Morning / afternoon / evening — Peter Dobbie here with news of todays World Have Your Say on air at the usual time: 1800 GMT. Today:


First, 48 hours of celebrations are taking place to mark nine new states joining a European border-free zone. The Schengen agreement, which allows passport-free travel across the area, now embraces 24 nations. Some 2,000 people celebrated in the town of Frankfurt on Oder at Germany’s border with Poland, amid fireworks and the EU anthem, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

(If you don’t know what that sounds like just dip into this site and click on play:

Anyway, we digress. The point of our debate today is one of security. This is a huge land mass, which, in terms of security, just got a lot bigger – more people can now move around more often, with more ease than ever before. Certain countries however have rejected fears that this might create a crime wave. And the European Commission says that one billion euros has been spent on beefing up security on the new EU frontiers, including the establishing of missions along the Polish and Slovak borders.

What do you think ? Does this make Europe safer or less secure ? Does it make Europe more attractive to criminals ? Will there now be an explosion of organised crime, covering everything from drugs, to people smuggling and terrorism ? Get in touch and tell us your thoughts.


A controversial Japanese mission to hunt humpback whales in the Antarctic has been temporarily abandoned. The humpback hunt would not go ahead – although the fleet will still hunt about 1,000 other whales in the area. The thinking in Tokyo seems to be that Japan is now unlikely to chase the humpbacks for at least a year, after pressure from the International Whaling Commission. This year’s Antarctic expedition was particularly controversial because, in addition to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales, the fleet intended to kill up to 50 humpbacks.

Now we don’t want to get into an argument about the rights and wrongs of whaling. What we’re asking today is whether this is a good example of pressure being used, at an international level, and the country on the receiving end of that pressure does a quick equation, and thinks it’s just not worth the grief. Or, put another way — did Japan simply think “what’s the point ? So many countries are against this, so many people are against this, we’ll forget it”. Consider how determined the whaling nations have been to hang onto that right — and now the country perhaps most associated with whaling say ok, no more.

Tell us what you think :o)


TEXT: +44 77 86 20 60 80

PHONE: +44 20 70 83 72 72

PS we had one or two technical problems yesterday, the bigger one of which meant that e-mails to the programme were not getting through. Apologies, apologies, apologies. We flew in a crack team of computer whizz-kids to sort out the system, down in the dark corners of Bush House. Oh, OK, you got me — we phoned someone and said “where are our e-mails?” :o(

Anyway, it’s fixed, sorted, mended — all OK. So if you want to let us know your feelings on today’s talking points you can:


Later, Peter :o)


WHYS IN GHANA: 26 January – 2 February




26 Responses to “SCHENGEN & WHALES”

  1. 1 steve
    December 21, 2007 at 12:58

    At times like this, and I’m not normally one to take the hippy view on things, but I wish I had some old warship, maybe ww2 surplus destroyer, and just destroy these whaling ships. I don’t give a hoot about your culture and how whale blubber “cures” impotence, or whatever crazy belief you have. If you’re out there prepared to kill something, well, golden rule.. Don’t want to get hit by 5″ shells from a Fletcher class destroyer? Then don’t go whaling. I can only dream on, but anyways, the whales have won a temporary respite, but humans go on to show what ugly creatures we really are. “I want this” thus I can do anything to get it. Asteroid, please wipe us out.

  2. 2 Neil McGowan
    December 21, 2007 at 13:15

    I can’t see why this is a “security” issue? The Schengen system has enabled the CITIZENS of Europe to have the RIGHTS of citizens – to move around freely without some thuggish policemen telling them where they may and may not go.

    Of course, it’s no surprise that Britain has preferred to suck-up to the PNAC thugs in Washington (who have the failure of the EU as an official priority – Google for “Leo Straus” if you’re unaware of what Rummy, Bolton & Wolfowitz are up to). Britain has refused to sign-up to Schengen, and at the very moment that civilised nations in Europe are treating their citizens as humans, Britain is pulling the rug on tourist visas, announcing shorter visa periods, fewer visas, and now a “bond system” where relatives have to put-up 1000 pounds security to invite their friends from overseas!! And what’s this all for? To underline the useless and idiotic thug policies of “Fortress Britain” that will appeal to the BNP, the Daily Mail, and of course to the PNAC in Washington.

    The Schengen system has been operating for many years now, and I don’t hear the other countries of Europe bellyaching about it the way Britain is, and this topic is?? If it was really prejudicial to security, don’t you think we would have heard from the right-wing Governments of France and Germany by now on this issue?

    Whales – quite bloody right, the Japanese have had pause for thought. Their “scientific research” ends up on the plates of Sushi restaurants – what kind of “research” is that? Let’s hope that their illegal whaling is halted entirely in future.

  3. 3 John D. Anthony
    December 21, 2007 at 13:53

    Public disapproval is no substitute for fines and boycotts. People hunt whales for profit and it is only when the costs exceed that profit will they stop.

    John in Salem

  4. 4 John D. Anthony
    December 21, 2007 at 14:06

    Public disapproval is no substitute for fines and boycotts. People hunt whales for profit and it is only when the costs exceed that profit will they stop.

    John in Salem

  5. 5 Philip Greene
    December 21, 2007 at 15:02

    We have to kill whales to see if there are enough of them left to kill?

    I’ve heard this before in the 60s: we have to make war so we can have peace. I didn’t believe it then, and I believe it even less now. Japan will have to do a lot more than this thin lie to convince me that the only “research” to be done here is finding a creative way to skirt environmental responsibility to make money.

  6. 6 steve
    December 21, 2007 at 16:05

    Random comment time: Unbelievable story I just heard here in the US. Apparently several guys were having a discussion about evolution, and one of the guys was an illegal immigrant and didn’t speak much english, but the other two guys were referring to homo sapiens, and the illegal immigrant apparently thought they were referring to him as a homosexual, so he strangled one of the guys to death, and was convicted of manslaughter, and got 10 years and will then be deported once he gets out of jail.

  7. 7 Mark
    December 21, 2007 at 16:40

    Extending Schengen is one more step on the road to the integration of the EU superstate and it came right on the heels of Lisbon. The entire process seems to be gathering momentum and there will be nothing citizens in the EU nations can do to stop or reverse it, the most they can hope for is to slow it down. Britain’s “red lines” are a delusion, in five years they either give them up or they will be subject to fines and penalties without limit in process they will not be allowed to even participate in. Am I among the few who actually read the document and tried to parse its arcane meanings?

    I don’t think those Europhiles in Britain who want to be part of a fully integrated EU have much to worry about, they will just have to wait a little longer than they would like. We have an old saying where I come from; be careful what you wish for, your wish might come true. Personally, I like the idea of an EU superstate. It is good to know that at least this competitor will be utterly inefficient, unwieldy, irrational, and so filled with inherent self contraditions that it will be powerless. It is already in a failure mode as it tries to grow further to overcome its deficiencies, the result of its ill conceived growth in the first place. It reminds me of a cancer cell, the more it grows, the more it feeds and the more unviable it becomes. I hope you British taxpayers enjoy paying for highway construction in Hungary and farm subsidies for inefficient French farmers, there’s lots more like that in the offing.

  8. 8 Chernor Jalloh
    December 21, 2007 at 18:10

    Opening the borders for people to stream in freely,is like opening a flood gate,you will never know the kind of things that are entring.Since other countries were allowed in the EU, good security has never improved.Human trafficing,violent crimes,car thefts prostitutions drug trafficing have increased.The Italians were given a severe headache from a group of Romans who built huts in remote areas of the country and do not want to work to earn a living instead you always see them roaming in the streets begging while others are washing peoples´ cars on roads.Sometimes,there are road blocks and the police is not ready to remove them off the roads.So the could expell very few of them and what about the others in some EU countries?What the EU is worried about is extremism and illegal migration from Africa to Europe.Things are becoming so hard that,President Sarkozy said he prfers skilled workers not to try and help those that are inside to be fully intregated into the EU society.Actually, many people from Africa that have sons and daughters in France are still living in urban areas and it is very difficult for them to find a job.The French police were accused of being racists by the African communities.They only crackdown on people whom they know are either Arabs or blacks.The British are very much careful not to fall in the same situation as their EU comrades.They put one foot inside and the other one outside the EU.

  9. December 21, 2007 at 18:10

    Frank, Italy (text)

    Expansion of europe free zone : Where discrimination is a fact of life how to make europe a better place for everyone?

  10. December 21, 2007 at 18:11

    John in Salem (email)

    I’m glad that the EU has spent a billion Euros on security for its new frontiers, but I’m sitting over here in one the old frontiers looking across the pond at the place where most of the 911 hijackers came from and I’m wondering… What are you people thinking?

  11. December 21, 2007 at 18:13

    You have not included one other possible pressure that might have caused the whale hunt for hump backs to be suspended. Could it be the result of financial pressure, or lack there of, due to economic forces? Could demand for Whale blubber have dropped off for whatever reason and the Japanese government just decided it was a good time to use the lull in demand to gain favorable light from the international community?

    From what I know of humans and their governments, this is the most likely reason for the suspension of the hunt.

  12. December 21, 2007 at 18:13

    John in Cleveland (email)

    Not that I’m a typical tree hugging nut, but nearly a thousand whales hunted? Is this for the year? Or is this for a months worth of carnage? Why so many is my question? The Japanese are going to have to learn to cut back and acclimate like the Inuit (Eskimo) and other Native American tribes did. Whales are still in Native American peoples’ diets, however they do not hunt to these excesses. The Japanese will never cut back unless large blockades are created. Adjust to our diminishing world supply or die.

  13. December 21, 2007 at 18:20

    The opening of borders between EU countries should be outcome of the aspirations of total unity between them. This can be as a compensation for EU failure to adopt an EU constitution.

    There should be no fear of the influx of undesired people like criminals and illegal immigrants as long as there is security coordination between EU countries. Currently illegal immigrants are a headache to some EU countries like Spain and Italy. It’s not a question of opening or closing borders. It’s a question of being well equipped to guard them.

    The solution that remains is to open the borders for free movement and to tighten control for the best of all.

  14. December 21, 2007 at 18:22

    Paul (I’m an ex-Brit), Barcelona (email)

    Hurrah! Long live the European Empire! Next hurdle will be to get the Brits to accept the Euro and then join the EU properly, then drive on the same side of the road as the majority …. and stop being using medieval weights and measures, and …

  15. December 21, 2007 at 18:39

    The Japanese should limit their appetite for whales. Keeping their hunt for either scientific research or consumption will continue to be a threat to the dwindling stock of whales. They can adopt different eating habits and turn to other methods of scientific research if scientific research is the main motive for them.

  16. 16 Zed Zee Zoltán
    December 21, 2007 at 18:44

    Hi Peter and WHYS Team, and everyone!

    I guess there won’t be any increase in crime towards Austria, for example, with the opening borders.I guess the importance of the new Schengen borders, for us Hungarians, is not only a feeling of even closer belonging to the EU this way, (than we had in 2004 when we joined) but also a much better chance to eliminate the (unfortunately) still present ethnic incidents towards Hungarians in Slovakia, and to have some more optimistic outlook, in the shadow of past hictorical events (eg. the sad Trianon Treaty in the early 20th century, and discriminative Benes declarations, -the latter were recently confirmed in Slovakia in the parliement, against Hungarians there…). So I’m optimistic about the changes which both Slovakia and Hungary can benefit from, sooner or later surely! As for the Austrian -Hungarian border, where i was a frontier guard back in 1988-89,completing compulsory military service, taking part in the physical removal of the Iron Curtain, all this is a dream coming true now! I’m very happy about the changes! So many things have changed within 18 years, for the better!
    But the new Schengen borders, the changes now also mean that some Hungarians will be cut now from the ‘benefits’, those living in ethnic minority in Vajdasag(Voivodina) in Serbia, or in Ukraine,where stricter rules have been introduced now on the borders, so for them coming to Hungary will be more difficult now. But I am optimistic about the day to come in the future when things will be much different and better for them as well. It may take ‘some’ time, but it will happen in the future, for sure!

    (Repeating here some thoughts of mine from Europe Today, where I was one of the 3 interviewees about the topic before WHYS today)

    best wishes, Zoli
    (from Budapest, Hungary)

  17. December 21, 2007 at 18:47

    Travis from New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. (email)

    The easing of borders in Europe is great for Europe. The more united Europe becomes the more powerful it will become. In the US we easily move fom state to state without border controls and I never hear anyone fearfully saying the border from Louisiana to Texas should be closed b/c of crime in New Orleans. Louisiana is poor, texas is not but people are not trying to run across the border to texas.

  18. December 21, 2007 at 19:01

    The larger point of destruction here is the Whales that are killed in nets. Just this year a very brave fisherman drove Coastguard divers out to a trapped humpback whale off the Farallon Islands off the coast of the San Francisco Bay Area. That was the first whale ever to be rescued from a net.

    Here on the California Pacific coast there is now a complete moratorium going into effect on all public fishing; it doesn’t ban commercial fishing though so the problem with nets will still go on. One of the main reasons for the moratorium is due to over harvesting species of fish and shellfish. Urchins have been pillaged even after a ban was imposed over a decade ago, and the main consumers of Urchins are the Japanese where they sell for a small fortune, creating an out of control black market.

    So personally I think Japan has been playing dirty in this game for too long now and the responsibility of the world is to see that they live up to fair standards. Personally I believe the Eskimos have the right and the right approach to whaling: without ships and harpoons. The harm there would be to deprive the people of their primary food source.

  19. December 21, 2007 at 19:17

    Ray, London (email)

    Only Europe’s corrupt elite want a border-free E.U.

    Ordinary people have always resisted mass immigration.

    The E.U. is an Orwellian dictatorship: the people of Europe will soon demand their liberty.

    Please read this out – unless “freedom of speech” is just a
    slogan at the BBC.

  20. 20 Mark
    December 21, 2007 at 23:24

    Travis from New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. (email)

    “The easing of borders in Europe is great for Europe. The more united Europe becomes the more powerful it will become. In the US we easily move fom state to state without border controls and I never hear anyone fearfully saying the border from Louisiana to Texas should be closed b/c of crime in New Orleans. Louisiana is poor, texas is not but people are not trying to run across the border to texas.”

    Comparing the US to the EU is ludicrous. There is nothing like the differences between states in America as there is between nations in Europe. How would you feel if we had an open border between the US and Mexico? Oops, I forget we already do. But what if it were open legally and nothing could be done to stop migration from Mexico even if we had a government that listened to what we want? Would you say it’s good for some idiotic abstraction someone dreamt up called The North American Union? Why would we care what’s good for a North American Union if it were not good for the United States of America where we live?

  21. 21 Xie_Ming
    December 22, 2007 at 08:36


    We have pictures of blood in the water and of cute seal pups. Have we another target of projected outrage? Surely the targets do not have political clout in Britain, do they?

    Are our outraged ones strict vegetarians? Have they visited a meat plant to see how chickens, cattle or horses are killed for our food?

    Seals and many whales eat enormous amounts of fish. Which is more important for human consumption, fish or seals and whales? Are there now three times as many humans as the ecosystem can continue to support? Is reduction of the human population a more important target?

    Why not look at and question assumptions, instead of playing to please? The young “moderators” may not even be aware of their assumptions, believing their worldview to reflect reality. Also, those feeling guilty over personal consumption and parasitism may seek a target on which to project their feelings of guilt.

  22. 22 steve
    December 22, 2007 at 16:12

    Check out what happened in New Orleans a couple days ago. Click on the video on this link… wow… unbelievable..


  23. 23 Paul coletti
    December 23, 2007 at 09:40

    May I be the first to follow up the ‘Getting the hump’ joke with ‘whale meat again’ . . .

  24. 24 Neil McGowan
    December 24, 2007 at 16:27

    I wouldn’t believe a single word Michelle Malkin says – she’s a professional shill for the PNAC crowd. The daughter of filipino immigrants, but campaigns against immigration?? I guess some people will say anything for money.

  25. 25 John
    December 25, 2007 at 17:29

    HI All.
    There is an ever increasing crime rate in Germany, being commited by some members of the East European countries, to be fair we will cut short in naming them.

    Certainly, there are many criminal elements that have been waiting for the reduction in restrictions on the borders. One has only to listen to the news, or watch the news on television. Witnesses often report “spoke with an east european accent” when refering to an attacker, but not east german. Also reported is the brutal way in which these crimes are commited. Criminal energy is distributed through out the Europe, but sadly where weapons are used, or brutality to an excess, then East European criminals seem to be in the foreground.

    Ex Border guards and ex customs, now recruted in the Bundes Polizei (state police), have been open in their critisism of the new laws. Funny how the politicians go deaf at times, they do not represent us, but only the political line. They keep telling us the jam is sweet, and we know very well it is bitter.

    Happy Christmas all. and a healthy and a _/*good news*/_ full New Year.

    An Ex-Pat that hates the name. I chose to live here because of my Family, but am still very patriotic.


  26. 26 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 9, 2008 at 04:42

    Schengen: it is a good idea.

    Dennis~Madrid, United States of America

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