Lisbon Treaty Decision Time

Why I’ll be voting yes

I don’t care how people vote on the Lisbon Treaty as long as they do it in a responsible way, in accordance with their convictions, after thinking it through.

This does not include voting NO to teach the government a lesson, even though I agree this government are a crowd of worthless cock-knockers who should be shot with shit so they’ll be dead and dirty.

This crowd of useless, grasping cretins mismanaged the economy to the state it’s in now, but voting NO in Lisbon is not the way to hurt them.

It makes no sense to do a thing like that.

In my view, voting against the Treaty in order to hurt the government is the political equivalent of taking an overdose. They’ll all be sorry when I’m dead.

No they won’t.

Fianna Fáil will still be here, sucking  and leeching and draining the country of the last vestiges of decency and morality that might survive in public life.  They won’t give a flying fuck about you or me, as long as their own palms remain greased at our expense.

And what would a rejection of Lisbon achieve?

Well, it would isolate us somewhat from the EU mainstream, resulting in  less scrutiny of our corrupt body politic, less interference from people in mature democracies  horrified by the cowboy nature of public policy in Ireland.

But even if it didn’t mean those things, the vote on Lisbon has nothing whatever to do with the dismal state of our governing party and everything to do with how Ireland sees its future within the EU.

My view hasn’t changed since the last time.  I’ll be voting yes because

– I believe we need the proposed charter of fundamental rights

– I believe national parliaments  should have a greater say in the creation of European law

– I believe the balance needs to be adjusted between the unelected Commission  and the European Parliament

– I think legislating for social protection is a good thing

– I consider it sensible to address the threat of climate change

– I believe the EU should have a role in solving conflicts, just as it failed dismally to do in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and

– I think the EU should have a more distinct role in international matters.

And yes, we’ll have a smaller influence in the European Union because – guess what?  – we’re very fucking small.  Considering the influence we’ve exerted in recent times, maybe it would be no bad thing to have less Irish input to Brussels until we show we can behave like adults.  As matters stand, we haven’t even managed to get rid of the people who caused most of our problems.

The Commissioner issue is bullshit, and speaks of a very Irish inclination towards cronyism and back-door strokes.  There’s no such thing as our Commissioner.

As for neutrality, this is also bullshit.  The treaty has nothing to do with Ireland’s neutrality, but even if it did, our neutrality is not of a principled nature.  It stems from our holier-than-thou hubris, as if we hadn’t lost all moral authority by our greed and our cowardice.  We’ll be more than happy to accept the protection of our European neighbours as long as we don’t have to contribute anything ourselves, because we’re neutral.

In just the same way, we don’t have abortion in Ireland, due to our high ideals: instead, we export the issue to England so our consciences remain clear.  The ultra-right nutcases in Youth Defence and Cóir are untroubled by the truth and continue to push the lie that the Treaty will permit abortion in Ireland, but again, even if it did, so fucking what?  We already have abortion in Ireland.  It’s just that we achieve it by slipping next door.

Conversely, we refuse to build nuclear power stations, the only viable form of power generation, but have no objection to importing nuclear-produced electricity from Britain so that we don’t have to stoop to generating nuclear power ourselves.  Lofty moral principles.

What a fucking principled crowd we are.

I’ll tell you this though.  A vote on the Treaty can be used to hurt somebody.

By voting YES, I hope to hurt Youth Defence / Cóir, Sinn Féin and the United Kingdom Independence Party, all of whom are trying to frighten me into voting against.

Here’s the thing, you see: anything that crowd are against, I’m for.

___________________

Previously

Cóir – One Reason to Vote Yes

UK Independence Part and Jean-Marie le Pen.  With Friends Like These …

Cóir . Youth Defence. Schutzjugend. You Decide.

107 thoughts on “Lisbon Treaty Decision Time

  1. I’m with on the last bit, Horse. Mind you I have read the things and have arrived at the same conclusion via a different route. I hold that the ability to amend this is the most important measure.

  2. And what would a rejection of Lisbon achieve?

    Ireland being dropped from the EMU, going bankrupt like Iceland, being bailed out by the UK in return for rejoining the Union…..

    This is the scenario being discussed in policy circles.

    Europe has had it up to here with Ireland.

  3. Bock
    “Well, it would isolate us somewhat from the EU mainstream, resulting in less scrutiny of our corrupt body politic, less interference from people in mature democracies horrified by the cowboy nature of public policy in Ireland.”
    Correct me if I’m incorrect, but had the the treaty been approved the last time would our cock knockers be allowed under EU law to produce this NAMA bullshit
    Taylor-
    “Ireland being dropped from the EMU, going bankrupt like Iceland, being bailed out by the UK in return for rejoining the Union…..” I have a friend who is fond of saying that we should give this country back to the queen and apologise for its condition!

  4. You’ve twisted me {rubber} arm bock,it’s a yes from me,but the guts tell me we’l use it to give the weasels in the the Dail a kicking again…

  5. Vincent — Not quite following you there. Amend what?

    Taylor — Europe? I’ve had it up to here with Ireland!

    Paul — How very true.

    Legionnaire — Let me put it this way. Did the Brits need a Ryan report?

    Stephen – I’m only saying what I think, although I fully expect people to turn up here telling me I’m not. It happened the last time.

    Johnny — Give ourselves a kicking, you mean.

  6. If we vote no, like we did last time, what changes for us in Europe?
    Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And anyone who says different is as blind as a post. The existing treaties stay in place. The only thing that scares me about a yes vote is the possibility of that murderous failed country Turkey being allowed join the EU. They have a worse human rights record than Israel. And part of the treaty is the easing of the ways for accession states.

  7. Could we try not to personalise the discussion?

    People have opinions and they’re entitled to them on both sides. Someone who disagrees with you isn’t blind: they just hold a different point of view.

  8. Well said as usual Bock. It’ll be bloody mortifying if this Treaty isn’t passed. I for one would much rather be governed by Europe – that crowd behind pretty much every progressive legislation we’ve ever had in Ireland (most environmental laws, decriminalisation of homosexuality, Charter of Fundamental Rights) – than the slackjawed greasy pigs in Fianna Fail and their even more pointless counterparts, Fine Gael.
    God help us if we disengage from Europe; you’re right, we really will be shooting ourselves in the foot before turning the gun on our heads.

  9. I’m not sure that argument – “What changes for us in Europe” – actually means anything.
    I’ve heard people spout out this thoughtless sentence a lot now. But why does it have to be about “us”? About what we “get”? And what changes for us? Are people seriously suggesting that, because we won’t be punished by Europe for rejecting the Treaty, we should reject it?
    It’s a bit baffling, or I’m a bit dim. Can we not contribute something for a change? No, nothing changes for us in Europe – you’re right – but for the reasons which Bock outlined more eloquently than I can, we’ll look like a bunch of petulant cretins led by the backward-looking likes of UKIP, SF, and Coir. We’ll be inward-looking people who snubbed a progressive project and didn’t give any consideration to the good the Treaty changes would bring about. They’ll be damn right to isolate us.
    The Economic Collapse, The Ryan Report, Blasphemy Laws, the state of mental health – Jesus, we’re embarrassing enough already. Please don’t bring any more shame to Ireland’s door. I don’t think I’d want to live in a country that is moving backwards.

  10. The overall structure of the Treaties allows for it to be amended. Change if you will. It is our act of union. But while there is no one section devoted to this union. Taken together that is exactly what it means.

  11. Great post bock. Also your previous lisbon post, which i re-read to clear up a few things in me head. Very good informative links inserted in the comments as well. Fab how a bit of information can pull your blinkers back a bit.

  12. Not sure I get to vote on this because I live overseas for the longest time now (*note to self – check with the embassy)…

    But in my opinion, anyone either in Ireland or outside looking in, can see that over the last 20 years since Ireland got a bit of wealth and reputation, we screwed it up royally…. The reasons for the rot have been in place for plenty of years prior to the ‘celtic tiger’: political cronyism, church power and the voting public’s cowardice/apathy/ignorance being the main contributors I would think…

    If voting for Lisbon means getting long overdue guidance, oversight and controls, then absolutely, 100%, and in all other ways: YES.

  13. Hah! I watched that video, and I don’ think I’ve ever seen such a dismal gathering of Eurosceptics. Bonde from Denmark is a renouned eurosceptic, and hardly anyone takes him seriously – although he does keep getting reelected to the EP. (I’ve always found this very ironic – eurosceptics sitting in the EP and getting well paid for it, while at the same time saying the EU should be disbanded). Hmmm.

    And Kathy Sinnot? A very strange character, and someone hard to take seriously.

    People are entitled to their opinions, it’s just a pity that the ones who seem to shout the loudest are the ones who want to keep Ireland in the dark ages.

    It really is a pity that I’m not eligable to vote because I’m living over here.
    But that’s another issue which needs to be addressed sometime in the not so distant future.

  14. Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party was on RTE this morning sneering at Micheál Martin. He came across as the patronising Englishman from Central Casting, and did the yes campaign a world of good. Whatever we might think of Fianna Fail, there’s something in the Irish psyche that reacts badly to lectures from people like Nigel Farage.

  15. Well said Bock, do not use Lisbon as a whip against the Gov and / or FF. The time to do that is at the next General Election. Voting no will make us the sick man of Europe alone on his sick bed with no wishes of good health, only the insincere wishes of UKIP and co. UKIP care as much for Ireland as they do for Europe. They epitomise Little England with their entrenched, anti foreigner, pro John Bull aggrogance. They had no ploblem using the Tricolour as a table cloth and beer mat in Brussels last time out. If we vot no we may as well secede from the union and revert to Ireland of the 50’s.

  16. reading the best arguments that the NO crowd could come up with (even for a moment assuming they weren’t a pack of scumbags) really cemented me voting for yes.

    It’s a shame it’s what the government want, but it makes sense.

  17. I’m heartily sick of all the “Yes” and “No” arguers’ red herrings. And I’m just as sick of all the admonitions not to be on the same side of the fence as whoever the foulest “Yes” or “No” supporters may be.

    My only response to the argument that we shouldn’t use a “no” vote to kick the government is that the government and political establishment managing this country do not inspire our confidence in their judgement. Can they be wrong on so many things yet right on the Lisbon Treaty?

    I have heard no simple positive arguments for why the EU/EC needs the Lisbon Treaty. It’s mostly been a case of proponents saying, “It doesn’t mean xxxxx and it doesn’t mean yyyyy.”

    But what it does mean is very, very unclear. Not only because it’s grounded in other treaties, which it is amending and consolidating, but also because its meaning cannot and will not be determined until each specific article has been interpreted by the European Court of Justice and a body of law has been established. In effect, the Treaties will become a cross between a constitution and a book of statutes.

    Now I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m uneasy about that process because it is so far removed from us as citizens, and because – as citizens – we have less influence than institutional and corporate interests close to the EU and Commission administrations.

    I have heard no discussion about the article which will permit the Union to act where a Member State has a substantial deficit, with that State’s vote rendered irrelevant. (Excessive Deficit Procedure: 90, amending Article 104). This is worth discussion given our current fiscal difficulties.

    I have heard some discussion around the issue of workers’ rights and I am persuaded by the arguments made by Joe Higgins MEP. I have seen the steady erosion of the rights to collective bargaining and representation for freelance workers (under competition rules) and I believe that is the drift in EU law.

    I believe that governance by committee (Council of Ministers, Commission) favours the powerful, and too easily accommodates and reflects lobbying interests rather than the needs of individual citizens. This may be exacerbated by the extension of qualified majority voting.

    It further lends itself to autocracy rather than democracy, and it will foment the rise of rabid forms of nationalism as citizens see legislation and policy determined by an elite that are out of touch with ordinary life. Ironically the establishment of the EEC/EC/EU was meant to prevent the reappearance of dangerous nationalisms.

    I think the only question to ask ourselves as we go to vote on amending our constitution is: Will the Lisbon Treaty empower or disempower the individual citizen of each member state?

  18. Top post Bock, the lies of COIR/Youth Defence aside, we should remember it’s us, the Irish electorate and not the EU -who put this shower of fuckers into government time and again. And no harm reminding us either to look in the mirror if only to see the moral hypocrisy rampant in this country. For those wanting to kick FF by voting no, sending us back to DeValera’s time seems a weird method of doing so.

    No point hitting back at these incompetents anywhere else but at a General Election.

    Must listen later on rte.ie for Mr. Farrages’ forelock-tugging sneer-fest. Apparently we’re due a leaflet from him too!.

    What a boost they’ll prove to the no campaign, stranger and stranger be the Shinners & Schutzjugend’s bedfellows. Speaking of which, UKIP’s logo is worth a look. Wonder do SF approve of Nigels re-integration of Oirland back into the bosom of The Saxe-Coburg family.

    http://www.ukip.org/

  19. Excellent post Conan, although I strongly believe that our very limited rights as mere citizens have always been an issue, even since the first democracy was established several millennia ago.

    Democracy is absolutely flawed and purely a means to placate the masses. Just ask yourself, did anyone ask you if we wanted our roads to be sold to private companies? Did anyone ask you if you were pro – or anti abortion and act accordingly? etc etc, there are tonnes of other important issues we have absolutely no say in.

    I’m still undecided on my vote as both sides seem to have their share of absolute shitheads. The shower of degenerates mentioned by Bock on one side and the empty corporate shills on the other side.

  20. reading the best arguments that the NO crowd could come up with (even for a moment assuming they weren’t a pack of scumbags)

    I am generalising the NO crowd as being Cóir i suppose. ..

  21. Thanks Bock, I am not great for politics (don’t understand much) but didn’t want my vote to not be used.
    I needed someone to point out the reasons for voting yes (gain) and no (loss). think I just got it here.
    I know my vote now.

  22. Choose to believe Cóir’s lies.

    Choose to retreat to the margins of Europe.

    Choose to forget how Europe dragged us by the coat tails from being a bastion of catholic denial and conservatism.

    Choose to have farming or emigration as the two most popular career choices.

    Choose to pretend women would be equal citizens and contraception would be freely available were it not for our engagement with Europe.

    Choose to imagine we are a nation that does not rely on foreign direct investment.

    Choose to imagine that US companies invest here because we’re lovely people altogether.

    Choose to let nepotism and cronyism continue to bleed the country dry with impunity.

    Choose to drive from one city to another on a road with grass growing down the middle of it.

    Choose to imagine that adjustments to voting rights to improve efficiencies of the system for an enlarged union is a German plot to enslave us all in a fourth reich.

    Choose to believe Europe is an illuminati plot inspired by the jooz.

    Choose to cut off your nose to spite your face by voting No to punish FF.

    Choose No

  23. well I care about abortion, as do a lot of Irish people. If you aren’t prepared for a baby, don’t have sex. and don’t take it out on the baby, kill the gobshite that irresponsibly put it there. Just the thought that lisbon could possibly permit abortion in Ireland scares the life out of some people. and me too….

  24. The last abortion referendum in Ireland meant that abortion is legal under certain circumstances. Nothing whatsoever to do with Europe or the Lisbon Treaty.

  25. Why does the thought of abortion scare you?
    1. As I assume you have already been born, I don’t think there is much of a chance for you to be aborted.
    2. If you don’t want to have an abortion, then don’t have one. But just because you don’t want to allow abortions to happen in Ireland (and to instead pretend the problem doesn’t exist becuase you can’t see the thousands of Irish women getting on planes to England), doesn’t mean you should prevent those that do want/need the service in Ireland from getting it. It’s not going to affect *you*.

  26. I [think] that this time I will actually take the time to try to understand the treaty and as long as we don’t end up signing away our first-born, etc, I’ll vote yes.

    Given the current state of our country, I simply don’t believe that we can afford not to vote yes, thereby leaving us as outcasts in Europe.
    I mean, it’s embarassing enough when all the EU leaders meet, you see all the charismatic, well-toned leaders of Europe posing for a photo, all tans and Armani, and there in the middle is that scruffy fatso Biffo looking like he just came off a 24 hour bender….it will be even worse when he is made to stand at the back row.

    Anyway, can’t we just have a rebellion against it in a few years *after* this whole economic crisis gets fixed :)

  27. The country already said no (I’m for it by the way) my point being is if it gets rejected again will they try and convince a yes vote again next year? Yet again the government has made a bollox of explaining the whole thing properly

  28. Watching from outside the country (a fact I have been increasingly thankful for in recent times), I’m becoming ever more bemused by the kinds of arguments put up by many opponents of the Lisbon treaty. In fact, I am reminded of those dark days back in the mid-80s (so-called “pro-life” amendments, divorce referenda, the “X-case, etc.) when I left Ireland for mainland Europe.

    The irony is that many “no” campaigners with roots in the extreme right of the Catholic Church, who consistently claim high moral ground with regard to questions of sexual and reproductive morality, seem to have no compunctions about lying about the implications of the Lisbon treaty. In this area, the advert from a group calling itself Eire go Brach in the Alive! newspaper really plumbs the depths.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0910/1224254205310.html

    How about you doing a piece on that strange publication (Alive!), Bock? It is usually described as a “Catholic” paper but, as far as I know, it has no official standing – moreover, I know quite a few saner priests who are deeply disturbed by it.

    As you say, a look at those who are opposing the treaty is one of the best arguments in favour of it. And now there are reports that Ganley is getting back into the act. Streeeuth!

  29. The sad thing about the NO side is the fact that it contains a lot of very strange and weird entities. It also contains some people who wish to improve workers rights such as UNITE and TEEU. Regrettably the nuttier side shall ensure the treaty will pass unchanged. The EU courts have come up with some extreme right wing decisions in the last few years and almost surely continue to do so without new legislation.

  30. With ref to comment 29 by Cat, with all due respect on your views, that comment is what drove the Irish in the past to make so many fearful hysterical decisions that we have all paid for, not that the legalising of abortion has anything to do with Lisbon, It is unlikely that the entire voting public will actually read and study the treaty, everytime we have to decide on the future of this country, the hysterical rumours come out and it becomes very influential and it’s based on the fears that the catholic church used to control and manipulate the Irish, we are still paying for the damage.
    It’s worrying to see that issue arise, I really must be naive to think we had moved beyond that.

  31. I am not sure how many people have actually read the Lisbon Treaty. Sad person that I am I have. It is a series of amendments to all of the existing treaties . To make any sense of it , you have to read all the rest of them. Just what I did. One of the most boring and tedious things I have ever done in my life. No THE most boring thing I have ever done in my life. However I gleaned a few points

    (a) Lisbon has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion.

    (b) Lisbon has nothing whatsoever to do with Armies

    © Lisbon has nothing whatsoever to do with Tax

    Some of the No side are telling lies. Some of the YES side are telling lies. My problem with Lisbon is not what is in but rather what is not in it. To quote the Commission on workers rights and social services “This European Council declaration on Workers rights is a political statement . It is not legally binding” I do not recommend that anyone should go through the treaties. If anyone feels the need I recommend they should dip their genitals in boiling oil to get used to the experience.

  32. Bock, that’s a great post again – well thought-out and argued.
    I am undecided this time.
    I really, really want to give FF and Greens a good kick, but I will try hard not to vote for that reason.
    I would hate to watch the smug faces and hear the bullshit and lies if the treaty passes, though, can you just imagine it….. blarghhh.
    What has me very worried is that we are supposed to be part of a democracy, and yet our vote is being cast aside AND we are being warned of terrible outcomes if we slip up again and vote no….
    Surely we are entitled to vote no?
    If we can’t vote no without being banished by Europe, then what’s the point in pretending that this is a democracy?
    It has the stench of bullying about it, and I am not a friend of the bully.
    I voted no last time after a lot of consideration.
    I wasn’t swayed by crackpots on either side.
    This time around, I still do not trust the people shoving this treaty in our faces, Jim Higgins has a ring of truth about him, so I don’t know what I’ll do.
    I am watching, listening and reading all I can, I’m unsure-veering on the no, but I will vote and it will be for very genuine reasons either way.

  33. well, this is all reassuring. My point though, is that I am personally not in favour of abortion, for many reasons I will not go into. many Irish people are also of the same mind. so what are people to think as they pass a large NO poster stating facts about abortion and others claiming EU policy supports Israeli genocide
    -300 palestinian children killed in january by israeli forces- it doesn’t help when our government says that the treaty will not affect things like abortion, but then do not clearly explain why. I can definitely say that confusion will defintely play a large role in influencing many a NO vote.personally, I think Ireland can’t run its affairs at all, our hospitals are filthy, our elderly abused, our laws protecting children are up in the air and sickos do an appallingly little time time for serious. shocking offences. maybe we need a YES and maybe a NO. I don’t care as long as they get it right *for once

  34. Mairéad — This is a democracy, and we have the democratic right to turn our backs on Europe if that’s what we choose to do.

    Cat — The Lisbon Treaty has nothing to do with abortion or with Israel.

  35. im just saying that once the illusion has been created, it will be hard to remove until the gov. explain this treaty properly. the NO campain have many concerning posters around, citing israeli genocide etc., etc. how can a campaign be able to lie like that if it is a lie

  36. @cat “how can a campaign be able to lie like that if it is a lie”? Oh, cat , many of these people have been practicing lying for decades! Remember the so-called “pro-life” amendment campaign? The No to divorce campaign with their posters of the sad little girl with the teddy, ‘Hello divorce, good-bye Daddy’? These people seem to crawl out of their delusional paranoia-infested caves every time Ireland seems to be about to face up to something rational. Many of them seem to be stuck in some repressive fantasy-world where comely maidens dance at the cross-roads before, their Knights of Columbanus husbands having divorced them, they all pile off to the rest of Europe to have abortions and pre-marital sex and lose the faith. Lying for the sake of a pure, holy Catholic Ireland is allowed.

  37. well divorce and murder are seperated by oceans in my mind. All of this yes and no is so extreme and threatening. And Bock, I understand what you’re saying about Lisbon treaty having nothing to do with abortion, but people will believe that it has, because of the lies, and this view will not change until the treaty and its effects have been fully explained. I think that the treaty will get a YES anyway, becuase we have now truly experienced the full whack of the recession.

  38. That’s the thing about lies. If you repeat them often enough, people will believe them, and these are absolute, unmiitigated lies.

    The lunatics behind Cóir and Youth Defence have no moral difficulty with lying or intimidation. Their main interest is in restoring the control of the Catholic church and they’ll attempt to do that by any means they can, including deception, manipulation and bullying. They’re thugs.

    It’s a pity that these maniacs are on the same side as honourable people like Joe Higgins in this debate. I myself would tend to agree with him on most things, but not on this.

  39. Cat. Nothing needs to be extreme or threatening, that comes down to perceptions based on other peoples perceptions which, unless researched and studied by the individual so that one can make an informed choice will always give rise to fear based choices which are inevitably very poor choices.
    People will choose their route, be it divorce, abortion, gambling or whatever, based on their needs projections, and their basic will to survive whatever the latest threat to that might be, People either live comfortably with their decisions, enter a state of denial or drown out reality, we all work off a personal set of values, but to avoid taking responsibility in investigating the very facts which will impact on your future and the future of generations is doing yourself a great disservice.
    It’s a truly rotten read but it’s here and it’s important, so just gather the facts and allay your fears, because whether you vote yes or no there is a whole lot more fear out there to traverse so just get comfortable with your choices and fuck the fear, the only purpose fear serves humanity is to make us run, and thats not always the correct instinct to choose. And good luck with the rotten read.

  40. OK, hands up who really undertsands the whole issue here. I was thoroughly against it first time around and I am for it this time around, I dont know why, call it gut feeling, we’re fucked if we do and fucked if we dont may have something to do with it. As I said earlier we are misinformed and clutching at straws from being misinformed.

  41. And I dont mean misinform as in “i couldnt be bothered researching the whole treaty text” , I mean yet again they didnt give out proper information

  42. I don’t know if anyone fully understands any law. No law would be passed if it was a requirement that everybody should understand every detail of it first.

    After 72 years, we still need a Supreme Court to interpret the 1937 Constitution which was passed by a national plebiscite without everybody in the country fully understanding it, except perhaps Archbishop JC McQuaid, who wrote it. Nobody worries about that.

    We have a gigantic structure of lawyers and judges who never cease from arguing about the meaning of our thousands of laws and regulations, and nobody minds.

    And yet, Ganley, Cóir, Sinn Féin and the UKIP want every T crossed and every I dotted.

    Do you fully understand what it says in every last paragraph of your mortgage agreement, if you have one, or on your life insurance policy? Did you insist on being told before you signed on the dotted line? Did you talk to a lawyer and take his word for it or did you read the whole thing yourself line by line?

    I didn’t. I took my lawyer’s word for it.

    I read the whole thing last year, but it hurt my brain. I insist on being told about the Lisbon Treaty too, but this time I don’t have to pay a lawyer. That’s what the independent Referendum Commission is for. They’ll do it free.

  43. Well,Bock..you certainly have stirred up a reasoned,informed debating platform,as usual I might add… but the crux of the matter would seem to me to be this: a yes vote would be a vote for the kind of ‘democracy’ that ,upon not getting the result it desires first time round,it makes a rather pathetic attempt at re-packaging the deliberately already almost unintelligible thing in order to convince the gullible that it’s not a charter for the Military industrial complex (yes,that classic paranoia inducing conspiracy theorists last refuge,which is unfortunately also only too real…) to have even more of an (UNelected) influence on all our lives.
    Simplistic it may be,but a Yes vote is a vote for the Berlusconi/Sarkhozy/Brown etc view that the electorate cannot be trusted to deliver their untrammeled power indefinitely and must be bypassed at every available opportunity (hence,albeit by a constitutional quirk,why we are the only European voters being allowed any say at all..however limited…) No.Bock,I’m afraid the answer remains No…and if it does have the pleasant side-effect of bringing down the bunch of self serving muck savages that are pretending to ‘run’ the country..then,so much the better. Conclusion of the foregoing.

  44. People if you are voting NO do it for the right reason. Not based on lies and rubbish on posters put out by the right wing neo-fascists. Lisbon has NOTHING TO DO WITH ABORTION. Bock has written this twice in this stream and I having read though the Treaties have confirmed this as fact. Vote as you wish but try to use your mind .

  45. Tonyo — Reasoned debate is all we can ask. At the end of it all, I respect anyone who wants to vote no on the basis of a thought-out decision, but I’m sick of lying demagogues like Ganley and the Cóir nutters.

  46. The most important thing to remember is – DON’T VOTE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO KICK THE GOVERNMENT’S ARSE !!!! There will be another day to do that.

  47. People if you vote no please do so for the right reason. Not based on right wing crap! The posters lie. If you think I am lying then read the Treaties yourselves. I am voting no for very different reasons the protection of Workers rights . If anyone can find anything about Abortion or Army or Tax in this treaty I would welcome a reply. Otherwise sometimes silence is golden.

  48. Gary, what effect will Lisbon have on workers rights? I have not tread the treaty. I wouild have thought that most if not all advances in workers rights in the last 20 years or so were a direct result of our EU membership. Health and Safety legislation, for example, wasn’t enacted until 1989 and again in 2005.

  49. Everyone can do their own research with regard the Treaty, nobody needs to be dependent on THEY , presuming that means the Government, we are at a time in history where every avenue of information is available to every citizen seeking it in order to make their own informed decision.
    Who believes anything THEY say any more, access the information for yourselves, make the choice based on the facts.
    Bear in mind, should we are cast adrift from Europe, then fucked won’t even describe the shape we will be in.
    So much of the content is being manipulated by both sides of the arguement that this is one time most especially that we need to inform ourselves.

  50. Indeed Bock I thoroughly agree that the ‘personalities’ (and I use the word loosely,as well as using parentheses) involved in trying to persuade us of the merits of both sides of the argument are enough to drive one to hide under a large rock ’til the whole sorry event has passed. it’s not like it’s gonna make a whole lot difference to anything anyway…the Bilderbergs pretty much have it sewn up and I’m surprised they even see the need to legitimise their various nefarious agendas with this piece of ‘democratic’ whitewash….. The amazing thing about it all is the large range of lunatics of all waters that have emerged to grind their various axes…and the complete lack of knowledge of the thing dispalyed by any of them outside of their own particular bugbear.. to hell with the lot of em,right left and centre… I’m off to lie on a non eu non blue flag beach and contemplate the meaning of (sp)liff…call me when it’s all over.

  51. “We have a gigantic structure of lawyers and judges who never cease from arguing about the meaning of our thousands of laws and regulations, and nobody minds.”

    Well actually, I do mind. Governments love to justify themselves by making hundreds of petty rules and regulations instead of getting on with managing the country and its finances. Having yet another layer of government in the EU with yet more regulations just makes life more complicated and more expensive. I am not talking about anarchy here just freeing us from the endless petty regulations. Europe saying we have to have straight bananas and all weights in kilos being one – that even they have realised is ridiculous and have repealed. What did that cost businesses?

    Lisbon is going to give even more power to them to regulate our lives with the loss of vetos. I am not anti-abortion, I am not particularly concerned about our neutrality, I couldn’t care less if we have our own Commissioner. I would rather walk over hot coals than vote for Jerry Adams. I do not want to kick this government. I want them to earn their salaries by looking after us and making things work in this country for this countries conditions.

    What we need more than anything is jobs. We need to attract business here to provide private sector jobs so that we can pay our income tax (not too much) and get people off government welfare and out of the public service. The government has only been increasing the public service so much to keep the dole queues low. Business will only come here if we have low taxes. There are no other reasons for them to come to Ireland – being in the heart of Europe is nonsense – if thats what they want they would go to the mainland.

    Before anyone says that Lisbon will not affect our tax regime – it will not affect our direct taxation but it can raise indirect taxes and if you were following the G20 talks earlier this year the one thing that concerns other countries hugely is one EU country having an unfair disadvantage over another. We already have a disadvantage in that we are an island so we need to address that by having low tax for business. Our taxes will rise if the EU has more power because they will want to reduce the ‘unfair’ advantage that they perceive we have. Can anyone give me any concrete examples of how business will improve by voting Yes?

  52. Good debate, every idea from the lucid to the mad, the scared, the curious and the plain confused.

    For me, the main points are

    1 I’ll vote Yes because I expect us to fare better within Europe than without (and I downloaded and skimmed through the treaty – not read it – but it still hurt my brain though).

    2. I’m annoyed that it was a no vote the last time and this is now being rerun on the basis that a yes vote is required (though I would wish for this). Seems like democracy on tap. If we get a yes vote, will there be a rerun ?

    3. Is it really a revamped version of the ‘constitution’ rejected by the French and the Dutch ? Must check this out. Chuirfidh mé fhios air ?

    4. I didn’t and still haven’t read my mortgage or insurance policies etc. Just a trusting foolish guy I suppose ?

    5. I’ll find other ways to inflict pain on FF. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm
    Basil

  53. Can anyone explain the deal with “worker’s rights” as regards the treaty. I can’t find anything concrete that shows me that it will unilaterally bad for workers. Yes perhaps we will lose some “rights” but surely we’ll be gaining a much stabler economic platform in a Union that can start to actually take us seriously again?

    As far as I can see, at the moment the No campaigners who are going on about worker’s rights seem to me to be equating this with “union’s rights” and in particular, the “right” to squeeze employers for more money (like they’ve been doing for the last 20 years or more) when they perceive there’s profit floating around. That’s not worker’s rights!
    So what if the market place becomes more competitive and wages are lower ?Lower the cost of living accordingly. Isn’t that why it’s so damned expensive to live here anyway – hundreds of thousands of barely competent people commanding power and money they barely deserved, and agreeing to pay far too much for even little things (I’m sure we can all remember at the height of the boom when it would cost 5 euros for a cup of coffee in some places. That had nothing to do with how much it cost to provide the drink. It was simply what they knew people would pay)

    Even if the treaty did somehow erode these rights, I still don’t see why we can’t be like the French if shit goes wrong. When they are unhappy about something they actually go on strike and they don’t rely on their unions to do the talking for them; none of this standing around with placards; they’ll march en-masse and get what they want, and nobody has sent in the troops on them…yet. They have a 37 hour working week, (35 in many cases) yet they are actually one of the most productive workforces in Europe because when they *do* work, they work hard. And although they earn relatively less, they have a higher standard of living.

    Ok, that meandered a bit there, so again if anyone can summarise what is so bad for workers in this treaty, I would really love to hear it. Maybe I have this all wrong.

  54. Steve, don’t know if this will be of any help but the NO campaigners are basically manipulating misinformation to deliberatly misguide people.
    It has already been decided by the EU court of justice, dec last, i think, that a company based in a EU state can bring migrant workers to another EU state and pay no more than min wage, that will not be affected by Lisbon.
    Hysteria and proaganda will focus on the possibility that Irish workers will be replaced by a migrant workforce, that too has nothing to do with Lisbon.
    Some elements of the Trade Unions are focusing on the above and it is irrelevant. Other aspects which have nothing to do with Lisbon is that the EU are eager for Ireland to acknowledge gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia, again fodder for extremists.
    Blair Horan of CPSU, stated that the rights of workers to collective bargaining have been advanced by a recent judgement in ECHR, He also states that since membership in ’73 each additional European Treaty has added to the rights of workers and that the Lisbon Treaty will give these rights the status of law.
    Mr Horan described as dishonest and ludicrous the claims made by COIR that Lisbon would lead to a reduction in min wage.
    Check out the cases of Lavel and Ruffert, this is where the NO campaigne base their propaganda on min wage, in those cases the min wage was not clearly defined, subsequently said countries (sweden and germany ) lost their cases, Sweden are already making changes to their laws to ensure this does not happen again.
    Art 28, of the charter enshrines workers rights to take collective action including the right to strike.
    Totally agree with you on the French outlook, big difference between them and us is that their Government realise their position is dependent on the people, also, would have to say that the French pride in their life, work, country would be quite superior to our own, definitly not a nation of whingers the French !

  55. Norma, Irish actors (for example) as freelance employees are now not allowed the privilege of collective bargaining. It is considered anti-competitive by the Competition Authority acting in 2005 on foot of EU regulations.

    http://www.siptu.ie/equity/CampaignagainstCompetitionAuthorityRuling/

    It is one thing to apply these rules to highly paid and mostly secure professions (doctors etc) it is another to apply it to often un-employed workers whose working conditions have disimproved greatly in recent years.

    It may be argued that this has nothing to do with the EU, but it is a classic instance of how the lives of individual citizens may be severely impacted by the institutional interpretation of EU rules. It reinforces my own contention that there is no empirically tested meaning to EU law or rules that proponents of either a “Yes” or a “No” vote can cite with absolute authority.

    Much of the Lisbon Treaty is an interpretive vacuum that will be filled only by legal judgement and case law as it evolves at the ECJ.

    I would further contend that in the absence of such case law, or until such time as test cases have been taken, institutional and corporate lobbying interests will supercede those of individual citizens who will inevitably be placed in the incredibly difficult position of having to take cases to defend their rights, since that is what tends to happen in law at this level of authority in any jurisdiction.

  56. Anyone who is serious about the Lisbon Treaty must read it and all the Treaties to which it refers . I have no intention of trying to convince anyone on either NO or Yes. I shall be voting NO based on my interpretation of “Lavel and Ruffert” the EU court support the race to the bottom for workers. All workers most of them not members of Unions.” If in doubt check it out“. Do NOT believe any of the utter nonsense’s that are on posters. That is like believing adds as the “truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.

  57. “All workers most of them not members of Unions.” So would you discriminate against workers who are not union members? I would support any persons right to be a member of a trade union, but I personally hate unions. It goes back a long time whan as a younger man we were sold down the swanee by a Union official and a fomer mayor and member of the labour party. To my mind (non legal) “closed shots” are illegal and infringe my rights as much as the denial to join a union. The unions in Ireland have become businesses and their leaders earn €0,000s more than the ordinary worker. I work in the HR field and most unions are interested in gathering numbers and couldn’t give a fuck about rights until the shit hits the fan. Workers rights and conditions in Ireland have been enhanced by Europe not hindered. There is a lot of hype re minimum wage and Lisbon, it’s bullshit. The EU courts passed the ability to transfer workers and minimum pay, not Lisbon. Lisbon has no detrimental effect on workers rights.

  58. No 8 HR that I presume to mean “Human Resources” resource as in Oil or Coal or any other commodity. To be used at your will. I regret your experience with Unions. I suspect that had you perused it you may have won. You chose the dark side as such I pity you. Unions are the members. The majority of abused workers in Ireland are not allowed and too afraid to even think of Unions. The point is Lisbon “copper fasten” the EU Court and all its right wing decisions. But not to worry it shall get through.

  59. We already voted NO, resoundingly. Being asked to vote again is symptomatic of something being terribly wrong with Europe.

  60. Without unions, people would be walked on and trampled.

    Profit knows no morals.

    The right to membership of a union is one of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Lisbon Treaty.

  61. Bock, everyone should have the right to join a union a la Lisbon. But everyone should have the right to refuse union representation, something denied in closed shop environments. Unions are a different animal now than what Jim Larkin imagined. Union officials having to be brought to court to ensure that they obey the law and treat their own employees in a fair and just manner. Union officials in the cosy boardrooms of Aer Lingus. Unions have become as big if not bigger than some of the employers that they face down, their senion officals earn 6 figure saleries. Most employment law in the country is stacked in favour of the employee and encourages the claim culture. Profit may not know any morals but it makes the world go round.

  62. The lack of respect for both last year’s referendum result and the assailing of anyone considering a No vote are distressing signs of a collapse of democracy.

    The reasons why I voted No last year have not been addressed in the so-called guarantees (which are probably worthless if ever put to the test). And yet I’m asked to vote on precisely the same text.

    The only reasons I hear from Yessirs are distractions to do with being nice to our EU partners and similar, infantile nonsense. The politicians don’t argue on the content of the treaty.

    As for Bock’s remarks about the Charter on rights, we already have a constitution that protects and guarantees our rights. What’s missing from that?

    Even though I’m already voting No, I’m urging my undecided friends and family to vote No because it’s the best means to bring about a general election. The threat of NAMA is so grave that I’d sacrifice any EU treaty if it would stop NAMA.

  63. Why? Why on earth do you think that a rejection of the Lisbon Treaty will stop NAMA? The 2 things are totally unconnected.

    The Lisbon Treaty should not be used to punish the government. Wait until the soon to be called general election for that. And I suspect that the election will be called within a few months.

    Personally I would prefer to be governed from Brussels/Strasbourg, because it is patently obvious that Irish politicians are incapable of doing the job for us. Granted, the EU might be a bit grey and faceless, but they are at least not corrupt, and there are enough checks and balances to prevent such incompetence as we are seeing from Leinster House.

    You say your concerns were not addressed, and the guarantees in your opinion are worthless. What are your concerns?

    You say that we have a constitution which protects our rights, and therefore the Charter of Fundamental Rights is useless to us. Are you not aware that EU laws only proscribe a minimum level of legislation, and each EU member-state has to achieve at least that level – however member-states are free to expand on that to whatever degree the like provided that it doesn’t contradict the EU laws.

    By all means, you are free to vote no, but please do it only if your reasons are good and valid. Do not do it to punish the government. Do not do it because you don’t know what the treaty involves – for that you can inform yourself very easily.

    But by preference, please vote yes for the sake of the country, for the environment, and the future.

  64. The best way to bring down the government within the next few weeks, and thus stop NAMA, is by voting No.

    Voting No means that we can stop NAMA.

    Voting No allows the EU to continue normally.

    Voting No is in the best interests of Ireland (and probably in the best interests of the other EU member states).

  65. That’s utter horseshit. Vote against Lisbon if you disagree with Lisbon, and for no other reason.

    But I forgot, aren’t you the same person who wants a nationalistic government?

    You have an entirely different agenda, and it has nothing to do with people’s freedom.

  66. We voted No. The result was not recognised by our righteous masters in Brussels. If the vote is Yes this time we, the people, can refuse to recognise the result this time around.
    This seems only fair to me. After all two opposite votes on exactly the same matter can have no legitimacy, as they surely just cancel each other out!
    Another good reason to vote No, actually.

    NO TO LISBON MEANS NO TO LISBON!
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38059363467&ref=mf

  67. Bock, people can vote for any reason they want, what’s it got to do with you?

    The referendum (on precisely the same treaty as in 2008) shouldn’t be re-run. However, we have to vote again, and 2 October is a perfect opportunity to bring down this government by voting No.

  68. What does it have to do with me?

    Well, perhaps the fact that will affect me for the rest of my life might qualify me to have an opinion on it.

  69. There is a possibility that voting no to the Lisbon treaty will bring the government down, but there is no guarantee that it will. And we all know that FF have the brass neck to not resign out of humiliation and respect.

    Neither will voting no to Lisbon stop the whole NAMA affair.

    We have to wait for a general election before NAMA can be changed by whoever gets voted in. However, again, there is no guarantee that FG and/or Labour will change anything.

    Wasn’t there a vote of no confidence in June? And there has to be 6 months between such votes? So we have to wait till December for the next vote of no confidence (correct me if I’m wrong) and then have an election in January.

    But in the mean time, rejecting the Lisbon Treaty has no guarantee in bringing the government down nor in having NAMA stopped.

  70. You’re giving away your political prejudice when it comes to Lisbon, which is surprising because you seem to be independently-minded on most issues.

    Let me be clear – I’m calling for a No vote on Lisbon because the future of this country under NAMA would be untenable, and rejecting Lisbon offers the best opportunity to collapse the current government. Let the EU worry about Lisbon, let us worry about Ireland.

  71. Explain what you mean by political prejudice. I won’t apologise to you or anyone else for holding whatever political opinion I consider appropriate.

    You’re being dishonest. Lisbon has nothing to do with Nama, and calling for a no vote to collapse the government is nothing more than base demagoguery.

    It’s dishonest and dishonourable. I welcome debate on this site, but cynical manipulation I won’t stand for. This site is not neutral. It will always reflect my opinions, and I won’t stand for anybody trying to use it as a platform.

    I repeat: explain what you mean by political prejudice.

  72. Hello Bock, thank you for inspiring people to come forward on this topic by starting such a great debate, i’m fired up…

    The Yes crowd keep saying that ireland will be looked at as ‘turning our backs on europe’, how can that be we are already a part of Europe under that nice treaty, nothing is being taken away by voting no to the new treaty being proposed. the no vote is saying no to Lisbon. what is lisbon nobody has all the answers but it is a hardcore heavy unreadable almost unending essay of Laws that will not be allowed to be argued with or overruled should it take effect. Scary, maybe, necessary, probably not. unless we want any and every area of our lives under scrutiny for time unending. don’t forget this will be the LAW, and they will say, well , it’s what the people wanted. Well none of the other countries in the EU have a chance to vote for it, it was put through by their governments, policitians who like you with your mortgage broker haven’t read the details yourself, it’s nearly impossible, an incredible mammoth of a read with a jargon only elite lawyers can understand and interpret. so any say you might have in what government does is gone, given away because of fear mongering about being backwards and driving on with roads with grass. we will still be part of europe, business as usual folks, and that girl Sarah that talked about the cheap taxes for businesses setting up in europe, damn straight – business care about the money honey and not if you made some friendly gesture by voting yes to look good with europe. which by the way, europe will be proud of us for voting no because it means that crazy book of laws is not going into effect and they can decide what’s best for themselves and europe instead of giving all the power away forever to a new government they never see or hear in a nameless faceless building in brussels.

    ********and who has thought seriously about the strange but true fact that we are the only country allowed to vote on this lisbon treaty – because we are the only country left with a shred of constitution that allows us to , we are the only ones who remain with the power to do so , now that’s a little scary, too much will be given up for the promise of the way out of a recession, they’re hoping we’ll fall for it

  73. hi Bock,

    Your ‘political prejudice’ appears to be that you don’t like No voters in the Lisbon referendum [Part deux]. Likewise, you don’t seem to be bothered by having to vote again on precisely the same treaty so it’s easy to conclude that you are prejudiced in favor of the treaty.

    The labels of ‘dishonest’, ‘demagoguery’, and ‘dishonorable’ are apt when applied to the government, the EU, and any other VIs who have refused to accept the result of the 2008 referendum.

    As for using the vote to protest against the government, it’s a perfectly rational strategy when (a) we have no alternate means of effective protest, and (b) the 2008 vote was ignored.

  74. Sezaa — And what a wonderful job our governments have done over the years. I agree with you. Let’s not allow Europe to interfere in Irish cronyism, dishonesty, inequality and corruption. Let’s keep our traditional ways, like overcrowded hospitals, non-existent public transport and leaking schools.

    Damn those Europeans if they think they can inpose their traditions of tolerance, efficiency and inclusiveness on us.

    Bron — Where did you notice me saying I didn’t like NO voters? Isn’t that a bit immature of you? There are NO voters among my family and friends, and we won’t fall out over this. Unless, of course, you’re referring to the right-wing Catholic maniacs among the NO camp, and I have never made a secret of detesting them, Lisbon or no Lisbon.

    You still haven’t explained what you mean by political prejudices. You seem to mean political views.

    Are you suggesting I shouldn’t have opinions?

    Jonathan — Would you mind not shouting in capitals please. It’s bad manners.

    And as a matter of interest, would you please clarify whether or not you are associated with Sinn Féin?

  75. Sorry about the capitals – it’s the title, and I just copied and pasted it, but I know what you mean. It is nice to see someone else still cares for good manners, and I apologise for my own lack thereof. I am not associated with Sinn Fein, nor any political party. I despise and loath collectivism in all its forms: socialism/fascism/communism, call it what you will. I am a sovereign individual interested in freedom for every individual. My political leanings are towards the Libertarian, if anything, and I am convinced there is no government like no government. I respect people as being capable of living their own lives best, and capable of accepting responsibility for both their achievements and failures if given the chance and freedom to do so. I do not like interference in my life, and like to think this is something I share with my fellow man/woman, hence my aversion to the march of the EU jackboot.
    All the be$t, Jonathan.

  76. Jonathan. We have quite the collection of ” jackboots ” presently, in all shapes designs sizes and colours, and many are cleverly disguised in misguidance and put forward as “slippers ” cleverly packaged and presented with the zeal of religious zealots disguised yet again in concern for “Mr Average Joe “

  77. Hi Bock, see atleast you know about irish croyism, at this point you can trace your politicians trails quite easily, and can keep an eye on that club because the people in who’s hands the country rests are on your own island and fairly accessible, how can you think Euro-cronyism doesn’t exist, we just can’t see the buggers or talk to them. They are hidden away somewhere on the mainland and their paper trails can be covered way more easily after all they have a budget of 27 countries, to mix up and their parliament is not exactly transparent. how can one decipher where exactly the euro cronyism exists, but you can bet it’s there and probably in a much bigger way. i agree money should be spent on schools hospitals etc, we should be doing that anyway, not waiting for europe to give the go ahead. the thing is if you gave yourself over to europe in a lockdown treaty and threw the key away then we are saying we don’t know how to govern our country for ourselves and you might have clean schools and hospitals but not even recognize the country your in anymore. they can now dictate any law to do with immigration, environment, working conditions – which might not be worse just more tedious like having to wear heavy gloves to do any contruction or electrician work for safety, like deciding curriculum in schools, just a complete melding of ideas that might not be natural for this island but just totally totally square. don’t we have enough rules already, why does every angle of my life have to be decided in brussels, set in law (in stone) from here on out. why does every european country have to look and act the same. variety is the spice of life

  78. Perhaps it would be better then to dispense with the government? After all, like all governments everywhere, it does nothing for the people. Let people live their own lives for a change. The result could not be worse than the results of having left the job to governments. We could do with saving the money, too. For what it costs government represents very, very poor value.

  79. Sezaa, yes we know abot Irish cronyism and yes I’m sure there is cronyism in the EU, led no doubt by our very own. But after 36 years of Irish membership, I am not aware of any in the EU. I am aware of Haughey, Ahern, Lowry et al. Two are still in the Dáil, one has been returned more than once, what twats must be voting in Tipp, “and can keep an eye on that club because the people in who’s hands the country rests are on your own island and fairly accessible” What age are you? None of the political lackies in this country will ever see the inside of a prison cell. FF have been shown to be incompetent spenthrifts who blew the family fortune amd won’t apologise and are holing the tax payers accountable, while the elite carry on in their ivory towers. Every scrap of progressive legislation in the last 30 years has come from Brussels with successive Governments having to be threatened to have the laws enshrined in Irish legislation. Who has voted in the massive wages, pensions and expense accounts of TDs and Ministers? Not Brussels. Yes, your accessible, unaccountable TDs. Roll on Lisbon.

  80. No – but absolutely minimal bodies to serve the people. People could appoint others to serve them, not govern them, or we will never grow up. We need a judiciary and defense. There are other ways of managing these without large government. A department of justice and a defense force, could, of course be called a government, but would be nothing like the bloated, interfering nannying monster that is presently at war with the people. I do not advocate anarchy, but I do consider the larger part of government is unnecessary, counterproductive and self serving and creates dependence which, of course leads to a lack of self worth which, of course fosters dependence which……… and so on. More of what we have is no solution to what we have. I think we need something radically different.

  81. A little research will show that the EU is about as corrupt a body as can be. Just check out the expenses ‘entitlements’ of the MEPs, for which they do not even have to provide receipts. And as for cronyism, just look at how they are behaving over Lisbon. I warn you, though, if you do scratch beneath the surface that it is an unpleasant experience, and not a place I want to visit again. Suffice it to say that the expenses structure in Brussels makes the recent exposure of UK politicians’ expenses look innocent by comparison.

  82. i think we should look closely at what we are ben told. there maybe be many things we are being promised but do we really believe these promises will be fulfilled. Yes campaginers are asking us to vote yes cause it will help take us out of the recession that they put us in. Low and behold only today i read an article about the eu, They Eu is going to help us out of the recession HOW??? when they have just given Dell in limerick €54.5 million to help them take thousands of jobs out of Limerick ireland. Not only the factory job but all the other jobs affected by these losses.. Possibly homes lost. So if thats what the EU is doing for us then i say Brian cowen need his head tested asking for a yes vote. if you havent seen the clip the cleverly disguise it saying 1900 assembly jobs gone. no mention of the other countless jobs lost from the fall out.

    By Barry Duggan (Irish Independent today)
    Thursday September 24 2009
    COMPUTER giant Dell was last night accused of using ‘dubious’ methods to close its Limerick base so it could receive a multi-million euro windfall for setting up a new facility in Poland.
    There was deep resentment yesterday after news emerged that Poland had won approval from the European Commission for its plan to grant €54.5m in aid to its new Dell factory.
    The US company announced last January it was closing down its Limerick base in favour of a cheaper site in Lodz, Poland.
    Last night, newly elected MEP for Ireland South, Sean Kelly called for a further probe into the grant assistance. The former GAA president said he “would certainly be a bit dubious” about the grant.
    The EU competition authority said the aid was compatible with the bloc’s rules. Up to 3,000 people are to be employed in Dell’s plant in Lodz with 1,900 Irish assembly workers losing their jobs.
    Announcing its decision yesterday, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “Our assessment shows that the project’s contribution to regional development and job creation in a disadvantaged region of Poland outweighs any negative effects.”
    However, Limerick Mayor Kevin Kiely said: “If any underhand methods were used to target Dell and take them out of Limerick, it is not on and it is not what Europe is about.”
    – Barry Duggan

    If that warrants a yes vote then we are all Fools.

  83. The EU didn’t pay Dell anything.

    The Polish government gave Dell money to relocate, just as the Irish government has done in the past. What exactly did you think the IDA does?

    Barry failed to make this clear in his article.

    Please stick to facts in future. Thank you.

    And while you’re at it, please don’t copy and paste entire articles. If you do that again, they’ll be deleted.

  84. Sean, we did the same thing when we gave corporate tax breaks to all those multinationals to come over here and give us jobs. Do you think the people in their countries were happy to see them go? I know for a fact that workers in the US were awful bitter about Dell’s R&D when it moved to Raheen.

    Anyway it was Poland who paid for it, not the EU. All the EU did was approve the payment.

    And by the way, DELL has been planning this move for years. I personally know people who 10 years ago were over in Poland helping to lay the groundwork for what was already then known would become Dell’s main manufacturing plant (EMF 1). But, we all chose to bury our head in the sands and pretend we couldn’t see it.

    So, #1 it’s not a surprise shock as they would have you believe, this is a spin put forth by the lazy bastards who knew this was coming and did FUCK ALL about it for years (like maybe trying to get someone to replace Dell as a major employer) and #2 It’s the same thing that we did to entice Dell into our precious little island.

    Personally, my heart goes out to anyone who loses their job in situations like Dell, but also is filled with joy as a human being FIRST and an Irishman SECOND to know that thousands of other people somewhere will find their lives suddenly improved, and that thousands of other kids will not grow up in poverty and ignorance.

    Unless of course you are saying that we have more right than the Polish to a good standard of living?

    Pot, meet Kettle.

  85. Bock my very last comment on this subject. I am only too aware that it is contentious and has stirred up argument. Whether one decides to vote YES or NO do please vote people. The Irish are the only one’s left in twenty-seven countries to do so. The Future of Europe depends on your vote.

    I personally feel that the Treaty gives too much power to the ECJ , I must vote NO. Other colleges see this as foolish and an overreaction to recent decisions . I think the Chairman of our Commission on the Treaty said it well today on RTE1 . A high court Judge (I Think?)) he does not know what the Treaty means for Workers . That is for the ECJ to make decisions.

  86. Pleace vote for democracy and against the treaty of lisbon

    Dear irish people!

    Pleace stop the treaty of lisbon! Is is antidemocartic, militaristic, antisocial. The disadvantages are much bigger, than the advantages. The EU can live with its actuell laws. They should only be changed into a democratic direction. With the treaty of lisbon, the european council is able to change this treaty in great parts without asking the parliament. This is nearly the same law, which mades the nationl- rassistic- party of Germany so powwerfull in our country in the year 1933. Our basic law (the german constitution) and all other european constitutions should not be replaced by the treaty of lisbon. But the new treaty tries to bring all right- sytstems in a lower level than the new european right. Here is my informationpage: http://sites.google.com/site/euradevormwald/english . When you have some more english information, pleace send me a link or text or write it into the visitors book of my page. And pleace spread this text all over Ireland.

    In the hope in your activities for a better Europe, Felix Staratschek, Freiligrathstr. 2, D- 42477 Radevormwald (Germany)

  87. If (it has to be yes)

    If you can keep your head after protest voting Higgins;
    And watch delusion dance a mandate jig.

    If you despair opportunism spawned through misery;
    And gaze at ineptness, powerless to act.

    If amateur dramatics at O’Donoghue’s expenses disgust
    you;
    As soft reactions cloak a dread of reflecting light,
    Apology, an escape for all.

    If you’re befuddled by this Lisbon thing;
    And dream a third option, perhaps of “maybe”.
    But not make dreams your master, as you’ll need to
    vote.

    If you feel bullied by some egotistical economists;
    And sick as tax exiles, incompetents and hypocrites dictate.

    If you can bear to hear the truths of life,
    Twisted by ruthless CEOs and
    unelectable know-alls;
    And be suspicious, as to why they care at all.

    If you vote “yes” because of fear;
    And not at the behest of those you cannot stand,
    Nor because of others you disregard, demanding “no”;
    And treat those two impostors just the same.

    If terror stalks you at your country’s possible
    isolation;
    With them as leaders and policy makers;
    Europe’s protection far distance.
    Then fear be not you master, but your saviour.

    If you can force your heart, and nerve, and sinew;
    To vote “yes” in spite of their promoting it.

    If your vote “yes” be the majority decision;
    Know that should they gloat in Higginesque manner;
    Their gloating would be phony and short lived.
    Your legacy will out long after they’re forgotten.

    Yours is this country, and everything that’s in it
    And — which is more — You’ll be a Patriot, its child.

  88. You know, you can vote Yes or No, but I have the feeling that either way this Treaty is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. And we are not wolves.

  89. No C’est, most of us may not be, but among the Irish lie the wolves of COIR/Youth Defence and the ultra-nationalist Little Irelanders.

    God fearin’ folk who wouldn’t mind dragging us back to the good old days of Magdalene slave laundries, strict moral codes and practices, and none of that oul’ Divorce or getting the cattle boat to England for a filthy abortion, not when you can sell off the kid to a decent family in Boston and enslave the unmarried mother. While the UKIP lovin’ Provos will have the rest of us lamenting the loss of the fourth green field into our stout bottles.

    We were sheep long before Europe opened many eyes around here.

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