Archive for August 16th, 2011

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Off the record conversations – Ukraine and the EU

August 16, 2011

Sundays are generally news slow days, often leading to the good woman and I heading off somewhere rather nice to while away a few hours after I have tried desperately to find anything worth saying here for the following day.

As with any city, there are places to go and there are “places to go” depending upon what company you want to keep.

As it was on Sunday.

Anyway, we find ourselves at a certain establishment in Odessa to eat, drink and enjoy the sun. Also present are a few of the local diplomats from various nations with consuls in Odessa.

The usual pleasantries are exchanged and of course a rather long discussion on the recent event in the UK arose. Needless to say I don’t speak for the UK in Odessa. Nobody does. Therefore my position was my own in this conversation and mirrored what I have written elsewhere in cyberspace:

“Generally I would associate morals with an individual as “ethics” in so much as personal ethics can be more restrictive than State law when it comes to personal do’s and don’ts on occasion or far more liberal in others (transcending the law in some cases.)

When it comes to State structure and morals, that I would associate with “justice” as there is a structural State response to exceeding those moral boundaries set for everyone.

The gap between personal ethics and state justice, whilst both set a moral code of sorts, has grown to the point that they are no longer entwined for sections of the community (for various reasons). There is no longer the strong link between personal ethic and State justice morality as there used to be.

You cannot legislate personal ethics/morality, only State morals by way of a justice system. That justice system has to back up the police when it is needed without allowing the police to be unaccountable. Unaccountable police are not feared (and nor should the police ever be feared) but they are hated.

The police need only to be respected (rather than feared), but the force of the justice system behind them is what should be feared by those who will exceed the moral code placed on the Statute books with regards to criminality.

When the police are hated and/or feared by sections of the community due to a belief of unaccountability, you still have riots. The Brixton riot is a prime example of exactly that.

Calling for zero tolerance from a PM removes the discretion of the police and also puts them within the pillar of politics when they are supposed to be A-political and fall under the social pillar of rule of law/justice. The police are from the community they live in and therefore are the part of the community. Police officers still need permission to live outside their county borders.

For society to get the impression that the police are being moved from the A-political pillar of justice to the pillar of politics will have a bad effect within the society in the long-run.

If you add that to the rot within the political pillar (via corrupt expenses for MPs. Blair’s lies over Iraq, lobbying by big business, revolving door jobs between big business and politics etc), the rot within the pillar of society (uncontrolled youth, secular societies, multiculturalism framed by the differences rather than similarities, rights over responsibilities and many other issues as well), the rot within the pillar of justice (media bribing the police for information, legal interpretations bent to justify wars, to provide unjustified super-injunctions and only ever take to court cases the CPS are 70% or more confident of winning thus depriving justice on mass to huge numbers of victims because they may not win) and then add in the 4th Estate (with phone hacking, deliberate contempt of court when reporting, libel etc) but who are expected to hold the other three pillars to public scrutiny, then you can see there is a real problem with the UK society.

Each and every recognised social pillar is rotting for one reason and another and all have been shown to be rotting at exactly the same time.

Fair enough?

Anyway, the subject then moved to the issues within Ukraine and touched upon the trial of Tymoshenko, the DCFTA and AA with the EU. My position is well recorded here and basically states that the EU should and will conclude the DCFTA and AA agreements this year but will not ratify them until they can use them as carrots and sticks with the Ukrainian government to see actual structural change within Ukraine rather than unenforced new laws and have promises kept regarding pensions, subsidies and of course, issues like the selective prosecutions of opposition members.

At the moment whilst Tymoshenko was a concern, she was not important enough to lose Ukraine to the open arms of Russia.

It was rather pleasant to find that the local diplomats agreed (off the record) with no opposing opinions. Blimey!

What came next was something of a surprise however. A certain diplomat (again off the record) stated that the ratifications of any agreements should not be based on anything that happens to Tymoshenko but on the elections in 2012 being accepted as free and fair by the international community and international monitors.

The question I asked was obviously why Tymoshenko was irrelevant given that she may well be barred from any elections (although of course her party will not be barred and at most she would only regain a seat in the RADA rather than any position of power if she was not barred).

The answer was that hardly anybody amongst the diplomatic luminary circles really thinks of Tymoshenko as a champion of democracy and thus she is not as relevant as free and fair (and internationally recognised as such) elections in October 2012. Those elections, rather than her fate, are therefore the key event to the ratification of the DCFTA and AA.

I must admit it was not something I expected to hear (particularly as the diplomat who made this statement happens to be from a nation that is currently governed by a party that is part of the EPP, just as Tymoshneko’s party is, within the EU machine).

It is an angle that I had not seriously considered before. Maybe I need to take a step further back when casting an eye over events in Ukraine. Obviously she is less of a consideration than I thought she was (albeit not an irrelevance of course).

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