Saying NO across the spectrum

The 26 Counties is set for a debate that could fundamentally affect the future of the EU this year.

After the people of France and the Netherlands killed off the European Constitution by voting No in 2005, the project was rebranded as the Lisbon Treaty in 2007. Member states have until 2009 to ratify this new version or it too will fall. However, European leaders openly conspired to deny people their voice, recognising the Treaty would be rejected and only Ireland (part of anyway) seems set to have a referendum.

The majority of the political establishment in the south is openly endorsing the treaty, with even the Greens adopting a strange position where the parliamentary party will support the treaty while the rest of the membership can campaign how they choose.

At present there are two major campaigns in opposition:

The Campaign Against the EU Constitution (CAEUC) which incorporates a range of left wing opinion and groups – Communist Party of Ireland, Community Action and workers Group, éirígí, National Platform, Peace and Neutrality Alliance, People Before Profit, People’s Movement, Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Workers Party – along with SF and elements of the Green party including former MEP Patricia McKenna.

and

Libertas, a right leaning campaign with major input from politics.ie supremo David Cochrane, backed by former FF donor multimillionaire Declan Ganley and receiving legal advice from Michael McDowell.

As yet the date for the referendum hasn’t been set but Europe’s eyes will be increasingly fixed on Ireland as it approaches.

  • Good luck to both of them. I’m surprised the Republic is the only country legally bound to have a referendum on this though. Does that mean there are 23 nations with written constitutions which didn’t think to cover the issue of handing over sovereignty to foreign or supra-national bodies?

  • CS Parnell

    Communist Party of Ireland, Community Action and workers Group, éirígí, National Platform, Peace and Neutrality Alliance, People Before Profit, People’s Movement, Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Workers Party – along with SF and elements of the Green party including former MEP Patricia McKenna.

    All good reasons to vote yes.

    Is that fella who went to the neo-nazi rallies taking part this time too?

  • I’ve read somewhere that anti-treaty politicians from all over Europe, among them virtual nazi Jean-Marie le Pen from France, are going to descend on Ireland to try and whip up the “no” vote, and it will be interesting to see which of our own dissenting parties invite them over.

  • Mark McGregor

    Le Pen is not coming, even to see the small group of student controversialist students at UCD despite what pro-Treaty papers like The Times continue to say. Though those wanting to conduct the debate on the Treaty through smear and innuendo over substance will always raise it just like the irrelevant Neo-Nazi remark and content free contribution from Parnell above.

    Le Pen isn’t welcome, he isn’t being invited and lots of people don’t know what Godwins law is.

  • Greenflag

    Not just Monsewer Le Pong but also the British National Front are trying to come over to help Sinn Fein etc whip up the NO vote . There’s nothing that that shower of right and left wing gobshites would’nt do to drag all of europe back to it’s past ethnic rivalries . Understandable of course because that’s the only kind of atmosphere in which they can breathe !

    Ireland will be saying NO to the no f***ers no question ! Ask any Pole or Jew what happened to Europe the last time the Fascists and Communists got together for an ‘opportunity’ alliance . 55 million dead later and still the gobshites never learn 🙁

  • Mark McGregor

    The debating skills on display from the Yes camp here are stunning. Vote No and it’ll be death camps and gulags, Hitler and Stalin, WWIII.

    Any chance of joining reality for a few minutes?

  • An Lochlannach

    ‘Greenflag’ ought to have a nice lie down in a dark room. While there he might consider the possibility that one can have legitimate doubts about the EU project without being either a Nazi or a Communist.

  • Greenflag

    ‘he might consider the possibility that one can have legitimate doubts about the EU ‘

    Believe it or not the possibility was considered by GF and there are some – but on balance and after much consideration I’ve considerably more doubts about the ‘benefits’ of communism or nazism .

    BTW remind me what again is the NO argument ? Would it be something meaningful and tangible like say Paisley’s 40 year NO ?

  • BfB

    The EU socialists want your ass. They want to tell you what to do and say. Good bye Ireland, hello Eurabia. Don’t you get it ? Germany
    France
    This is happening. no smoke, no mirrors..
    Tsk, tsk.

  • I suppose this would be a good moment for Bertie to ask for some Euro-dosh!!

  • joeCanuck

    Ok; so how many of the commenters here have actually read the proposed treaty?

  • Damian O’Loan

    I’m still learning a bit about this but as I understand it, opposition from the far left and far right is, unsurprisingly, based on separate objections.

    The left fear that the treaty is paving the way for an ultraliberal superstate, and that there will be few grounds for national governments to prevent the slide.

    The far right fear loss of soveriegnty. Rather than call for a referendum though, its position is outright rejection via a referendum. The grounds for outright objection seem to be more nationalistic in origin.

    Again, I’m far from informed, so excuse me if these are innaccurate charicatures of the objections.

    In an interview with French newspaper Liberation this week, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who drafted the failed Constitution, said a No from Ireland would not stop the project. He said twenty six or twenty seven ratifications would be enough to carry it with European democracy intact. This would leave Ireland in an interesting position.

    The absence of balanced, informed debate on this in the media is ridiculous, given the import of the project. And I would say it shows in this thread. Perhaps someone could give more detail?

  • Damian O’Loan

    caricatures, excuse me

  • Fascism or Communism awaits us if the treaty is not voted through, Ahaaa please. I was hoping those who support the Lisbon treaty might put up some sort of argument, not the aforementioned guff.

    Myself I support a United Europe and the sooner the better, but I tend to think we need a bit more democratic accountability within the EU before we become mired in a debate as to what kind of constitution the EU ends up with, so if the free state Irish decide to vote the LT down, I will not be loosing any sleep.

    Although if and when a referendum is held on this in the south,
    it will once again highlight the democratic deficit the people in the north live under. So much for British democracy.

    Mark, just to be clear all EU states must support the LT for it to pass into law?

  • fair_deal

    What are the rules in the RoI for referendum campaigns can they accept donations from outside the country?

  • Mark McGregor

    Damian,

    What kind of detail do you want? Both the No campaign sites above give their reasons for rejection. A drier article by article discussion I’ve been enjoying (not really the right word) is Ralf Grahn’s blog.

    Mick,

    The treaty must be ratified by every member state but d’Estaing has already been pushing the idea of those that fail to ratify should move into a 2nd tier Europe while others take his project forward.

  • Damian O’Loan

    A balanced critique of the treaty, not arguments against it, or interpretations to serve those arguments. Pointing me towards two ‘no’ sites isn’t the answer I’d hoped for – I find it hard to find any analysis that isn’t from an entrenched position. Since I don’t yet have one, I need dispassionate critiques.

  • Mark McGregor

    Damian,

    Try reading through Grahn’s blog or the Staewatch analysis if you dare!

    These things are designed to be intelligible or accessible.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Just halfway through the Grahn blog, much better, thank you.

  • Greenflag

    ‘The EU socialists want your ass’
    Germany-France

    Eh ? Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is CDU , and new French President Sarkozy defeated the left wing candidate in the recent election!

    ‘The absence of balanced, informed debate on this in the media is ridiculous, given the import of the project. And I would say it shows in this thread.’

    True enough . The ‘complexity’ of some of these europe wide referenda is such that the mass media either fall asleep and or can’t be bothered . They have advertisers to please . I’m sure that we will all be better informed once a date is set for the referendum . Despite Valery D’istains comment the result of Ireland’s referendum will be crucial 🙂

    ‘ when a referendum is held on this in the south,
    it will once again highlight the democratic deficit the people in the north live under. So much for British democracy. ‘

    When you don’t have a written constitution like Ireland then you inevitably have to rely on your representatives in Parliament to make the decision . Let’s face it some of these European referenda can be extremely complex and seem to be too far removed from people’s daily lives to rouse interest . The British traditionally have not favoured ‘referenda’ as a means of deciding issues . They place all their trust in Parliament . We Irish and presumably the Scots too should have a memory of what an unrestricted Parliament can do -particularly when there is lotsa money on the table . Anybody remember how the Acts of Union were passed in both countries ? Had both Unions been subject to decision by referendum the result would probably have been different !

    The EU is bringing to the surface the underlying tensions that exist between purely representative democracies and democracies which allow for more direct popular participation like Ireland and Denmark among others .

  • joeCanuck

    The Economist did an extensive analysis from both sides 3 or 4 months ago. Might possibly be available on-line.

  • Quaysider

    A Lisbon treaty the Shinners could support, from today’s Irish Times.

    Article 1
    The new name of the European Union shall be “The 26 Countries”.

    Article 2
    For the purposes of this new name, plus other purposes, the United Kingdom shall no longer be recognised as a country.

    Article 3
    The 26 Countries shall have a single legal personality, in addition to its numerous illegal personalities.

    Article 4
    MEPs will receive only the average industrial wage, where the industry in question is fuel smuggling.

    Article 5
    Member states shall promote the free flow of DVDs and cigarettes across their borders.

    Article 6
    The difference between the European Council and the Council of Europe shall be no greater than the difference between Northern Ireland and the North of Ireland.

    Article 7
    The Council of Ministers shall not include any Free Presbyterian ministers.

    Article 8
    All new directives shall be preceded by a telephone warning.

    Article 9
    The sovereignty of national parliaments elected in 1919 shall be respected. Other parliaments may be subject to approval.

    Article 10
    Qualified majority voting shall be introduced on qualification that the majority is not Protestant.

    Article 11
    The 26 Countries shall adopt a charter of fundamental rights, equalities, inclusions, communities and so on (offer excludes south Armagh.)

    Article 12
    Everyone shall have a charter of responsibilities, especially the media.

    Article 13
    The President of the 26 Countries shall have absolute authority. And a beard.
    The President shall hold office for two and a half years or life, whichever is the longer.

    Article 14
    James Connolly shall continue to spin in his grave on a six-month rotation.

    Article 15
    The 26 Countries shall have a High Representative for Foreign Affairs, especially during “sightseeing” trips to Colombia.

    Article 16
    The 26 Countries shall have a common securocrat policy.

    Article 17
    Member states shall invest in their armies. Certain armies shall then invest in Bulgarian timeshare apartments.

    Article 18
    The 26 Countries shall have a single private army, but it may only be deployed on peace process keeping missions.

    Article 19
    Nothing shall prejudice the neutrality of Ireland unless it involves Cuba, Israel, Venezuela or the Basque Country.

    Article 20
    The European Parliament shall have no say over national fiscal policy, except the €500 tax on Donegal holiday homes, which shall be abolished.

    Article 21
    The European Central Bank shall keep at least £26.5 million on deposit at all times.

    Article 22
    The 26 Countries shall maintain a whine lake.

    Article 23
    The 26 Countries accept that it is undemocratic to hold referendums repeatedly until you get the “right answer”.
    Except in the case of Irish unification, obviously.

  • Mark McGregor

    Quaysider,

    I don’t think Newton Emerson having a go at SF really adds anything at all to the debate.

  • Quaysider

    Quite funny though, although not as funny as Mary Lou McDonald banging on about the horrors of militarism.

  • Mark McGregor

    That should be all the Pavlovian responses covered now – Nazis! Commies! Shinners! – fullhouse. Is the nonsense out of everyone’s system now so we can stick to actually discussing the Treaty?

  • BfB

    The CDU wants Turkey in the EU asap. Enough said on that one. Sarko doesn’t like referendums and his upcoming EU presidency will set us all straight on his EU plans. The EU will be bad for independent thinking people, proud of their heritage and country. The sheep and the lemmings will stampede. Islamic birthrates doom you all.

  • The Dubliner

    “There’s nothing that that shower of right and left wing gobshites would’nt do to drag all of europe back to it’s past ethnic rivalries .” – Greenflag

    So you think that Europe is post-nationalist entity? There is no such thing unless you nominate an airport arrival/departure lounge as the entity. The aim of the socialists who are engineering Europe is to create a socialist nation state. In order to do that, they have to convince the citizens of the various nation states within Europe that the nation state is a bad thing which causes war, disharmony, etc, and should therefore be forfeited to a central authority, along with all of the powers of the nation state. What they don’t tell you is that they are creating a nation state, not eliminating the concept. Indeed, since 95% of the world’s population live in nation states outside of Europe, the new nation state of Europe will be pitted against them. In regard to war prevention: creating a superstate of Europe will not prevent Europe from engaging in war. The only difference will be that all of the former nation states within Europe will be involved in Europe’s war without having any option. As individual nation states, they can presently resist wars by other European member states, so all they are changing concerning wars is the power to object to them and stay neutral. So, that’s the two myths the proffer: that Europe isn’t aimed at creating a European nation state at the expense of its current member nation states, and that Europe as one nation state (which pretends it won’t be a nation state) won’t create wars.

    Apart from that, Europe is utterly corrupt. It’s auditors have refused to sign off its accounts for 13 years in a row. You shouldn’t trust these gangsters with your taxes, never mind your future.

  • CS Parnell

    Mark,
    Your problem is that you are being backed by the fascists and the commies. And kicking sand in the air doesn’t negate that fact.

    Though, for what its worth I’d vote no if you could get the sticks and the provies on the same platform. In fact I’d join the campaign if I thought I could help plan it.

    As they say in Dublin, it’d be gas.

    =====

    PS The two moments that give me hope for the future of the North were the yes votes in 75 and 98. In both cases the public showed they had far more sense than many of us have given them credit for.

  • Greenflag

    ‘So you think that Europe is post-nationalist entity? ‘

    No . It will always be an amalgam of nations which have voluntarily come together as one common market. I don’t share your anxiety about a war-like Europe . On the contrary the more Europe is united the less likely will it be to engage in ‘war’ . Nation States are not the cause of war per se and the same applies to an amalgamation of nation states such as the EU.

    ‘Apart from that, Europe is utterly corrupt’

    I know – Italy and Brussels 🙁

    ‘ It’s auditors have refused to sign off its accounts for 13 years in a row.’

    Why haven’t the auditors been fired ? This is the accountability deficit mentioned by Mick Hall above . How do they get away with it ? No oversight -no accountability – hidden slush funds no doubt .

  • The Dubliner

    “On the contrary the more Europe is united the less likely will it be to engage in ‘war’ .”

    What are you basing this assumption on? Clearly, the former nation states within the new superstate of Europe will not be in a position to engage in war on any of the other former member states due to Europe having one army under its control, with none of the former nation states having an army – making war a tad difficult for them to wage. However, there doesn’t seem to be any present indication that any of the nation states were considering waging war on each other, so I don’t quite see how removing the option from them is needed to prevent it. 😉

    On the contrary, removing the option from member states and granting it exclusively to the new superstate will have the effect of ensuring that citizens from all of the members states of the new superstate will be involved in all wars waged by Europe. It will also have the effect of silencing all effective opposition within Europe to all wars waged outside of it. In addition, a superstate of Europe will seek to use its army in much the same manner as the USA (which would be the same size as the superstate of Europe) uses its army: belligerently and to further its own selfish interests.

    Since folks see war prevention as a key reason to transfer nation state power to Europe, perhaps they should think that one through before giving up something that may simply serve to increase the frequency and intensity of the thing they seek to reduce rather than reduce it?

    In addition, there will be widespread dissent and disenfranchisement within the new socialist superstate of Europe when people of the former nation states begin to understand why it is that people should make decisions in the interests of the people, reflecting the local circumstances and particular culture of a people, rather than have a raft of generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ policies imposed upon them by unelected others? These people will be entitled to use force to assert their right to self-determination, leading to heavy handed repression (something socialists are good at) and resulting levels of increased disenfranchisement and seperatist violence. There really is no point saying ‘Oh but if that happens, a member state can withdraw’ because we are talking 20 years down the line when there is no option to withdraw – when it, like all other nation state powers, is taken away by gradation.

    The logic of integration only goes one way and that’s it.

  • foreign correspondent

    I understand that people can be for or against the European Union. I personally am for the EU, the Euro etc.
    I can see no evidence whatsoever of the EU being some sort of socialist conspiracy. And where is the slightest bit of evidence for claiming that the EU is a belligerent warmongering entity? I don´t belief that for a minute.

  • OK, may I pose a question, in the coming years there will be three large super states and economic powerhouses in the world who will be calling the shots, the USA, Russia and China. If the current comparatively prosperous EU States are to maintain their economic position in the world can they do so as individual nations?

    Or If the EU were to deal with its democratic deficient etc etc, could it become the forth super state. [After all despite all the nay sayers the euro has managed to find its feet]

    Do we have a viable alternative to a European federal state and if we pass the opportunity up to create one, are we destined to become a group of individual nations known as the has beens?

    I am not passing an opinion just asking a question.

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    That’s the question you have to ask yourself, especially as a Socialist. Is the current system reformable, is the proposed treaty making things more or less accountable to and responsive to peoples’ needs, will the Treaty make an egalitarian and fair Europe more likely, will it make progressive reform more or less likely.

    For me, the current system is very unlikely to be reformed as capital is its central concern, the proposed Treaty disenfranchises the people further and pushes them further down the list as the needs of capital are met more completely. Therefore, I don’t see equality being a likely by-product and given the structures being proposed progressive reform is less likely subsequent to the Treaty.

    I’d like to hear how a socialist sees positives in it.

  • George

    BfB,
    You say:

    The CDU wants Turkey in the EU asap.,/i>

    Ronald Pofalla, General Secretary of the CDU says@

    “Turkey is, despite the noticable reform moves of recent years, is still far away from full religious freedom. Accordingly, the CDU is against Turkey’s accession to the EU. A privileged partnership arrangement is the correct solution.”

    Angela Merkel on Turkey and the EU? “Privileged partnership”.

    I’ll believe Pofalla and Merkel if it’s alright with you. Unless of course you can back up what you claim.

  • lib2016

    The EU is the largest economic bloc in the world and the one which is expanding at the fastest rate. In a world where the corporations can run the government of the world’s only military superpower there is a need for economic blocs, and for independent states and we ourselves are exploring new ways of devolving power to more locally based entities to cope with local peculiarities.

    There’s no doubt that global warming and even more the expansion of acess to atomic technology proves the need for a strengthened UN. Can we really go on letting one nation or group of nations claim the right to act as world’s policemen? Will that then be a world government? Probably yes, in some areas at least.

    No one set of loyalties will be sufficient for the future. Instead we will all have to accept the reality of multiple identities. It was different before democracy came along but now we can’t delegate all reponsibility to our betters and have to take some at least to ourselves. That will mean creating the machinery by which our voices can be heard and nothing I have heard from either side of the debate has convinced me of their committment to democracy.

  • BfB

    George

    One of the main reasons for France slapping the EU was and is Turkey. “Privileged partnership” is the camels nose under the tent, a politicians peanut to an EU fantasist. Turkey has every intention to be in the EU by 2014. Turkey’s Demiralp is already making veiled threats about EU attitudes towards his oppressive craphole of a country. Pofalla and Merkel want people like you to believe them. The CDU has made a statement to “honour the promise” and are simply waffling in the face of member states pressure. Their ass is in a sling with the amount of Turkish raiders already on their soil and the social problems caused by their refusal to integrate. I prefer Sarko to his predecessor. He has mentioned a ‘Mediterranean Union’ and his “Privileged partnership” takes on a whole new slant as far as Turkey goes.
    The EU is bad enough as it is, but allowing an association with a trouble maker is utter folly. They have maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea, they are in it with Syria and Iraq about the Euphrates. They are killing Kurds in Iraq as we speak. They are at it with Armenia as well. Oh, ya…90ish percent muslim…..A great addition to the peaceful, forward thinking EU.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The Campaign Against the EU Constitution (CAEUC) which incorporates a range of left wing opinion and groups – Communist Party of Ireland, Community Action and workers Group, éirígí, National Platform, Peace and Neutrality Alliance, People Before Profit, People’s Movement, Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Workers Party – along with SF and elements of the Green party including former MEP Patricia McKenna.

    Mark,

    I would point out that the above is a coalition of people who (in the RoI) are strictly fringe movements and don’t actually have any kind of mandate worth talking about. I mean, Communist Party of Ireland ? I’m sure their membership probably fits into a telephone box these days.

    I appreciate that it is a bit weak to say “the fascists and communists want to drag us backwards” but when you have to cite the support of the above non-entities to make your case, it’s not going to do much to advance your cause.

    BfB:

    The CDU wants Turkey in the EU asap. Enough said on that one.

    I think having Turkey in the EU is a fine idea. Then again, I don’t have an inexplicable foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of muslims, unlike most of those who express the opinion that you just did.

    Turkey’s Demiralp is already making veiled threats about EU attitudes towards his oppressive craphole of a country.

    I’d been keen to point out that this is a country considered in the USA (by the the President you rather consistently defend) to be an ally.

    The EU is bad enough as it is,

    What’s wrong with it ?

    They have maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea, they are in it with Syria and Iraq about the Euphrates.

    As opposed to the peace-loving USA which has never gets into disputes with anyone ? The USA have bombed two out of the above three countries within the past fifteen years.

    They are killing Kurds in Iraq as we speak.

    Bit of a joke coming from a Bush defender.

    Oh, ya…90ish percent muslim…..A great addition to the peaceful, forward thinking EU.

    And you’re a religious bigot as well. I think that paints a pretty clear picture.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    I dunno if any one remembers past Euro referenda in Ireland, ie the Maastricht Treaty, the Nice Treaty, etc… but the doom and gloom brigade were out preaching ‘No’ saying that the country would fall apart if we voted ‘Yes’; that we’d lose our neutrality, that we’d lose our say in European affairs, etc.. But it never happened, instead we had a boom, and we are all still here to tell the tale.

    It is strange however that no other country is having a referendum regarding this treaty and it is only Ireland with her constitution that ensures that we have one.

    Also there is an appallling lack of information about this treaty for the general public to mull over. Is this to encourage appathy among voters?

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Also, regarding the Shinners, the Greens, etc, for all their past negavity to referenda in Ireland, they sure know how to enjoy all the trappings of the political big time, just like the other political parties.

  • George

    BfB,
    you have still failed to provide any evidence to back up your claim that the CDU wants Turkey in the EU.

    I have supplied quotes from some of the party’s main protagonists clearly stating they don’t. The quotes I supplied were approved by a majority at the CDU annual conference in Hanover just two months ago.

    You have supplied nothing other than a view swimming around in your head. So could you provide hard evidence to back up your view that the CDU supports Turkey’s entry to the EU please.

    Otherwise, I will continue to believe the majority of the CDU who said the contrary in December.

  • Mark, can you provide a list of organisations that are or will be supporting a YES campaign.

    Greenflag, will you be taking the trouble to vote this time round – or will you be staying in the cave? 🙂

  • hovetwo

    Apathy is the last thing they need – the reason Nice I was voted down was because a dedidcated, idealistic No campaign got out the vote while an apathetic, soft Yes vote stayed indoors. Current indicators suggest a 2 to 1 majority in favour of Lisbon despite the fact no-one has read it, with a huge number of Don’t Knows.

    As I understand it, Lisbon is about streamlining decision-making and allowing more qualified majority voting in an enlarged EU of 27++ countries. Ireland (RoI) wouold still retain her veto on tax harmonisation, there would be no great advance in the federal project, but there would be a permanent Commission President and Foreign Affairs representative, and an end to the 6 month rotating Presidency of the Council of Ministers held by the different nation states in turn.

    Real power would still be retained by the Council of Ministers (i.e. the club of nation states) which should suit those of us who like a strong counterweight to centralising federalists, however each country would no longer be entitled to a permanent EU Commissioner – Commission posts would be limited, which means every nation state would have to take their turn in rotation at having a Commissioner.

    The real disappointment to me is that there has been no attempt to get the balance right between “states rights” and central authority in a transparent and accountable way. In the US Congress, a much more federalist structure, each state is entitled to two Senate seats, regardless of population size, as a counterweight to the House of Representatives.

    I feel that rather than reducing the size of the Commission they should have given each Nation State two commissioners, to be directly elected by the population of their country, who would either serve as an executive of the Commission or on oversight and scrutiny committees to tighten up corruption and review legislation proposed by the EU Parliament. These commissioners would then elect their own President by open ballot, rather than the Byzantine process of haggling within the Council of Ministers which produces the President today.

    Of course it could be argued that this would increase the overhead of central EU bureaucracy, but if we needed to do this in a cost-effective way I would be happy to see the monthly shuttle to Strasbourg from Brussels bite the dust……

  • pith

    From the December 2007 entry on the blogsite of one Nigel Farage who is the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP):

    “Our big discussion of the day is the Irish referendum, which will probably take place in May. The UKIP MEPs make a commitment to give a substantial sum of money towards the campaign. Our Irish colleague, Kathy Sinnott, is very pleased indeed. Ireland is the only country where a referendum on this wretched treaty is guaranteed and we shall do all that we can to help when the campaign is on. I agree with Kathy that I will advertise for UKIP members to go to Ireland to help.”

    How can the NO side expect to have credibility when it is being helped and bankrolled by the likes of these Little Englanders?

  • barnshee

    “Why haven’t the auditors been fired ? This is the accountability deficit mentioned by Mick Hall above . How do they get away with it ? No oversight -no accountability – hidden slush funds no doubt .”

    A statement from a WORLD CLASS IDIOT
    The Auditors “hear” (Audio Audire etc anyone?) the accounts and agree that they are accurate and give a “true and Fair view”.

    The Auditors, year on year, refuse to to accept the accounts as such and correctly refuse to ratify them. –They are the good guys.

    The Councils of Minister (who are in charge) ignore the auditors report because their snouts and the snouts of the EC civil servants they sponsor are jammed in the trough.

    Sack the Auditors no– sack the fucking shower of ministers and hangers on.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Mark,

    Have now read Grahn and the first part of the Statewatch, on Justice and Homeland Security.

    Thoughts so far would be that it does appear that amendments to treaties to appear to be becoming easier to perform. Whether this is a cynical move to ‘finish off’ the Treaty at a later date, or a response to bureaucratic difficulties in Brussels is debatable. I would imagine the course depends on the national administrations in place, constantly in flux.

    However, the level of agreement required to make any changes is still stringent. With the current trend against sicialist governments where one may expect to find them(France and Germany notably), I would certainly not see this as a veiled socialist superstate. The idea of a communist USSR style dictatorship is absurd – where will the communism come from, since they are a minor force in almost every single Member state, and certainly not a major force in four-fifths.

    The removal of border controls and freedom of movement is appealing. It would appear though, that everything is subservient to the ‘Internal Security’ of each Member State. I would worry about this being the argument used for a raft of anti-muslim measures. I would worry about the agreement required to accept asylum-seekers; whether this would mean that an efficient response to a humanitarian disaster would be possible. It seems that, as we have seen on National basis, the Internal Security argument could be used to justify a gruesome hypocrisy, particularly in foreign policy. And I don’t see this Treaty as being the end of national foreign policies, not at all.

    As regards immigration, some concerns. The need for such a large level of agreement could inspire an over-cautious approach that is counter-productive. We presently use immigration to fill low-paid jobs, and on this basis of limited opportunity tacitly reinforced by racist attitudes such as those seen on occasion here, wonder why integration is not a reality. I wonder if this would not be worsened.

    Haven’t got stuck into the trade parts yet – will post again once I have. Thanks for your links, very useful.

  • Damian O’Loan

    As an aside, the French parliament has voted to allow M Sarkozy to ratify.

  • CS Parnell

    By the way, the issue with the audited accounts is not corruption in Brussels but in the member states. The auditors cannot guarantee that money given to the members states has been spent in the specified way.

    I note that Mark has given up denying he’s backed by the fascists and the commies.

  • Brian Boru

    I will vote no despite being pro-EU. It gives the Big States too much power, increasing the combined weighted vote under QMV from 49% to 70%. The loss of our Commissioner and the loss of the vetoes on 68 areas including transport, energy, data-protection, the statutes of the ECJ and ECB etc. will lead to the Big States dominating the small, and forcing laws on us we do not want. Article 48 will deprive us of the right to referenda on future EU treaties. The loss of the veto on the powers of the European Defence Agency and Article 28 will mean the death-knell for Irish neutrality. The Charter of Fundamental Rights will allow the ECJ to dictate Irish asylum law.

  • Brian Boru

    “By the way, the issue with the audited accounts is not corruption in Brussels but in the member states. The auditors cannot guarantee that money given to the members states has been spent in the specified way. ”

    If that is so, then why was the whistle-blower against EU accounting-practices that were susceptible to corruption, Martha Andreasson, sacked by the Commission for ‘failure to show sufficient loyalty and respect’?

  • pith

    Brian Boru,

    Marta Andreasen was a Commmission accounting officer. Different thing. She is now UKIP Treasurer. Enough said?

  • CS Parnell

    Brian, you can play the game too. Tell the world that you are a whistle blower and your employer is corrupt and your bosses won’t listen to you when you tell them so (no need to present any evidence to back up your claim). See how long you keep your job.

  • pith

    Marta Andreasen was very public about getting fired by the European Commission but less so about her previous termination of employment at the OSCE. In fact she was very very quiet about that.

  • CS Parnell

    Give us some pithy insight on that then.

  • BfB

    CS

    You don’t like America..Tough shit. All my statements still stand about Turkey. Muslims murderers are vile and the sooner we blow them to allah the better. Silence is consent as far as the rest of the ‘moderates’ go. Pull your head out of your ass and face reality.
    I have not defended Bush….he has been far to weak on crushing these islamic terrorists and the mexican invasion. Use your labels and motive assignments, can’t argue the truth.

  • George

    BfB,
    none of your assertions about the CDU stood. In fact, you made them up. I presented evidence to prove you made it up.

    As you seem incapable of backing up anything you say with anything close to evidence and in fact seem to make things up, why should anybody believe what you have to say about Turkey, blowing up people or any of your other crazy ideas.

    Your truth is not the truth. If you ask me, it’s madness.

  • The Dubliner

    “I understand that people can be for or against the European Union. I personally am for the EU, the Euro etc.
    I can see no evidence whatsoever of the EU being some sort of socialist conspiracy. And where is the slightest bit of evidence for claiming that the EU is a belligerent warmongering entity? I don´t belief that for a minute.” – foreign correspondent

    Complete disregard for democracy … check

    Only one member state of 27 member state in total has the right to decide its own future. Why? Because socialists harbour contempt for democracy, knowing that the people do not support the engineering for a socialist superstate and knowing that the people would vote against the project if proper debate and democracy was permitted, those who are engineering the project seek to deny the people the right to vote on it. What more proof do you need of utter contempt for democracy that the one that is unfolding in real-time before your eyes? Why do they know this? Because this treaty was rejected by the people the last time they tried to get it past the people, so they tweaked it a little, renamed it, and decided to force it past the people without giving them the right to reject it again just as they rejected it before. Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” This fundamental right is being utterly violated here.

    Aggressively expansionist… check

    They have a nice neutral term for this: ‘enlargement.’ Expanding from 6 member states to 27 member states, and deliberating about ‘enlarging’ to include Russia, Middle Eastern and North African countries is an aggressively expansionist agenda. What makes you think this aggressive expansionism won’t be perused by force rather than by subterfuge when Europe becomes a nation state with its own army and a mission to spread socialism? Do you think that people who show such contempt for democracy that they seek to further their ulterior agenda without debate and without granting the citizens of member states the right to decide their own destiny in accordance with Article 1 of the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights will suddenly regain respect for democracy after they successfully subvert it? No, a more reasonable conclusion is that those who show contempt for the will of the people actually harbour contempt for the will of the people and that such contempt is the basis by which force is used to force compliance – once they get themselves into a position where they can use force to further their expansionist agenda.

    Conspiratorial… check

    Gee, do I really need to explain this one? The whole premise of the EU is about subversion, as it subverts the rights of countries and subverts the rights of the people to decide their own future, subverting cultures and the rights of individuals to homogenise peoples into one new identity of ‘European,’ moving from its original position of creating a common market in which goods could be sold to creating a common country which more controls all aspects of our lives, not simply common standards relating to goods manufacturing and supply or to excise legislation. This is the socialist state by the backdoor. For an example, see this Slugger thread. There is a step-by-step approach in play to get EU tax harmonisation by granting a veto to member states giving them the false impression of retaining tax soverienty, but this veto is de facto useless and it will be removed in time under some other pretext such as further ‘reforming’ the system to ‘improve’ it. Now, why do socialists want tax harmonisation? Simple, because competition between member states for inward investment keeps taxes low – if a member state has high taxes, business will relocate to a member state with lower rates. So in order to raise taxes to pay for the socialist superstate, they have to remove the competition within member states that exists on tax rates. That removes the option from companies to relocate – since all member states have one tax rate, all member states can have one high tax rate and business will just have to pay it if they want to do business within the EU. Unsurprisingly, most multinationals will choose to do business among the 995% of the world’s population who are not in the EU, so the EU will begin to fail just as all socialist states fail.

  • The Dubliner

    Continued

    Socialist… check

    There is no secret about this: it is the stated policy of the socialists who are engineering it. For example, former French President Jacques Chirac, spent his time in office pushing for a European Constitution and pushing full integration of all member states into one European entity, even calling for an elite group of member states to move faster towards European integration than others as a tactic of forcing the others to follow suit. The French Prime then, Minister Lionel Jospin, wanted the EU to adopt a far more socialist agenda. He, however, differed from Chirac in that he wanted a federation of member states rather than full integration. The constitution is a crucial step in the EU’s step-by-step approach to engineering a socialist superstate. Once it gets that (and this treaty is a rehash of the rejected treaty), it will be past the point of no return on its way to a homogenised superstate, with the remainder being its own flag, anthem, government, etc. It already thinks it is a nation state and wishes to appoint its own Foreign Minister… big clue, eh? Look back to how it started – as a common market – and look at how it has progressed by stealing sovereignty and independence from member states and transferring them to the new authority, so with a minimal amount of forward thinking, you can see exactly where it is going. In fact, you have to wear horse blinkers not to see it.

    The above are not the hallmarks of people who respect other people; they are the hallmarks of the USSR. It’s not what people say they are doing, it’s what they are actually doing that you need to scrutinise – and form your own conclusions. Say ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty and free the free the citizens from the tyranny that is being imposed upon them without their consent. Irrespective of what you think about Europe, do not forsake the principle that people have the right to decide their own future, and vote against this treaty simply because you are the only member state with the option. The citizens of all member states should have had that right, too. Send the right message back to the tyrants: contempt for democracy will not be tolerated.

  • pith

    CS Parnell,

    She was Head of the Accounting Division at the OECD (not OSCE as I have it above) in the late 90s. She was suspended. She was public about it at first but when her wars with the European Commission started a few years later any questions on her time at the OECD were met with silence. When questioned she was strangely quiet for one so keen to portray herself as a martyr in the cause of transparency.

    When she fell out with the Commission, and Neil Kinnock in particular, she worked through the Conservative eurosceptics to publicise her case but as time went on she drifted across the political spectrum to the point where she has ended up with UKIP. Some would say that nearly a decade after her fall-out with the OECD she has at last found her spiritual home.

  • lib2016

    The Dubliner,

    The closest anology most of us would have to your ‘socialist superstate’ would be the arguments betweem ‘state’s rights’ and Federal law in the USA, especially as the arguments came up during the Civil Rights era.

    There will be tensions between the local nation states and any central Executive and Assembly but surely this is something which is as likely to be used for good as for evil? Socialism in the sense you use it seems to stand for too much central planning, which most of us would condemn, but state’s rights can equally be a cover for total de-regulation which is equally liable to be mis-used, the de-regulation of meat and bone meal use landing us with foot and mouth disease being just one obvious example.

    We need competing leadership at every level, it’s the best way to keep them on their toes. We saw what restricting competition to the level of nation states has meant in the last century – two world wars and the possibility of annihilation by atomic weapons. There is no pre-ordained level at which authority stops and the nation-state is no more infallible than any other group.

  • The Dubliner

    lib2016, people are post-nationalist, not nation states. Perhaps that is where your confusion arises? Europe cannot be post-nationalist, even if its people call themselves that trendy label. There is no such thing as a state that is not a nation state or a nation state that is not nationalist. I don’t see how I can make it any clearer. Therefore, you are deluded when you say that Europe will be post-nationalist.

    Both of those ‘world wars’ (which were not world wars) were caused by imperialism, not nationalism. Europe is imperialism by another name. Europe, as a nation state, will account for 5% of the world’s population. The other 95% will still live in nation states outside of Europe. Sorry, kid, the nation state isn’t going anywhere. All you are doing is merging 5% of the world’s population into another nation state – and one that is aggressively expansionist.

  • The Dubliner

    By the way, lib2016, all these projects can be made to sound like Nirvana. The USSR sounded like a great idea to the socialists at the time.

    G-d save us from sentimental idiots.

  • BfB

    George, you’re a loser in fantasy land. Any research shows I’m right in my assessment of the German Christians waffling until they can weedle Turkey in. If they did not want them in the should have rejected Turkey outright. They can’t, because the ‘disaffected young turks’ would be burning cars in a heart beat. Wake up and smell the coffee.

    The Kurds
    The Euphrates
    Turkish muslim extremists
    Turkish muslim unrest in Germany

  • Comrade Stalin

    BfB:

    You don’t like America..Tough shit.

    Jesus, Bob. We’re talking about Europe and Turkey, and you use my opinions to suggest that I “don’t like America”. Well, you’re wrong there. I think the USA is great. I visit at least every two years, and I’ll be going to Las Vegas again this year. I like the place a lot. I have enough friends there to know that your ignorant and moronic perspective of life isn’t one that is universally shared by the people who live there.

    The USA has in many ways in the past made sacrifices to make life better for other people in different parts of the world. On many other occasions, it has conspired to make life worse for people in different parts of the world. Observing this fact doesn’t mean that I hate the country. It means that I disagree with aspects of it’s foreign policy, an opinion held my many Americans and an opinion that people are free to hold. I appreciate that you lack the intellectual depth to distinguish between disagreement between mature adults, and an irrational hatred for a foreign state, but I suggest that you spend some time doing a bit more reading and thinking.

    All my statements still stand about Turkey.

    But you won’t back them up. Funny that.

    Muslims murderers are vile and the sooner we blow them to allah the better.

    I think that all murderers are vile, not just muslims. Well over a million people are dead in Iraq. Isn’t that equally vile ? Or is murder only murder depending on whom you choose to worship ? In that case, what should we do about Christian murderers, such as those who blow up abortion clinics in the USA ?

    Silence is consent as far as the rest of the ‘moderates’ go.

    That’s Osama Bin Laden’s policy, and that’s how he justified the 9/11 attacks. It’s unsurprising to see that you and he are on the same page.

    Pull your head out of your ass and face reality.

    Facing it right now, pal. American foreign policy since 2001/02 has led directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, thousands of US soldiers (more US soldiers and contractors have died in Iraq than the total bodycount of 9/11) and it has increased international terrorism, and created more enemies – far from defeating them, it has created a hostile body politic in Iraq and is in the process of consolidating another one in Afghanistan.

    Stop fucking up other people’s countries.

    I have not defended Bush,

    Don’t give me that, you liar. You defended Bush wall-to-wall on all the threads about the US election. Want me to dig out quotes of you doing it ?

    ….he has been far to weak on crushing these islamic terrorists and the mexican invasion. Use your labels and motive assignments, can’t argue the truth.

    Your hatred of people based upon their religion and their race speaks for itself, and requires no comment from me.

  • BfB

    CS

    Your trainspotting rants make you look the fool. I don’t hate the murdering muslims. I want them dead before they kill more innocent people. Mostly fellow muslims btw. I hope you enjoy your trips to San Fransico. Your glazed eyed parroting of death tolls shows me where you get your facts. I presented evidence about Turkey, done with your ignorance of that. Your type of high on the hill, ‘nuetral’ observer crap sickens me. The US for all it’s faults is trying to protect itself. You and your nancy EU sisters can only fling witty rejoinders, with the usual fact denying essays. I say get off your coward asses and do something about these murdering menaces (who will gladly tell you in video and print what their intentions are) or go sip your toddies and shut the fuck up about those of us who are willing to sacrifise for a better world. You are a collossal twat. Really.
    Tsk, tsk.

  • BfB
  • BfB

    Your number 15 post is a really good example of how both US citizens like yourself and the followers of Bin Laden confuse cultural matters with the norms of islam. Historically in places like the part of Pakistan the people come from who are mentioned in the article you posted, it was necessary to survive for families to inter marry within one and another [the British royal family did this for centuries to increase its wealth] This has led to problems today when children are born, this is a cultural phenomena not one of religion..

    I do not believe people must travel to far flung countries before they comment on them, as to do so would exclude most debate, but if we are to understand peoples who adhere to a different faith or way of life to that of our own it helps to understand them.

    Unless you travelled over seas in the military, which is something different, I doubt you have been to many countries in which islam is the main faith, for if you had you would understand that the people in these nations are little different from ourself in their aspirations.

    Myself I believe all religion is a curse, but hell what do I know; and I have no wish to inflict my own prejudices on others. Perhaps you should lighten up and consider that when it comes to religion nothing is black and white and just as I know your somewhat strident opinions about muslims is not representative of all US citizens. You would do well to consider that the overwhelming majority of muslims have only contempt for bin Laden and those who advocate his views.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Your trainspotting rants make you look the fool. I don’t hate the murdering muslims.

    You don’t hate people you describe as “murdering” ? That’s very genial of you.

    I hope you enjoy your trips to San Fransico.

    So you’re a homophobe as well. It’s a real pretty picture we’re getting here.

    Your glazed eyed parroting of death tolls shows me where you get your facts.

    List the parts that you’re disputing, and we’ll sort it out.

    I presented evidence about Turkey, done with your ignorance of that.

    I wasn’t talking about Turkey. And you didn’t present any evidence to support your claims about the CDU.

    Your type of high on the hill, ‘nuetral’ observer crap sickens me. The US for all it’s faults is trying to protect itself.

    In what way did the Iraq invasion achieve that ?

    You and your nancy EU sisters can only fling witty rejoinders, with the usual fact denying essays.

    What you’re saying is that you can’t hack it when someone comes back at you with a reasoned argument. Why am I not surprised ?

    I say get off your coward asses and do something about these murdering menaces (who will gladly tell you in video and print what their intentions are) or go sip your toddies and shut the fuck up about those of us who are willing to sacrifise for a better world. You are a collossal twat. Really.

    Let’s talk about cowards, Bob. What military service have you done in Iraq or Afghanistan ?

  • BfB

    CS

    You’re full of it. Labels, motive assignment, stem to stern. You are a jellyfish. Well written, but spineless nonetheless. Tell me what I’m saying, swami.
    Tsk, tsk.
    I’m moving on. You stay in the clown car.

  • The Dubliner

    Girls, can we stay on topic?

    Vincent Browne has a great article in the SBP wherein he exposes the fraud that our politicians are attempting to perpetrate upon the people with this dismal treaty. He points out that we should not alter our fundamental rights without knowing exactly what we are altering and how we will be effected by the alterations, and that as we have no way of knowing exactly what we are altering, we should err on the side of caution and vote against the Reform Treaty:

    “Just think of the sheer outrageous arrogance of our betters who want us to go into the ballot boxes sheepishly and vote Yes to a treaty that we cannot possibly understand from the documentation they have made available.

    If you were asked by a bank manager or estate agent or solicitor to sign a form, wouldn’t you insist on knowing in advance what it was before doing so?

    Why, then, are we expected to approve a treaty that affects our Constitution (for if it didn’t affect our Constitution, we would not have to vote at all) without being able to understand what it is about, other than by trusting the word of these arrogant trick artists?

    I would bet my bottom dollar that not one of the following gang have a bull’s notion of what this treaty means article by article, for the good reason that it is literally incomprehensible: Bertie Ahern, Dermot Ahern, Brian Cowen, Dick Roche, Mary Harney, John Gormley, Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore and the rest. Even Alan Dukes – and even more Brendan Halligan (the guy who is chairman of the European Institute of European Affairs in North Great George’s Street, near where David Norris lives).

    The only responsible, sensible, reasonable, intelligent course of action to adopt is to vote No to this treaty on the grounds that we don’t know – and can’t know – what it means.”

  • ” we should err on the side of caution and vote against the Reform Treaty:”

    Dubliner,

    You have posted really informative good posts lately, thanks. I agree totally with the above, whilst being in favor of European integration this treaty is a step to far, as it puts the cart before the horse and Vincent is correct when he suggest the electorate err on the side of caution and vote against the Reform Treaty.

    Adter all there is no real hurry, lets democratize the EU before we go creating a post of President of Europe and signing documents like the Lisbon Treaty. The founders of the USA quite correctly cried no taxation without representation and it is time we Europeans took that cry up.

  • kensei

    The Dubliner

    Girls, can we stay on topic?

    Vincent Browne has a great article in the SBP wherein he exposes the fraud that our politicians are attempting to perpetrate upon the people with this dismal treaty. He points out that we should not alter our fundamental rights without knowing exactly what we are altering and how we will be effected by the alterations, and that as we have no way of knowing exactly what we are altering, we should err on the side of caution and vote against the Reform Treaty:

    I’d disagree with you that the EU is a Socialist plot (if anything, the changes it has produced have massively favoured capital) but this is 100% spot on.

    I have yet to hear a single case put for the treaty on its own merits. The arguments seem to be base don “not being left behind”, “embarrassing ourselves”, and vagaries about “needing to streamline”. I’m perfectly open to a reforming treaty if a case is made, but that sends big alarm bells ringing on my head.

    The most worrying on I heard was that changes could be made in Europe that would affect the Constitution without the need for a referendum in Ireland but I don’t know if it is true. That should be a deal killer for any serious repbublican and democrat.

  • The Dubliner

    Thanks for the kind words, Mick. While I think Vincent Browne’s argument is an irrefutable reason to vote No, I’d be against it even if the local government wasn’t trying to hoodwink the people as he exposed since I am against the EU having any role other than an advisory standards agency. Vincent has exposed the contempt in which the people are held by the EU and those domestic charlatans who proffer it as a source of lucrative careers for political hacks and expired prime ministers. As he points out, comprehension of the Reform Treaty is impossible without cross-referencing it to other treaties that have not been supplied for the purpose. So, clearly, the government expect the people to vote Yes without supplying them the information on which to base an informed decision, i.e. the treaties. They expect people to vote Yes just because they tell them to.

  • The Dubliner

    That’s right, Kensei – while an admirer of Charlie McCreevy, his argument that Ireland should vote Yes because if he voted No we would be “a laughing stock across Europe” was utter contemptible and puerile.

  • Belfast Dissenter

    None of the other governments will trust their own people to come up with the ‘right’ answer. When the good people of France and the Netherlands rejected the Euro-Constitution, its protagonists decided not to take that risk again. Lisbon is that Constitution reframed.
    Brown reneged on the Labour manifesto commitment to hold a referendum so the hopes of the peoples of Europe lies once again with the people of Ireland. Here’s hoping for a decisive No vote, even if it’s just for the fun of seeing the Leinster House establishment’s discomfort.