The other side of Lisbon

October 1, 2009 § Leave a comment

The other side of Lisbon

My latest blog at Presseurop.eu
Father_Jack_1
In Catholic societies, bible study is discouraged as a species of Protestant intellectualism. It’s almost inevitable therefore that in holy Ireland the government of Brian Cowen and associated “business leaders” with their “assertive” campaign have not promoted any close readings of the Lisbon Treaty lest the electorate be led astray by their own minds. Failure to say yes shall lead the EU to break off into two lumps one faster than the other and the ECB shall rethink of financial aid to the struggling Irish economy. This is like unto the priests threatening perpetual darkness if the faith is not properly embraced.

Even when they tire of dark prophecies as how we shall be written out of the book of the EU, Lisbonites on a less apocalyptic note assert that 35 years of membership have been good for us. A fair point, but by doing so they are suggesting that on Friday we are being asked to accept or decline membership of the union. This either reflects that they have so internalised the systematic bullying and isolating manoeuvres enacted against Ireland, and now on the Czech Republic, that they believe this to be the case. Else they are just being manipulative. The vote, it must be remembered, is on the Treaty alone. To suggest otherwise, as a priest might say, is immoral.

The soberest defenders of the Lisbon faith say that it streamlines EU institutions, gives some powers to the Strasbourg parliament in exchange for concessions on national sovereignty, creates a single five year EU president and High Representative on Foreign Affairs. But it seems amazing to this ardent Euro-federalist that 269 pages of post-modern meta-text on a far longer EU constitution, are necessary to frame such simple and agreeable notions. Read full article…

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Vote 1916 for a better Europe

September 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

Coir 1My latest blog at Presseurop.

A new poster by anti-Lisbon Treaty group Coir with portraits of James Connolly, Patrick Pearse and Thomas Clarke, three of the executed leaders of the 1916 Easter rebellion against British rule, accompanied by the slogan “They won your freedom, don’t throw it away” has Ireland’s pro-Lisbon establishment in a patriotic lather. Former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Garret Fitzgerald has accused the organization, a spin-off of anti-abortion group SPUC, of seeking “to abuse the memory…of our 1916 leaders…in aid of their own xenophobic campaign.” Tremulously noting that his father fought alongside these enemies of British imperialism, he writes “…my father spoke of the need to go beyond securing political independence from Britain by forging closer links with the rest of Europe.”

He is echoed by Eoin Ryan, a former minister of Fianna Fail, Ireland’s ruling party, who has declared “outrageous” a hypothesis aired by Nigel Farage, the outgoing leader of British eurosceptic party Ukip, that the men and women who took part in the Easter rebellion would have been against the treaty. “…our revolutionary heroes…believed passionately in Ireland as a European nation that would belong to strong international bodies,” he says, not before summoning up the memory of his grandfather, also present at Dublin’s General Post Office (GPO), the rebels’ HQ, in 1916. Read on…

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