yet another cut 'n paste exercise that passes for journalism, although maybe as it is the Sunday version the newspaper only had their third-rate journalists at work rather than their usual second-rate. The article informs us that the Coalition, in the shape of Philip Hammond, is considering altering the annual MOT test to bi-annual together with extending the period wherein new cars do not require an MOT from three to four years.
Of course the fact that transport is a shared competence with the European Union - Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) Article 4 (2) (g) - means that our government cannot implement any changes without first having checked with their masters in Brussels that what they intend to do will not contravene any decisions in the 'pipeline'. Needless to say the Coalition could have already checked; and are just implementing a change that will probably be forthcoming in the not too distant future.
Sure enough, at the end of July last year the EU Commission issued a notice of consultation in respect of Periodic Technical Inspections (PTI) for motor vehicles and their trailers, one carried out via the internet.
"European and national Governments are at one in wishing to ensure that the EU Single Market works as efficiently as possible and that the administrative burden is reduced, in the interests of citizens. [....] The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on possible new policies in this area and to gather relevant information from both the public as road users and vehicle owners, and the industries and public authorities affected – manufacturers, haulage companies, police and licensing authorities, and others." (Emphasis mine)
As an aside, I do not recall any public announcement by the Coalition of this opportunity to comment on a proposed change to the MOT, nor the harmonisation of such tests. Were we not supposed to be in the new area of honesty and transparency in politics? Apologies, once again, I digress. Ahem, whilst in digressing mode, there were other Directives affecting the MOT that appeared last year: here, here and here.
So, what the Coalition is proposing is more than likely that which will appear in due course by means of a Directive - no doubt at that time our 'government' will be crowing about how they led the move in Europe; that it shows they truly are 'at the heart of Europe'; and that they have been 'decisive' in leading the way in how EU legislation is formulated. The one thing they will not be able to do is to inform us that they govern this country!
"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible... Thus, political language has to consist largely of euphemism question-begging, and sheer cloudy vagueness... Political language [is] designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable."
George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1945