirate Party
Gunnar Hökmark is completely correct: when it comes to the invasive data retention directive, the Pirate Party had it right from the beginning. The same thing can't be said of Hökmark's political party, the 'New Moderates'.
Minister for Justice Beatrice Ask - also a 'Moderate' - had the completed legislative proposal in her desk drawer already at the time of the EU elections of 2009 and the parliamentary elections of 2010. We know this because it got out through WikiLeaks after being talked about in cabinet circles. The idea with keeping the proposal in the 'fridge' was obvious: after the struggle with the FRA law, the 'Moderates' didn't want another debate on mass surveillance, even if it meant pulling the wool over the eyes of the voters.
The 'Moderates' were also opposed to the proposal of the parliamentary opposition to give the parliament an extra year to review the effect of the directive on the right of the citizenry to privacy. Such a review would have sounded the alarms: the European Court hadn't yet reached a decision, hadn't yet concluded the directive violated our rights. But the 'Moderates' didn't bother addressing the issue. One could almost suspect they didn't want to.
[The European Commission subsequently sued Sweden for not enacting a data retention law, something that can carry heavy fines, but fines that can be passed onto the citizenry with not so much as a murmur. Reinfeldt was namely up for reelection and didn't want the directive to become a campaign issue, so the proposal stayed in the desk drawer of minister for justice Beatrice Ask. Ed.]
When the European Commission sued Sweden for not passing their data retention law, Sweden still had alternatives. One alternative would have been to cite the ongoing review by the European Court. They could also have cited that the European Commission hadn't fulfilled their own responsibility to review the directive. But Sweden's department of justice, under Beatrice Ask of the 'Moderates', did nothing of the sort.
The 'Moderates' won reelection in 2010 and in March 2012 pushed the directive through parliament. They were supported even by the social democrats. Two months later the law came into effect, and suddenly everything was being grabbed - all telephone calls, SMS messages, email messages, Internet connection data, cellphone locations.
There were several 'Moderates' who went public about how this all was such a 'good thing'.
Gunnar Hökmark, of the same 'Moderates', wrote yesterday in this paper that the data retention directive was wrong from beginning to end. But Gunnar is an old 'Moderate': his base of operations is the European Parliament, not the cabinet offices in Stockholm. He might not be in touch with the 'new' 'Moderates' and what goes on in Beatrice Ask's department of justice or the parliament, and it's possible the 'new' 'Moderates' in Stockholm don't care much about Gunnar either - how else explain the difference between his opinions as expressed in this paper and the actions of the 'Moderates' back home?
Gunnar Hökmark's not trying to pull the wool over the eyes of voters, certainly not now before EU elections in May.
Our people aren't stupid. They can see through the duplicity of the 'Moderates'. Those who care about privacy may very well vote for the one party who fought against the data retention directive from the beginning - the Pirate Party.
Minister of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party
A New Moderate Reader
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The data retention directive was wrong from beginning to end.
- Gunnar Hökmark
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