Sunday, June 12, 2005

Another Creepy EU Plot

Turns out the UK vehicle tracking and road pricing system is an EU project. And the Chinese are 20% partners.

The media last week were filled with Alistair Darling's plans to impose a system of road tolls, using satellites to charge motorists between 2p and £1.34 a mile for using our roads.

What neither Mr Darling, the BBC nor anyone else bothered to explain was that his plans are only part of an EU-wide scheme that has been planned for several years, using the EU's own satellite system Galileo, and that an important part of its purpose is to provide the EU with an independent source of income worth billions of euros a year.

It was in April 2003 that, to quote the website of the European Space Agency (a partner in Galileo, but not a "Community institution"), the European Commission first "published a proposal that all vehicles should pay road tolls electronically", based on "Galileo, Europe's planned satellite navigation system". The Department for Transport's own website includes a 2003 consultation document on the need for a harmonised, Galileo-based system of road-tolls throughout the EU. This was confirmed by EC directive 2004/52 on the setting up of a "European electronic toll service", designed to use Galileo once it has been put in place by French Ariane V rockets in 2008.

The difference between the US GPS system and Galileo is that the American system is free to all users. Galileo, however, has always been designed to pay its way by charging users, many of which, such as aircraft flying in EU air space, will have no option. Another key purpose of Galileo, although this is still downplayed, will be to provide the EU's armed forces with a satellite navigation system independent of the USA, which is why China has bought a 20 per cent share in Galileo.

On the last point, hopefully, NORAD is developing the capability to take Galileo out.

There's more: as well as the GPS, the system needs a data link to report every vehicle's position to the government charging folks - like OnStar. Well, guess who has developed the system? Siemens, the German ant-hive in Munich.

Intelligent Transportation Systems made by Siemens ITS achieve this comprehensive approach of combining different technologies for the registration, processing and transmission of a variety of traffic data by providing an integrated traffic management system for all road users.

So Brits will have their every movement tracked by a system part owned by China, the last big Fear State, and supplied by the Germans, the world's worst control freaks.

Also, it seems that it won't work in cutting congestion - more tomorrow.