Lisbon Treaty and Those Pesky Foreigners

No filthy foreign habits here

Damn those Europeans with their broad-minded social policies.

Damn their logical planning.

Damn  their clean streets and their secular schools.

Damn their politicians who can speak in complete sentences.

Damn their affordable hotels.

Damn their efficient healthcare and clean hospitals.

Damn their reasonably-paid doctors.

Damn their public transport systems.

Damn their charters of fundamental rights.

Damn their interesting cuisine.

Damn their integrated ticketing.

Damn their cycle lanes and their good camping facilities.

They’re barbarians, who think about nothing but enslaving us with their  tolerant laws, and if you don’t believe me, well you can trust the United Kingdom Independence Party, Sinn Féin and Youth Defence.

Our patriots didn’t give their lives so that queers could be legalised or heathens could teach in our schools.

If we wanted grown-ups running our country we’d have elected them.

123 thoughts on “Lisbon Treaty and Those Pesky Foreigners

  1. Ah, so these pesky foreigners want us to have the same standard of living as them. To be able to have a meal and drinks with family and friends in convivial surroundings without taking out a second mortgage. To be able to travel to Dublin, Cork, Galway etc by train for an acceptable fare AND be able to use the bus, DART and Luas on the same ticket! hah maybe in 2109. We know what they’re after. As soon as we vote yes we’ll be invaded and our utopia will be no more. Gone will be the Irish way. Gone will be our politicians and the tradiition of re-electing FF no matter what the fuck they do. You’re right Bock, bloody pesky foreigners and their ways. Pah.

  2. Precisely Bock, it’s hardly a co-incidence that you can’t get sheets washed and crisply ironed anymore by fallen women who have had the good fortune to be housed and given great work by the lovely Sisters of Coir. And all for a small donation and a prayer for the unborn.

    And what the fuck do we need Motorways for anyway, take them back to Brussels let ye. Weren’t we far better off on those beautiful country lanes where the grass still grew in the middle of the road. Wasn’t it well worth being stuck behind a tractor on a four hour trip to Galway rather than some forrin’ imposed autobahn like that thing that gets you out to Shannon in a few minutes without taking time to appreciate the lovely scenery or hit the bump on that quaint bridge at Durty Nellies. Tear up those awful EU tings and get back on the ponies and traps, far better for the health.

    Airports! why would anyone in their right mind even think about leaving the best run, most efficient, most cunning of them all country on the planet unless they were emigrating to work in Uncle Pat’s Bar in Chick-arr-go.

    As for food, what poison are we being served these days. When did the French or the Italians ever produce anything like a bag of greasy chips or meat served straight from the abattoir to the pot, not to mind them and their pasteurisation of milk and all that lasagna, cassoulet or paella muck. Hairy salty bacon and a few spuds will do us. It’s not like we’d ever have a famine here.

    And the good news is, when they leave us alone we can have the Holy Trinity ruling us once more, this time in perpetuity.

    Fianna Fáil, the Catholic Church and the GAA …..just like in the good old days.

  3. Bock I am a European. I Love Europe! In the Nederland’s most speak fluent Dutch, English, German at least. The Germans, Spanish, Portuguese, in my experience are similar. The English tend to be good at English. The French at French , with the exception of Parisian beggars who are fluent in at least seven Languages. If Europe were given the opportunity to vote on Lisbon would it get through? I do not know but it might be good if the Lords and Masters gave us all a chance.

  4. Gary, yes, it might be nice.
    But some countries do not have any provision in their constitution for referenda.
    In Germany they are specifically forbidden.

    Why is it that a lot of people are shouting that every one should be allowed to vote? This is not the first EU treaty that is going through the ratification process. Other countries sensibly elect their governements and assume that they will do their best for the country.

    Other people say that 80% of the EU population would reject Lisbon if given the opportunity to vote. When was there ever a pan-European poll done? As for France and the Netherlands rejecting the Constitution a few years ago – that was to give their governments a kick in the arse because they were unhappy with various things at home – it was primarily NOT about the EU.

  5. AM Point taken. Shock horror the notion of letting the great unwashed actually decide anything ! That is Democracy . Now we do not want that do we. Our leaders know best and we should do as we are told like
    good little Children.

  6. I do think that a treaty like the Lisbon doesn’t belong to a referendum.So far I’ve not met one person who’s read the whole thing and still people have strong opinions, weird. How about having a referendum on the next budget then too . Democracy, well that is our ability to think with our heads when we elect a government, not with our pockets, bibles or for some historical reasons.I’ve detected a grand swing to a new conservatism where there’s little place for a borderless europe.It’s as if we all want to be confined to our own so much better then the rest little countries with constitutions so old and to hell with human rights.
    Just look who shouts loudest amidst these treaty sides.

  7. Gary, if the “great unwashed” as you call them actually voted on what’s in the Treaty, rather than taking in open-mouthed the lies and mythologies which are expressly not in it…..

    i.e. Abortion, Conscription, Government unpopularity, Turkish EU entry, NAMA, Corporate Taxes, Armies, Defence pacts, regulation of Taxi licences (!) and the third Secret of Fatima, among other fables

    ……..I might be more inclined to believe in the sacrosanct nature of referendums.

    btw, anyone see that poster of an advancing tank, with the message “Lisbon = Increased Military spending”
    ……from Sinn Féin? The irony of the only political party that still maintains a paramilitary wing makes this poster a potential collectors item.

    What a pity Miss Loopy Lou and her cohorts hadn’t thought about the dangers of military spending over thirty years back. Instead of saving a few euros on tanks there could be a few more thousand people alive today.

  8. God help us, Hoof, but there is a generation that will vote this time that do not see the Irony. I’m delighted they don’t. And I wish I didn’t. But I do.

  9. A perfectly adequate version is available on the referendum commission site.

    Not wishing to repeat what Bock pointed out in an earlier thread, but if I had taken the time to read my Mortgage agreement end-to-end I doubt if my guide dog would have been still alive by the time I’d finished going through it, wild animals might well have taken up permanent occupancy. Well. Same applies for the Cable TV agreement, Insurance policy etc.

    It, as any such treaty signed in the history of the modern world, including the United Nations Charter, ad infinitum, is written in minute detail for the legal eagles to squabble over when a “t” needs to be crossed or an “i” dotted..

    anyway, in brief and without bias or myths….

    @Vincent, a pity the Celtic Cubs hadn’t seen some of the Provos handiwork or the effect they had on this island before the ceasefire of the nineties, maybe the misty eyed pissed-out-of-their-brains Sellltic nationalism evident in some pubs at the weekend could dull somewhat if they saw the charred bodies of what Gerry & Co. now call their “fellow Irishmen” being shoveled and scraped off blood filled streets. It might just make them think twice about who they’re lauding at present.

  10. and you think voting yes will change Ireland into a wonderful European utopia. Delusion is great isn’t it.

  11. Folks please do not vote on the basis of crap that you have read on posters. Ads are ads nothing more nothing less. If in doubt then read through all the Treaties to which Lisbon refers and form an opinion.

  12. Look, we need to be rescued from national bankrupcy. There are only two viable options to fund that recovery – the ECB or the Chinese.

    So go to the polls in October and take your pick. Do you want to be in hock to the Danes and the Germans, whose objectives are known and transparent, or the Chinese, about whose objectives nobody knows anything? Seriously; nobody has any idea what the Chinese long game is. Probably securing their rightful place as the dominant culture on earth, where they have been on and off for the past 4,000 years. What does this mean for Ireland? Would the Chinese like to own a small backdoor into the European market? I think very likely yes. They are very literally buying up huge tracts of Africa as we speak, to secure slave labour and plentiful land. So how’s your Mandarin, my friends? You’ll be working for them if we vote No, because if we vote No, you won’t see the ECB for dust.

    This is not a time for ill-informed grandstanding by ignorant yahoos who think it’s cool to stick two fingers up to the ‘system’. Vote Yes, or get ready to bow down to the Chinaman. And you may have heard that the Chinese don’t appreciate dissent or criticism, so it’ll be the last time you stick two fingers up to anybody.

  13. “[…] The renewal of Ireland is scarcely thinkable outside the process of the development of a political and cultural Europe. […] It (the EU; sj) is the greatest example of conflict resolution in the history of humanity. Nations who for centuries invaded each other, occupied each other’s territories, expelled each other’s peoples and massacred each other, came together freely to bury their old hatreds. […] But the fact that these nations have preserved their identities is even more encouraging. It proves that institutions can be created to pursue common objectives without sacrificing Europe’s diversity of culture and traditions.
    […] The more people are given responsibility for their future, the more they show their ability to take such responibility. The more people believe that their political institutions belong to them, the more effective those institutions will be.
    […] Working for a new Ireland in a new Europe […] It is time to look honestly at the virtues and defects of our society and find new answers capable of preparing us for the challenges which lie ahead. It is time to paint a realistic portrait of society and to abandon the consolation of outmoded imaginary mental pictures. We need the courage to imagine new perspectives which will help us to formulate answers to the questions of social diversity, possible political institutions and the eventual resoltion of our conflict. ”

    John Hume in Everything is Political in a divided Society. Above excerpts were taken from “Arguing at the Crossroads – Essays on a changing Ireland”, 1997, pp 105/106.

  14. Total red herring, Bock. You’re getting silly. It’s disappointing that you feel the need to resort to these scaremongering tactics. But, as you’ll probably point out, it’s your blog….

    The referendum is about a specific treaty, a treaty that would change the EU into a federal state and would change Ireland’s relationship with the EU.

    The referendum is NOT about Europe, our membership of the EU, bicycle lanes, cuisine, public transport, or any of the other red herrings that you mentioned.

    Voting No to Lisbon changes nothing in the EU. We go on as before, as full, normal members in the same union of equal member states. Good!

  15. why is there no law requiring posters from both sides of the arguement to tell the truth? hoof has rightly pointed out many of lies being promoted by the No campaign. the yes side are also telling lies. they tell us to vote yes for jobs, vote yes for recovery. where exactly in the treaty is that included? one No group is saying to vote no for the benifit of the palastinians. they completely ignore the fact that ireland is already part of europe. these posters are nothing short of false advertising. by the way, has anyone heard from kathy sinnot? a woman who when asked why she lied ,( by using images of a syringe on her posters), replied because i could.. she still cuddling up the the UKIP?

  16. Gerryo: It’s always much easier for the no side to spout lies and misinformation because the treaty is boring and difficult to read and understand.

    The Yes side have to counter these lies/misinformation with an interpretation. Of course the Lisbon treaty does’t say that jobs will be created, and that recovery will be around the corner if we vote yes. But this makes sense. The ECB and the rest of Europe will act in unision to help Ireland out of the pretty serious recession she is in.

    If Ireland votes no, then that goodwill to help will be seriously damaged. The EU will be obliged to help because of membership of the Euro, but help will have to be asked for; it won’t be offered.

    On the lies/misinformation front. I can honestly say I have not seen or heard of any outright lies being told by the Yes side. They are trying to explain things in a form as understandable as possible… but they are fighting an uphill battle, as it’s always easier to tell believable lies.

  17. You make the case well Bock, if I end up voting Yes it will be mainly because I prefer to have Europe telling us what to do. Just one example, we would be swimming in and drinking our own shit only for them…well actually we kind of are anyway, but only because we haven’t been doing what they told us to.

    If I vote No, it’ll be down to the militarisation side of things. Vincent Browne has a good article on this in the IT today. There is a serious agenda at work here I believe, which envisages the EU getting a piece of the USA’s action in the old resource wars. Just because its SF pointing it out, doesnt mean it should be dismissed. The 30 years of violence in the North is a drop in the ocean compared to what we could be singing up for.

  18. Right. Why don’t we stick to what we always did – claim to be neutral, but let them protect us if we’re ever threatened.

  19. Bock I accept without question that there are a large amount of right wing cretins on the NO side. However Article 52 puts the EU court in the driving seat . They have shown themselves to be pro Capitol and anti Worker. Thereof I can not vote yes. I have said this before but the point seems not to have been taken read the Treaties .

  20. The following acts of the oireachtas cover employees in Ireland. The majority follow on from directives issued by the EU. How many would have been passed volutarily by an Irish government? Workers fare very well under European guidence. A major trade union in this country was found to be in breach of this legislation and its own employees had to sue for their statutory rights. Gary, me and my ilk are more concerned for the greater good than those with narrow bolshevik views. Join the grown ups world.

    Adoptive Leave Act, 1995
    • Carers Leave Act, 2001
    • Employees (Provision of Information and
    Consultation) Act, 2006
    • Employment Agency Act, 1971
    • European Communities (Protection of Employees on
    Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations, 2003
    • Minimum Notice & Terms of Employment Act, 1973
    • Maternity Protection Act, 1994
    • National Minimum Wage Act, 2000
    • Parental Leave Act, 1998
    • Payment of Wages Act, 1991
    • Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency)
    Act, 1984
    • Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act, 2003
    • Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act, 2001
    • Protection of Employment Act, 1977
    • Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996
    • Redundancy Payments Act, 1967
    • Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994
    • The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997
    • Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977

  21. Well Bock, there is the option of growing up and making provisions to defend ourselves. Also, I have nothing against contributing fairly to defence in Europe. But that’s not the same as signing up to increase military spending among other things, which has allegedly been put in the treaty as a result of lobbying from the armaments industry, apparently with a view to increasing military capability to allow for future participation in “resource” wars. Which is shorthand for murdering hundreds of thousands of brown people to get their stuff, something I’d rather not have on my conscience. I don’t know this for a fact (apart from the bit about spending which is written in the treaty text), but it looks like there is a case to answer, so I’m going to try and find out. Cos I sure as hell won’t be hearing about this from the Government, or Pat Cox, or Denis Hickie.

  22. No. 8 I have no intention of indulging in “Flaming” with you or your ilk. I shall leave it to all to read through your postings and see how you care for the Workers. I have recommended to 40,000 people and their extended Families to vote NO. So we shall see on the Day.

  23. “The Charter Group is a new civil society organisation set up by a group of trade unionists to campaign for a YES vote to Lisbon and secure the Charter of Fundamental Rights in primary European Union law. It was established on 15 June with Des Geraghty as Chairperson and Blair Horan as Secretary.” Gary unless your fellow trade unionists are lying, then one of you is sorely mistaken. Let me quess, it’s them. Visit for an alternative trade union view on Lisbon. I have no connection to The Charter Group or any other group either for or against the treaty.

  24. Gary, you flatter me. I have posted on many varied topics on this site, to the best of my knowledge I have never belittled or advocated the belittlement of any worker. Please show me where I have in my postings denegraded working people. I will donate €100 to a charity of your choice, if you fail to show my alleged contempt for workers you will donate €50 to a charity of my choice, ok?

  25. Bock, the issue is the Lisbon treaty. Everyone can vote as they wish, it’s a free country. Posting misinformation and scare mongoring 40,000 people and their extended families is not honest or constructive. Accusing me of flaming and denegrading working people when confronted with contradictory view points in neither constructive or helpful. I have asked my accuser to produce evidence, as indeed you have in the past.

  26. EssoDee…I can’t help but notice the words “allegedly” and “apparently” along with “I don’t know this for a fact” preceding what you then regard as a certainty that the EU is preparing to engage in “resource wars”. If so, then why attack and “murder hundreds of thousands of brown people” when we could at this very moment mass the combined forces of this mythical EU Army on the Norwegian border to rob their oil and also prepare a fleet to invade Iceland and Greenland, which thanks to global warming, are about to tap into a few more gazillion barrels of black gold? In any case the US would be there long before anyone else, and China already have deep claws stuck into Africa, don’t think they’d be rolling over for a belly-tickle once we send the FCA down there.

    Sadly, this hype about “Defence” clauses in the Treaty are exaggerated to suit those spreading paranoia and fear. The EU’s common Foreign & Security policy provides the Union with an operational capacity to undertake peacekeeping missions, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the United Nations Charter.

    If I may quote from the Referendum Commission guide and add a comment in parentheses.:

    If the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, decisions on defence and foreign policy would continue to be made unanimously. (In our case that means authorisation by the Security Council or General Assembly of the UN, the agreement of the Irish government and then the approval of Dáil Eireann)

    Member states would be obliged to aid another member state which is the victim of armed aggression, in accordance with the UN Charter, but this must not compromise the character of certain states’ policies, including Ireland’s policy on neutrality. (Just to remind you, many EU states, in particular those on the eastern borders are already NATO members……the most likely aggressor would be who? Russia? well even when old Comrade Joe was in charge of a much bigger Soviet Socialist Empire which for 40 years had forces capable of reaching the Dutch and French coastlines within 3 days they never did it, but maybe Putin has a different strategy known only to conspiracy theorists – either way we hide behind the big boys thanks to our sacred neutrality status which served us so well while anti-fascist sailors died by the thousand off our shores in World War 2)

    Member states would be obliged to assist each other if any is the victim of a terrorist attack or a natural or man-made disaster. The details of this co-operation would have to be agreed by the European Council. This is known as the ‘solidarity clause’. ( And if we were hit by a tsunami – I know, scaremongering, it’ll never happen, sure we’re not brown people! – would we turn back EU aid and humanitarian assistance? of course we would, well able to govern and look after “ourselves alone” mar a deireann siad. in any case it is up to the Member State to determine the nature of aid or assistance given. So if Vesuvius blows it’s top, we are obliged to help out the people of Naples, is this objectionable?)

    The present arrangements for Ireland’s military neutrality would continue. The European Council decision states that the Lisbon Treaty does not affect or prejudice Ireland’s traditional policy of military neutrality. (Not that the Shinners would have you believe that, and they should know. Haven’t the great freedom fighters been fighting a war on our behalf for forty odd years)

    It would be a matter for each member state to decide whether to participate in the European Defence Agency, and to decide on its own level of military spending. (So you think a country in hock to the ECB for €400 million a week is about to buy a fleet of F-16’s on a whim)

  27. I’m just asking people to step back a bit and look at the issues which are far more important than individual personalities.

    I also happen to think it’s simplistic to characterise the treaty as an attack on workers’ rights.

    It seems to me that any socially progressive legislation this benighted little country introduced was because the EU insisted on it. I think it’s a bit rich for a country run by pampered elites to be lecturing the rest of Europe about oppression, as if this place was a bastion of liberality and tolerance.

  28. Hoof, no I dont regard it as a certainty, that’s why I said I’ve a lot of reading to do. Of course I dont object to humanitarian assistance, or (as I said already) common defence. I’m wary though. I remember Bertie’s about turn on the PFP referendum, I’ve seen how our government respects the neutrality policy with the US Air Force at Shannon, and as for our national debt stopping us from getting further in hock to appease vested interests, what do you call the €54bn to the banks? So what’s a few more billion to the arms industry. I appreciate your response but I’ll be considering the motives behind the wording as well as the wording itself, as I believe there may be wiggle room built in to a lot of it.

  29. On the issue of neutrality, Ireland is not the only neutral EU member-state. In fact, others are much more neutral than Ireland, and have the cababilities to fight to protect their neutrality.

    These being:
    Finland: Fought against the Russians when they invaded them during the second world war
    Sweden: Last war fought in 1814
    Austria: neutral since 1955. Actually refused overflight rights to the USA and prevented Germany from crossing their border while on the way to Afghanistan.
    Malta: neutral since 1980.

    Finland, Sweden, and Austria are fiercly neutral. But they all have standing armies, air-forces, and navies (except Austria, which is land-locked) and can protect themselves in case of agression.

    None of these countries has had any problem with the Lisbon Treaty in terms of their neutrality. Why does Ireland? In my opinion, the people complaining about this are the same as those saying abortion will be forced upon us and all the kids will be conscripted into an EU army.

  30. Most of all those things you find so great about the european utopia can be found here as well, sounds like you just want to see all those magical things everywhere you look in ireland, the grass is always greener. nowhere is it greener than ireland right now literally and figuratively because we are the only country allowed to vote on this treaty. Britain for example would give its left arm right now to be able to say a loud ‘no’ to this law lockdown and others as well. so you’d like the responsibility for being allowed to govern yourselfs out of the way in exchange for clean towns, schools, bike lanes etc. from the magical EU santa claus. how would you like to house, school, hospitalize make bike lanes for all the potential immigrants flooding in from any prospective eu countries in a short time who come here. what does that matter anyway in a few years when the big corporations and elite who are the main backers trying to run the whole european show homogenize the whole continent beyond recognition.

  31. What immigrants would they be that you refer to?

    Also, I’m interested to hear from somebody who can speak on behalf of Britain. that’s quite an achievement.

  32. Hoof – ‘none of these countries has had any problemwith the lisbon treaty’ yes well none of those countries got to vote on the treaty, pushed through their parliaments without say from the people, so we don’t know if they would have had a problem or not, safe to say they probably would have which is why they weren’t allowed to vote. we are the only voice in europe

  33. Esso. I can’t see the connection between the Lisbon Treaty and the €54 billion gift we are giving to the Irish banks . And I doubt if the ECB, who are bankrolling this State, and that hokey deal at the moment, are half as enthusiastic about it as Lenihan might have us believe. Just for the record I vehemently oppose NAMA, but have an inkling (hope perhaps) that the Greens will knock it at their meeting next month and collapse this government while they still have a small shred of decency left. Enough with that though, for fear of a thread hijack. Hopefully one of these days, some politician will ask the German government how they dealt with their banks and learn something from it.

    I’m not sure any Irish contribution hardware wise, on the military front could possibly bolster any multinational armed force – real or imagined. In any case, while the Rat Ahern could dispense taxpayers money with abandon to quieten one and all, the same largesse just isn’t there for Biffo to even contemplate buying a few war toys.

    U.S. Air Force planes have been landing at Shannon since the airport was established there, long, long before we even joined the then EEC. Soviet forces on their way to Angola and Cuba among other hotspots also refuelled there, without much anti-war protests either I should add. British and Dutch air-sea rescue craft are a regular sight at Cork and indeed Shannon Airports. What this has to do with our perceived neutrality – which has always been a sham imo – and more-so Lisbon is moot. We have always been happy to play neutral but unlike the Swedes, Austrians, Swiss or Finns, have never put a hell of a lot of resources into actually being able to defend it.

  34. Bock – Turkey, former yugoslavia, any potential eu joiners after those

    Well on the behalf of britain…….i cheated on that a little and listened to a rousing speech by ukip president and just believed that to be true, also lived in cornwall last year and the general feeling i got is that the english want to retain as much independance from europe as they can

  35. Well Seeza, I’m happy to inform you that the Lisbon Treaty allows a State a process by which it can withdraw from EU membership. Lock the door behind you won’t you.

    As for the Turkey “turkey with a noose” being pedalled by leprechaun hat wearing You Kip president Nigel Farrage. A fact or two might not go astray. Turkey has had an application to join before Ireland or indeed the UK did. They’re being told politely that their not getting in. Already Austria, France. Holland and Cyprus (among others I imagine) have said they will hold referendums (providing Lisbon is passed) on Turkish membership.

    Yet UKIP are now implying through their racist literature that a “yes” vote is also a vote in favour of Turkish entry. Another lie from the little-englanders who have already shown their “respect” for Ireland by using a our flag as beermat and sending hundreds of thousands of bile-filled leaflets through our letterboxes.

    Incidentally, how does the UKIP support feel about lining up with the political representatives of people who killed hundreds of British servicemen and civilians in the not so distant past? Would they whoop and cheer at the thought of who they’ve allied themselves to?
    Or is it “All’s fair and all that crap Old Chap”?

  36. Sezaa — Turkey is not joining the EU and the Lisbon treaty has nothing to do with its accession, so let’s just nail that lie now. By former Yugoslavia, I presume you mean Croatia, which is a modern European democracy. As for immigration, perhaps you didn’t notice that the flow has been outwards since our incompetent government finally failed to keep the lid on its disastrous mismanagement of this country.

    As for UKIP, I’d advise you not to be lecturing us based on the ramblings of a hate-filled xenophobic lunatic party which, among other things, detests the Irish.

    Not a good plan to be waving the views of Little Englanders at us.

  37. Hoofster – well i was thinking that those old war feelings are over for everyone because we’re all being asked to join as one cohesive unit so i guess hatchets have been buried all over the place. if we were thinking about that not so distant past we wouldn’t have joined the EU in the first place.

    And actually, the Turkish/ former yugoslavia is thing is not such a big issue for me, but i doubt these other countries would be allowed referendums on it, see that’s what 3000 pages of small print and 300 ammendments can put a stamp on- almost anything, and that is what i have an issue with. all the unknowns……that Only we, the last legal stronghold on this referendum, are allowed to give the go ahead to almost endless unknowns, and could be giving up countless rights along the way

  38. Endless unknowns and countless rights.

    That’s not actually an argument. That’s what’s commonly known as scaremongering.

    There are many legitimate reasons to vote no, but endless unknowns and giving up countless rights are not among them.

  39. Why not, its not – scaremongering its true, there is hardly a person in europe who has read that treaty entirely, that is the point by the arcitects of it, no town hall meeting could decipher it and none of the politicians who passed it have read it completely. so what’s so scaremongering about pointing that out, that’s the Reality. so you think you’re not giving up Any freedoms by letting that go into law? you don’t think there’s a few hundred things you don’t know about the small print on that beast of legislation.
    and by former yugo i meant the works- croatia, serbia, montenegro, albania, bosnia-hertz, macedonia,

  40. Sezaa, Is this the doomsday plan of the No campaign now coming full circle with the “don’t know, vote no” non-argument? I suppose when you run out of non-truths and non-issues there’s no place left to run except back to basics “tell the Oirish they’re too ignorant to understand”

    edit….Albania, part of the former Yugoslavia????….brilliant. no wonder the UKIP logo still includes “The Eire”, thanks Sezaa,

  41. I said it in post number 5, and I’ll say it again.
    Ireland is the only country to have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty for 2 reasons. 1. It is a habit. And 2. We are obliged to. However, this obligation is rather tenuous.

    All the other countries either trust their elected representatives to represent them and to act in the countries best interests, or have constitutions which forbid referenda.

    I don’t see the problem with this because this is what governments are supposed to do.

    In asking as many people as I know here in Belgium; people from all over Europe; not one of them have said to me that they wish they had the opportunity to vote. Maybe this is because here, people are generally pro-Europe and want to see it improve and progress – and that does not necessarily mean for it to continue enlarging, that’s a different topic entirely.

    Ireland is unique in that the treaty is being voted upon, but that does not give us the right to say we are speaking for all 500 million EU citizens. Most want the progress and prosperity which the EU gives them.

  42. It is scaremongering in the fact that you have mentioned nebulous threats without specifying what they are. If you don’t understand the treaty, read the independent Referendum Commission’s explanation.

    All participation involves relinquishing freedoms. As part of a democracy, I don’t have the freedom to rob my neighbour, nor to murder him. Gay people in Ireland didn’t until recently have the freedom to live according to their nature, and would still be in that predicament but for the EU. Until ten years ago, married people didn’t have the freedom to divorce in this far-sighted tolerant little country. Ten years earlier you couldn’t buy contraceptives. Women still have to sneak over to England for abortions.

    Most of our hospitals and schools are owned and controlled by the same abusibve religious organisations that raped and starved children in industrial schools for decades.

    We gave them 1.27 billion euros to get them off the hook of claims by their victims.

    We gave Shell the right to take away 14 billion euros worth of our natural gas, free gratis, with no return to this bankrupt state.

    How’s that for freedom?

    Today, by remaining in Ireland, we will relinquish the freedom to have a decent standard of living for three generations, thanks to our present leaders’ decision to bail out the criminal banks.

    You saw in an earlier comment a list of laws that Ireland had to enact to comply with EU directives, and I’ll take the liberty of copying it here.

    Adoptive Leave Act, 1995
    • Carers Leave Act, 2001
    • Employees (Provision of Information and Consultation) Act, 2006
    • Employment Agency Act, 1971
    • European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations, 2003
    • Minimum Notice & Terms of Employment Act, 1973
    • Maternity Protection Act, 1994
    • National Minimum Wage Act, 2000
    • Parental Leave Act, 1998
    • Payment of Wages Act, 1991
    • Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency)
    Act, 1984
    • Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act, 2003
    • Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act, 2001
    • Protection of Employment Act, 1977
    • Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996
    • Redundancy Payments Act, 1967
    • Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994
    • The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997
    • Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977

    Now, tell me this. What is the EU’s record so far on removing freedoms from Irish citizens?

  43. Sezaa. How do you know that there is hardly a person in Europe who has read that treaty entirely – have you asked each and every one of them? And stating that not one single politician who has already passed the treaty has not read it completely is pushing things rather far. I would go as far and say the opposite is true, in that most other European politicians have read it, have had their various experts and advisors read it and you know what.. they deemed it to be in the best interest of the country.

    Don’t forget also that in the writing of the treaty, all governments were involved in its negotiation to a very fine detail. This means that when the final document came to be ratified by them, they would already have known what it was all about because it was they who negotiated it. It’s not something that was written in secret by the European Commission, instead version after version was presented and negotiated, changed, and improved all during Council meetings and summits.

    Town-hall meetings? A very American institution, and not something I have ever known of in any European country I have lived in.

  44. The EU cannot be enlarged unless the Lisbon Treaty is adopted. The ‘guarantees’ to deal with the red herring issues have no legal standing until such a time as they are formally annexed as a protocol to a future Treaty. “The declaration on workers’ rights is a political statement. It is not legally binding.” – Ref. Commission Guide.

    QMV voting arrangements will change considerably from 2014 , favouring countries with larger populations.
    All references to past fiscal or legislative benfits to Ireland from EU membership are red herrings.

    Membership of the EU in the 1980s and at present have not prevented economic meltdown here, so it’s specious to suggest that our future economic health is dependent on the EU. For instance, a crash in the Euro would be entirely outside our control but wipe out value in companies trading here.

    I do not believe 550m people can be governed by a committee, The Council, acting on bureaucrats’ proposals. Committes inevitably fall under the spell of the loudest voices and the strongest personalities. The court of final appeal will become the ECJ, it will determine the meaning of the Lisbon Treaty and its predecessors as cases are heard before it. Until such time no one, no one, can give a definitive interpretation of the treaty whether they are for it or against it.

    The removal of power from regions and the margins, and its consolidation in an administrative centre far away, mirrors the governance of Europe in the late imperial period before WW1. It is preceisely the set of conditions that gave rise to the cancerous nationalisms that convulsed Europe for years. I don’t want to see Euriope go down that road again, therfore I am voting ‘No’.

  45. You see that Sezaa?

    A rational statement of position, without a single mention of filthy foreign habits, hordes of greasy Turks or dark mutterings about loss of freedom.

    See? It can be done.

  46. hahaha that was great reading your responses to me, Bock you are too funny – greasy turks and darkened freedom mutterings, i didn’t know i was so sinister but I like it! feels like an agatha christie novel…
    i wish i could put things as eloquently as Conan but you have to respect that not everyone’s academic writings are as well put as his.

    the reason i said that no politicians have read it is because they haven’t. according to danish MR Jens-Peter Bonde, he has a quick video on youtube about this you can watch. what is published up until now has never been read becuse it’s not a treaty , it’s 300 pages of ammendments to 3000 other pages of treaties. and you can only read it if you take each ammendment one by one and insert it into the other treaties. they have decided in the council that it’s not allowed for any institution in the EU to print a consolidated version which can read before it has been approved by all 27 member states! the european parliament agreed unaminously in the constitutional affairs commitee that they Wanted to read a reader friendly edition, a consolidated version which could be read unanimously, they were told No because higher powers said they cant. instructions from some PMs that they can’t have it , the instruction is SIGN, read afterwards

    there is something wrong there

  47. haha, i have just been watching some french parliamentary debates and french tv debates and they have their huge problems too, it’s not all fun and games, bike routes and complicated cuisine. and a video of the european parliament in strausbourg the day before uk signed to have no referendum was mayhem, but see you’ll hardly ever see that over here, we were in the eu when the recession hit, what did they do for us then, it was unprecedented, why give over all that power from the 27 states for a dangling carrot, what do you expect out of this near perfect ru domination

  48. i was at a meeting recently which was attended by Jack o connor. he is advocating a yes vote. seems that the head of the largest trade union in ireland does not consider the treaty to be anti employee. the reason for encouraging a yes vote though, seems to be out of a fear that a rejection could lead to a new treaty being negotiated which would be less favourable to employees. the reason SIPTU feels it may be less favourable is a swing to the political right across europe.

  49. Bonde was a Danish MEP fro approximately 25 years, and known to be one of the most Eurosceptic politicians around. However he seems to have been immune to irony after getting such a nice salary from the EU for so long, but yet still rallynig against it.

    Anyway, I watched that video last year, and I lost count of the the number of untruths.

    As for a consolidated version of the Lisbon treaty – they aren’t difficult to find, and they have been available.
    From the Council’s register of documents – consolidated version available since April 2008:

    From the Commission’s register of Legislative documents (available since 09 May 2008):

    And there are many other versions available on various websites.

    It’s typical that a lot of No people latch on to one or two untruths bandied about by people with very little credibility and don’t invest 10 minutes in looking for the truth themselves.

    Other people who will vote No do give good arguements against the treaty, and so long as their reasoning is sound, I have no problem with them. But please, only vote no for real reasons.
    If you don’t know, vote yes.

  50. AM, “If you don’t know, vote yes.” Interesting. IMO, Yes = “change”, No = as we were. I would advocate a No if you do not know/understand what you are voting about. Is (voitng Yes) not like signing a contract without reading it? Personally I am undecided and am swinging towards a No as the treaty (as far as I understand) centralises power to a group of politicians in europe that I do not know (and therefore not trust -just like our politicians, I must add!!)
    I would not vote No because of the silly scaremongering of the No campaign. Likewise I would not vote Yes for the silly cliches on the Yes side or the pre general election “postering” that is going on with the opposition parties.

  51. The Lisbon Treaty in fact decentralises power to a certain extent and opens the insitutions to more transparancy and democracy.

    For example:
    – Citizens can directly petition the Commission to bring forward policy proposals
    – The Council of Ministers will meet in public when considering and voting on draft laws
    – The Treaty increases the number of areas where the European Parliament shares decision-making with the Council of Ministers. That means that the MEPs you elect will have much more say in lawmaking and the EU budget.
    – National parliaments will have greater opportunities to make a direct input into EU decision-making.
    – National parliaments have the right to comment on draft laws and to check that the EU does not overstep its authority by involving itself in matters best dealt with nationally or locally.

    How does any of this centralise power to politicians in Brussels?

    See here for a new and recently published guide on the treaty:

  52. But doesn’t the double majority voting shift most of the power to the larger countries? So if the higher density population countries(German, Italy, France, Spain,Poland,UK, Netherlands) vote for something, they only need <half of the other members states to roll in behind them? Does this not lead to an elite group of power states (akin to the championsleague in football!!!) Or maybe I am just being too cynical.

  53. I think you are being a little too cynical… :)

    It does increase the percentage of votes, yes. But a majority of votes is still not enough for something to be carried. It also needs majorities in terms of populations.

    * To pass a motion: Majority of countries representing 65% of the population
    * To block a motion: At least 4 countries against the proposal or in cases where not all members participate, the minimum number of members representing more than 35% of the population of the participating Member States, plus one member are against the proposal

    The second condition of at least 4 countries against the proposal is to ensure that the most populous Member States cannot block decisions.

    A little clearer now?

  54. Yes. A bit more illuminated! As you can guess, I haven’t taken the time to change my bedtime reading to the treaty! (unlike McCreevey!).
    Anyway I suppose we can also count on the UK going against the grain of the larger countries and that”ll swing 60/500 percentage, in terms of population, against whatever Germany and France are proposing!

    Do you think having/not having a rotating presidency is good/bad idea?

  55. to AM in Brussels that link you gave http://www.consilium….. is just an outline of the treaty a little pocket book given out by the ‘EU, the real format I have found now of the 300 ammendments that you would still have to match up to the 2 existing treaties, which would be difficult and time consuming to the point where most wouldn’t or couldn’t is at and according to people that have tried it will take months to do, and it wasn’t available at the time Jen-Peter was giving his speech and they were n’t available together so he wasn’t lying or spreading misinformation it was the truth, so there is alot of information in there that was not read by PMs who pushed it through

  56. Sezaa, the consilium link I gave is a page pointing to a number of documents. These include a consolidated version of the treaty, a revised version of the consolidated treaty, the treaty itself, and the final act.

    It was in a differnt post that I pointed to a small booklet.

    I don’t know when Bonde made this video, so maybe there wasn’t a consolidated version available at that time. But so what? These treaties are legal documents that are not necessarily designed to be read by Joe Public.

    According to what people, it takes months to make a consolidated version?

    And again, I repeat. What information had not been read by various PMs before, as you put it, it was pushed through? They should not need the consolidated version, as they were involved in all of the negotiations, and you can be sure that every line of the full treaty was examined with a fine-tooth comb by the 27 member-states as well as all of the EU Insitutions.

    To Kevin. As for rotating presidencies, I am in 2 minds about it. As it is, the presidency changes every 6 months. This is good for the country as it gives them a higher profile. But it is bad in that every 6 months the focus changes according to what each member-state things is important… there is no real consistancy in terms of what to do next. In the Lisbon treaty, the presidency will last 18 months shared between 3 member-states, so that will provide for better continuity and consistancy. Also, there will be a permanent president of the European Council elected by the PMs of each country for a period of 2.5 years. This is a good thing I think, as it allows other people to be able to call Europe if need be (to paraphrase Henry Kissinger).

  57. Sezaa — You must have overlooked this question I asked you at #51.

    What is the EU’s record so far on removing freedoms from Irish citizens?

  58. ->#50:
    “In asking as many people as I know here in Belgium; people from all over Europe; not one of them have said to me that they wish they had the opportunity to vote” – I don’t know about Belgium, but I can assure you that LOTS of Danes were furious, when our government ruled that the treaty would not infringe upon national sovereignty (it certainly does!), and therefore decided against a Danish referendum.
    The Dutch voted NO, the French voted NO, the Danes would certainly have voted NO – now it’s up to the Irish people to clearly tell the EU that we Europeans want neither the ‘Nice’ nor the ‘Lisbon’ treaties!

  59. “Could you say what percentage of Danes were furious? Was it 73%?” – of course, I can’t! But judging from the public debate there is little doubt in MY mind that it is (not ‘was’) more that 50%. Why else would the government go to such lengths to ‘prove no treaty infringement upon national sovereignty’?? (A Danish referendum is constitutionally mandatory when national sovereignty is at stake).
    Don’t forget that the Danes rejected the Maastricht Treaty as well as the Monetary Union (in both cases in spite of a strong parliamentary support of the treaties) – so why on Earth would they willingly accept a treaty which will further reduce national sovereignty, as well as the influence of smaller countries in the EU??
    The net effect of the Lisbon Treaty will be to draw EU(rope) in a more centralistic direction – with crucial decisions being made with little or no transparency; an Irish NO will stop that unfortunate process and force the EU back to the drawing board – to come up with something MUCH better.

  60. As you say, a referendum is mandatory in Denmark if there is an infringment on national soverignty. You say the Danish government went to great lengths to prove it didn’t. Maybe this is just anti-EU paranoia on your part?

    Have you considered that maybe there isn’t really any more infringment on your soverignty in this treaty than there was in the last one, Nice? And therefore there is no need for a referendum in Denmark?

    In fact, I have read columns in the Irish Times and the Irish Independant where this was also thought to be the case for Ireland. However, for some reason the Irish government has not gone to our Supreme Court to have their opinion on it. More’s the pity.

    Again, you are repeating what has been said by someone else, and refuted by me and others regarding the centralisation of power and crucial decisions being made with little or no transparancy. In fact, power is being decentralised, with power being given to national parliaments to stop legislation, power being given to national parliaments to give opinions and input into legislations while it is being drafted, seperate from the Council of Ministers meetings where such things are normally negotiated. Also with the Lisbon Treaty, these Council meetings will no longer take place in private and secrecy. They will be obliged to discuss and vote in public.

    Is this not a good thing?

  61. “Have you considered that maybe there isn’t really any more infringment on your soverignty in this treaty than there was in the last one, Nice?” – nice (sic!) try!: In fact a Danish referendum on the Nice Treaty had been scheduled – but was cancelled following the Dutch/French ‘Nays’; so right you are, the Lisbon Treaty involves just the same ‘degree of infringement’ as did the Nice one; that’s what (still) infuriates the Danes! :)

  62. yes, so what this treaty means for ireland…….that you are giving nearly 100 percent of your lawmaking power over to the EU. that you are being promised more jobs, where? sounds like more corporate takeover and a dangling carrot, that you are saying yes to a european superstate that wants to be the model for global governance (straight out of Barroso’s mouth) . Not mention that you are turning a blind bulging eye towards EU corruption and their bullying tactics of anyone who has exposed massive fraud by the billions over the recent years. do you Really think irish politicians are the only ones lining their pockets, the EU billions is like an open till for political theives according to Marta Andreasen – who was fired as cheif accountant of the EU for acting like a proper european and exposing fraud by the billions, and intimidated by the little heard of security servies.

  63. Sezaa — Just to see if this is possible, would you please try to include one accurate statement in one single comment, please?

    Would you also answer the straight question I asked you earlier?


  64. Vote NO to Sinn Fein Marxism. Vote NO to religious fundamentalism. Vote NO to Gerry Adams , the man who says NO to all that is good in this life (remember his party canvassed against EEC entry in ’73 and every treaty since) Vote NO to Declan Ganley and his hidden agenda. Vote NO to Patricia McKenna and her shady pals. Vote NO to Coir. Vote NO to the Fascist British Independence Party. Vote YES to Lisbon and a brighter future in a strong community that has served our country very well for the past 36 years

  65. i give up, you guys are so set on a mcpolitical, mccorporate no personality europe its very disheartening, you want to all be one giant blob of homogenous culture and politics, go for it. and when your hands are tied a few years down the line by not being able to make a true living on your own without bending over for a multinational, you can be proud of your Yes vote. what drive will people have to join politics or protest anything locally when it will all be on deaf faraway ears soon. what is this magical hope you are believing in that things will change, things will start to look and feel the same everywhere, yey! mceurope here we come

  66. Unlike today, when Fianna Fáil has given away all our gas resources free to a multinational, and when we’re all in hock to bail out our home-grown banks.

    Would that be it?

  67. Bock, Am leaving tonight for the mountains, Am back after the Lisabon vote which I hope is a “YES”. and the reason is simple and based on intitution. The “NO” side contains elements of everything I detest and Flann O’Brien would have voted “YES” if he was alive and if he could leave the pub. I shall now observe radio silence for some time and dwell on Irelands woes. See you after the “YES”. Now where the feck is my Primus stove?.

  68. okay, okay Bock, i will leave it alone for now, i wish i was going to the mountains for the same reason as charles, i am voting on intuition as well , “NO” . i don’t doubt it will be a “YES” result, either way i hope it works out for ireland and europe, it’s too bad Flann isn’t here today to contribute to the debate

  69. NO to the Lisbon treaty. Ireland should play “hardball” with Europe, and call its bluff. The right strategy is to isolate ourselves from Europe altogether in order to keep our neutrality and autonomy.

    Surely the rest of Europe will soon miss the frustration of arriving at the Irish capital city and being unable to read signs and directions, because huge Gaelic words precede the much smaller English translations, the confusion of arriving at the Dublin airport building site, which has never recovered from its demolition; chaotic and seemingly scarred irrevocably by partition and national failure, the Irish third-world road network, the idyllic view looking out an Irish hotel room window into a pikey halting site, the outrageously overpriced Irish Guinness, but especially the gloomy, miserable, never-fucking-ending Irish rainy weather.

    Being an island at the asshole of the world is just not isolating enough. We want total isolation. We can make it on our own…Yes we can. As proven, Ireland doesn’t need outside help to fuck up its own country. Good old Eire is capable of sending itself back into the economic dark ages. We’ll be all right as long as we have the Christian Brothers, FAS, NAMA and last but not least our beloved Biffo.

  70. “…I hope is a “YES”. and the reason is simple and based on intitution. The “NO” side contains elements of everything I detest and…” – to a complete outsider like myself that sounds like a rather weird line of argumentation, like: ‘I don’t care much about the consequences of my vote – I just want to frustrate some people whom I (strongly) dislike!’
    Keep in mind that many other EU nations (Czekia, Poland…even UK) these days are airing growing reservations against ‘Lisbon’!

    Many Europeans sincerely ‘pray’ for an Irish NAY!

  71. Hans, it might be be fairer if you clarified that its the conservative and ultra right elements in those three nations are the elements you refer to. 17 Czech senators and and a homophobic Polish President are hardly representative of their entire legislatures, least of all the general populace as you imply.

    Lech Walesa for instance campaigned for a “yes” in Ireland.

    As for the UK, has that former imperial power ever supported anything that puts them on equal footing with everyone else.

    Would many of those Europeans you refer to sincerely “praying” be of the fundamentalist COIR / Schutz Jugend type that we’re slowly trying to shackle ourselves loose from in this country?

  72. I dont,t have a vote in the referendum, But if I did it would be yes. We are not all irish at Bock,s. Getting close to the mountains and will tent for the night. Bushmills at the ready.

  73. No Hans I don,t want to frustrate anybody not intentionly, that is not my main ojective. It is my frustation that I,m working on. When I see what Ireland has done to it.s self and the Gombeens on the No side then what other feeling can I have. Frutration ? you bet. Sorry for breaking radio silence.

  74. The referendum is more importante than the election.
    It’s not about a five Years program. The treaty as no delay. If you say YES it is for the eternity !
    In France we were 53% to vote NO and they didn’t respect this. EU don’t like referendum and I’m sure it is the last one.

  75. We can only hope so, with many people deliberately deciding to vote on issues not contained within the text of the Treaty or totally unrelated matters such as government popularity, as was the case in France incidentally, you’d wonder is there a more accurate way of gauging opinion on the actual issue at hand than the (hijacked/off thread) referendum method.

  76. If we say No, it’s also for eternity. An eternity of bumbling, illiterate, corrupt gobshite politicians selling our country to the highest bidder and taking orders from priests.

  77. “If we say No, it’s also for eternity” – nope!: If the Irish people say No, several other countries will follow suit – and the EU will be forced to come up with something (much) better than ‘Lisbon’, i.e. less centralism/bureaucracy, more democracy/transparency! :)

  78. They won’t Hans. Why bother when a two or three speed Europe is the only logical outcome of a rejection. Doesn’t it strike people as odd that its Sinn Fein who have been peddling this “better deal” scenario. The party-with-a-militia who have opposed European co-operation since 1973 are now telling us just how good things would be under the current Nice Treaty rules. Stranger still that the Libertas leader only last night on TV3 began letting his mask fall when he began liberally quoting a Vatican clerics “concerns” that Catholics should have. Neither have any notion of the consequences for this country or the EU of what they are advocating.

    imo, the vast majority of Europeans in “tier one” of a Europe in crisis will begin to co-operate together at a greater level than present in tackling climate change, agricultural issues, asylum and immigration, etc. leaving the Sceptic nations behind, working with directly accountable politicians and civil servants, unlike the situation in this country where we will slowly fall under the shadow of fellow eurosceptic Britain and revert to becoming what we were before joining the EU. A cleric-ridden race whose only export was its children and cattle, ruled by lick-spittle money-grabbing pricks with lower moral standards than a snakes bollock’s. Subject to the whims of a British parliament where we would have absolutely no say. A situation in which sinister organisations like COIR will crawl out from beneath their rocks and for a start, seek new referendums on divorce and the right of a pregnant woman to travel abroad for terminations (they’re the people whose real motives you don’t hear much about on the Continent, Hans).

    It’s fine for you to forecast the emergence of a European “Superstate”. But how can you imagine such a conspiracy would allow itself to be crippled before birth by a practically failed state. Tempting as conspiracy theories go, that one goes beyond ridiculous.

    There is no better deal, only chaos, and for Ireland no advantage whatsoever in advancing the mores of UKIP, La Front National, BNP or other extremes of the far right emerging in Poland, Hungary, Austria and elsewhere all of whom are baying for a return to the petty minded nationalism of the 1930’s or a Balkanisation of the EU.

    I think Europe has had more than its share of that and paid a heavy price for settling her differences on battlefields and over flattened cities in the past.

  79. The Times is reporting today that Tony Blair is set to become the first “President” of the EU, should Ireland agree to ratify the Lisbon Treaty.


    Finally, on the day of the vote, the first cogent reason for voting against Lisbon appears. As someone who has been, up to now, convinced of the necessity of a Yes vote, I’m starting to have doubts. Blair back, blundering, blathering and bollocking anew through world politics, this time on behalf of Europe? On our behalf? Help!

    *** Five cups of strong coffee later ***

    Hang on a minute, let’s not get TOO excited! Where is this coming from? The Times. A Murdoch-controlled, right-wing, consistently Euro-sceptical rag. Is there a whiff of agit-prop about this? Another perfidious attempt from certain British interests to support the No campaign?

    When I think about it a bit more it, this cloud might have a silver lining. After all, the prospect of Tony as president undermines the basic argument of groups like Coir and Youth Defence et al. against the Treaty. Truly, the born-again Catholic Blair would surely protect Holy Catholic Ireland from all those slavering aggressive godless European liberals who are just waiting for Lisbon to be ratified so that they can force all those comely Irish maidens to have serial abortions before turning them into anti-clerical lesbians.

    Vote Yes for Lisbon! Vote Yes for Tony! Vote Yes for the Salvation of godless Europe!

    (Maybe I should talk to my psychiatrist about an increase in medication … )

  80. Of course there isn’t, Bock. The position the Times is referring to is that of the president of the European Council, the gathering of the (at present) 27 presidents and prime ministers which still calls the shots in the EU and (despite Parliament, Commission and everything else) wants to go on doing so. A replacement for the six-month rotating national presidency, appointed by the heads of governments for two and a half years, renewable once. In the terms delineated by Lisbon, a fugurehead chairman. This is the job Teflon Tony is being touted for.

    Presenting it as “President of Europe”, as the Times does, is part of the pervasive, curious, paranoid British spin on the EU and the easily whipped-up fears of Johnny Foreigner telling the inherently superior British people what to do. Seventy years after the beginning of WWII, the Brits are still gearing up to fight them (us?) on the beaches.

    That said, in the process of growing European unity (begun with the Treaty of Paris founding the ECSC in 1951), the position of President of the European Council has potential for development. Possible scenarios would be the amalgamation of this postion with that of the head of the Commission, or the direct election of its holder by the voters of the whole Union, or by the European Parliament.

    Of course none of this is contained in Lisbon, but it is a possible theme for future treaties. Whether these would be subject to referenda in Ireland depends on whether such changes could be judicially seen to imply changes in the area of sovereignty as understood in the Irish constitutional sense.

  81. Don’t worry, Bock. We’ll be in the great beyond afterlife when these chickens come home to roost and all the spin can be disentangled with hindsight.

    Incidentally, did I ever tell you about the popular German atlas I saw a few months back? The placenames in the Republic were all in Irish. Is glas iad na cnoic srl…

  82. If you actually believe that opposing the treaty has anything to do with any of those reasons you oh-so-ironically listed then you’ve really been given the full fist..!

    The treaty deals with taking power away from national governments and thus the people, and place it in the hands of various unelected EU institutions. In short, it deals with dismantling democracy and creating a European superstate. The Lisbon treaty is in fact THE SAME TEXT that was rejected in the Dutch, French and German referendums, only back then it was called the “European Constitution”. Stop being such a dumb tool.

    And PS. Fuck all of you who voted yes and who will bring this disaster upon all of us, may you all go to hell. The rest of us weren’t even given a say and you chose to throw away democracy and national indepence and thus in effect, the chance of your vote ever counting for anything again.

    This is a sad, sad day.

  83. Well, that would make sense seeing I live in Sweden and am a Swede. It should at the very least have been obvious that I am not Irish when I said “the rest of us weren’t even given a say”.

    You know how to check IP’s, well done. You must be really clever. It’s just too bad you can’t write anything useful or even come up with a real reason this scam of a “treaty” should be forced upon the people of Europe.

  84. FFE — People who leave comments saying “Fuck you” normally get blocked. Is there any reason why you should not receive the same treatment for your lack of basic good manners?

  85. Bock in defence of FFE. They seem to be annoyed that less than one Million voters have made a decision . that will effect the live of Approx. four hundred and ninety five Million for generations. Is it any wonder they thinks us to be a shower of entities less than worthy of respect?

  86. On mature reflection. It is now all done and dusted. Further argument and recriminations are futile and counter productive. The People have spoken ,and made the bed in which we must now all lie. Who knows it may even work out? If not then Life is a Bitch and then you Die.

  87. FFE: “The Lisbon treaty is in fact THE SAME TEXT that was rejected in the Dutch, French and German referendums…”

    er … what German referendum? I live in Germany and don’t remember any referendum. Wow, the blackout from that last binge must be more serious than I thought …

  88. Oops. You’re right about that , frantheman.. I got it a bit mixed up: Spain, not germany also held a referendum.. Though they somehow voted yes.. (I wonder what threats they were bullied into voting yes with?)

    In either case, my point was that the Lisbon treaty is the same text as the rejected constitution that the majority of people in Europe don’t want, except now they’ve dropped the flag and national anthem, call it “a treaty” even though it is really a constitution, and this time – they refuse referendums (except the Irish one) because they don’t like it when people vote “incorrectly” as my fellow Swede Wallström so sagely put it in regards to the first Irish referendum:
    “And of course you have to analyze why there was a no. Is there anything we can remedy, is there anything that can be.. corrected?”

    Do the Irish people feel all remedied, correct and sound of mind now? Guess you must be at the very least, seeing as you voted “correctly” this time. So now there is no need to yet another referendum seeing as this one is so much better than the first one… Since it, in good democratic order, gave the result the EU-elite wanted. The people of Europe (all of us somehow taken to be represented by the Irish) have truly spoken this time. (But not the first time, as back then you were all mentally ill) It was a very democratic proccess indeed:
    A constitution gets turned down, a clear majority don’t want it. (Not to mention that the very idea is a violation of several countries national laws, including my own – but this is ignored alltogether) You rename it and force it through anyway. One country rejects it in a referendum it had to hold. You reject that answer, brand it as insane and and hold a second referendum, this time bullying the voters by threats of isolation and economic punishment. The voters finally gives in and says yes. Anyone acting like that.. is that a democrat or something more akin to a dictator..? I think you all know the answear.

    Bock – is there any reason that you seem willing to discuss everything except the issue at hand?

  89. FFE —

    Two things:

    1. We discussed the matter extensively before the referendum, which is now finished, and you weren’t here to take part. It’s over.

    2. This site has a policy which commenters, including you, are asked to respect.

  90. May I break radio silence , Am I celebrating the “Yes” ? NO I,m not but must admit to a sense of releif. Thank you Bock for good coverage of the question, you put things in perspective. For me it means less space for narrow minded gombeen nationalisem with an unertone of parochial thinking that has cursed Ireland for too long. Allso I,m wary of those who flaunt the word freedom to the Irish be they from Nordic regions or any where else and defines it from their perspective, Now where is me Bushmills?. And yes I too have a Swedish ip address.

  91. Bock I like FFE ,admitted now throwing rocks at the moon, but a feisty individual . I like feisty. Even when they are calling me a bollicks to my face.
    Charles I am disappointed . How will you manage Four hundred and Ninety five million people queuing up for the “earth cellar”

  92. I don’t like it. Where was he when the discussion was going on?

    It annoys me that somebody arrives here when it’s all over and tries to shout everybody down.

  93. Bock show mercy to the vanquished and downtrodden . You may join us sooner than you think!

  94. Anyway this thread is redundant. Without any payment to any contributors. As written in an “other house “

    So let it be written,
    So let be done.
    The people have spoken,
    The fat Lady has sung.

    This Party is now over and we should all shuffle back to our hovels. Hoping the God’s may have mercy on us. I doubt they exist but one never knows does one?

  95. “Hoping the God’s may have mercy on us.” – PLUS President Klaus PLUS David Cameron and the British people! :)

  96. Hans regrettably I doubt that either Klaus or Cameron will have the ball’s to go through with their hot air promises. Now that the Irish voters have spoken ,that I feel shall be the end of this issue. For better or worse Lisbon is now here to stay. Straight Banana’s and all.

  97. Bock and all. This thread is finished and about time it and all assonates should be given a decent seeing off. I shall send flowers. The party is over Folks . Lie back get your legs in the air and wait for Europe. Honest it won’t hurt, well not too much the first time, and you will get used to it after a while.

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