Was St Patrick for or against the EU?
September 21, 2009 § 1 Comment
My latest Presseurop blog.
Less than two weeks to go before Ireland votes on the Lisbon Treaty, the Irish press is awash with Yes editorials. With little left to be said beyond sleep-inducing reassurances as how the fraught text will not compromise national taxation, anti-abortion laws and the continued presence of an “Irish” commissioner in Brussels, the tone is inevitably taking a shrill turn. Not without some light entertainment value. Leading the attack is columnist Kevin Myers, who declares that he would rather be governed “by a parcel of fork-tongued Euro-reptiles” than our home-grown “inept and unrepentant thieves”. Given the state of the Irish economy, Myers might be right in condemning the narrow assumption that Irishmen best serve Irish interests, but until reptiles have faces, people will always prefer to be led by their own species, even if it means ruin. Being recognizable, they’re still accountable, or would at least seem so.
On the No side, Vincent Browne’s GBH job on the treaty has been a gift to the No camp which continues to claim that the treaty will compromise our neutrality. Browne points out that a single European foreign policy would have had Ireland involved “up to the gills” in the 2003 Gulf War. This sounds fair enough, until you remember that Ireland in all its little fishness was complicit in the Gulf War anyway. Our so-called neutrality never prevented US warplanes from refuelling at Shannon airport, nor, as it’s suspected, serving as stopovers for extraordinary rendition flights. Until we live in a society that isn’t dominated by war and spoliation, Ireland will always be swimming alongside great sharks. Its neutrality has always been a fiction. Read on…