Four blokes and a website driving Republic into the No Camp?

Naoise Nunn of Libertas (and Slugger alumnus) was on the Today Programme this morning, and seemed to have entirely wiped the floor with Ruairi Quinn on the subject of the Lisbon Treaty referendum. The SuperCoalition (ie, the world, his wife and all their in-laws) lined up against Sinn Fein and a raft of tiny groups parties including Libertas (termed not entirely inaccurately as ‘four blokes and a website’ by Newton Emerson last week) is suffering a bit of a shock given the latest opinion poll has the No camp ahead by five points! The Taoiseach, was clearly not happy when the Irish Times informed him of the poll results:

“Please continue with our commitment to the European project. It is fundamentally in our interests to do so,” he told the electorate during an interview with RT?s Pat Kenny.

“The question of our taxation is not at issue here. We retain unanimous requirements for that to be changed. . . . We negotiated that and we were accommodated by the European Union,” he said.

“Secondly, in relation to these big lies about the Commission, for example . . . at the moment under the existing treaty in the Nice Treaty there is a commitment to reduce the number of commissioners. What we have achieved in this Treaty during our own presidency is the whole question of expressing equality of treatment for all countries in that respect.

“So Germany who used to have two will also be without one in one in every three commissions as will Ireland, which has four million people.

“In relation to neutrality, again our position is absolutely clear. It’s a unanimous requirement in relation to security and defence matters. We still have the triple lock for parliament and for Government approval and of course for UN sanction, and that’s all respected.”

Labour leader Eammon Gilmore cautioned people not to panic just yet:

We also need to retain a sense of perspective on the poll results. The numbers currently indicating that they will vote No (35%) is well below the numbers who actually voted No in the Nice I referendum in 2001 (54%) and even below the numbers who voted against Nice II (37%) in 2002,” he added.

“Clearly the 35 per cent that have still to make up their mind will be crucial to the outcome of the referendum. We now have a little less than a week to show them the very real benefits of a Yes and the potential negative consequences of a No vote.”

The worrying thing from the Yes Camp’s point of view is that the conversion rate of ‘Don’t knows’ to ‘Knows’ is running strictly in the Noes favour.

Tony at Achem One reckons (H/T Cian) that the big problem is not the ideologues who are agin it, but what he calls ‘the passive noes’:

The passive ‘No’ is a more worrying long term problem. This Treaty is no more complex than any of the previous Euro-referendums, but people are now complaining that they don’t understand it and must vote ‘No’. This fear of complexity didn’t arise in the past, because there was always some selling point for Ireland, and people focused on that rather than the fine detail.

Lisbon doesn’t have this headline selling point. It is an administrative treaty, whose main focus is on the inner workings of a body that is remote from the Irish people. Its complexity is not sinister, but we must take that on trust. In an era where our most successful party has traded on a dumbed down political discourse, such trust seems to be evaporating, and the level of passive negativity is surely a sign that the people are starting to question rather than blindly accept the party line.

Notwithstanding Tony’s point about this being a deeply unsexy, administrative treaty, I would add two things:

– There has also been little preparation done for this campaign on the part of the Super Coalition. Indeed they were still bickering over who would take the lead nearly 2 weeks into the campaign. Bertie’s great strategy of taking it quickly before the opposition could do anything about it now seems to be playing against them. One woman interviewed on The Politics Show last week (see below).

– And following on from that, the Libertas effort demonstrates that early entry, good organisation, sharp marshalling of PR, combined with the right opportunity (not to mention a decent whack of cash), asymmetrical campaigning can be extremely powerful. The attempt to take them out of the game (by everyone from the Irish Times, to the Sunday Independent, and even the Phoenix) was a bad case of a lunging late tackle.

And it seems to have hit the Irish establishment just where it hurts: right in the policy void that is the bickering cockpit of Irish politics.

, , , ,

  • George

    I said six months ago that my default position for EU referenda has always been yes and I needed to be convinced to vote no.

    It was the opposite for me this time around due to the complicated nature of this document and there has been virtually no effort to convince anyone of the merits of this Treaty.

    – No explanation of how it differs from the Constitution that the Dutch and French electorate rejected when given the chance (no second chance for them this time around I see). Does anyone know?

    – Pressure from the Yes side, verging on bullying of the electorate, that a no vote will be a disaster for Ireland without explaining why.

    – Arrogance beyond belief, putting down any questions or attacking doubters as xenophobes, Daily Mail lackies, reactionaries and anti-European.

    – No in-depth discussion on how this Charter might affect our Constitution.

    – No real detail on whether there will ever be another referendum or if Article 48 means that any future Treaty developments can simply be passed by the Dáil.

    I’m still in the no camp. When no other country in Europe is even allowed vote on the issue, I am doubly sceptical. Thank God for Dev and Crotty.

  • The European superstate project will hopefully meet its Waterloo next Thursday. Vote no to:

    Keep the Irish vetoes, especially over energy, health, cultural policy e.g. Irish language, tourism and sport, and the statutes of the ECJ and ECB. The former could lead to nuclear power being forced on Ireland, while the latter could lead to Ireland losing its representation on the ECJ and ECB in future.

    Keep the automatic right to referenda on major EU treaties. Article 48 makes the Treaty self-amending thus avoiding referenda via a “simplified revision process”.

    Keep our Commissioner.

    Keep our voting weight on the Council of Ministers which Lisbon reduces by 50% while doubling that of Germany, France, Italy, and the UK.

    Keep our sovereignty. We have little enough of it left. What was 1916 for if we give it all up now? Don’t trust venal “Yes” politicians as corrupt as those who voted for the Act of Union 1800 in the Irish Parliament.

  • Wilde Rover

    George,

    “No explanation of how it differs from the Constitution that the Dutch and French electorate rejected when given the chance (no second chance for them this time around I see). Does anyone know?”

    As far as I know, the difference is the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs will be called the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU flag, anthem, and motto are not mentioned in the Lisbon Treaty, as well as several other semantic changes.

    It’s a bit like returning food at a restaurant because it’s not up to scratch only to have the same food served to you after some of the veg have been moved around.

    “Pressure from the Yes side, verging on bullying of the electorate, that a no vote will be a disaster for Ireland without explaining why.”

    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso’s now infamous remarks about paying a price doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the type of Europe being constructed.

    “Arrogance beyond belief, putting down any questions or attacking doubters as xenophobes, Daily Mail lackies, reactionaries and anti-European.”

    The new polls showing the No side in the lead seems to have put the Yes side into a corner. It’s only a matter of time before the mental state of those considering a No vote is called into question.

    But the most laughable talking point for the Yes side is the line of reasoning that says there can be no Plan B because of the fact that the people of Europe could never agree on anything and that the only way to work things is to have a tiny elite coming together to decide everything.

    It is ironic that while the Yes side claim those on the No side have a nineteenth century mindset they have to resort to the defence once used by kings to argue why constitutional republics could never work.

    “No in-depth discussion on how this Charter might affect our Constitution.”

    My understanding is, and I would love to stand corrected, that if Lisbon is passed then the only thing Bunreacht na hEireann would be useful for is fuel for a bonfire in the Phoenix Park to mark the death of the republic.

    “Thank God for Dev and Crotty.”

    Two great servants of the republic.

  • Paddy Matthews

    And following on from that, the Libertas effort demonstrates that early entry, good organisation, sharp marshalling of PR, combined with the right opportunity (not to mention a decent whack of cash), asymmetrical campaigning can be extremely powerful. The attempt to take them out of the game (by everyone from the Irish Times, to the Sunday Independent, and even the Phoenix) was a bad case of a lunging late tackle.

    Sorry, Mick, but why exactly is it unfair to ask questions about an organisation that appears out of nowhere with a “decent whack of cash”, as to:

    1. what exactly that organisation stands for,
    2. what its associations are, and
    3. where that “decent whack of cash” is coming from?

    It’s called investigative journalism and the pity is that we don’t have more of it.

    I think you’re allowing your slip to show here.

  • Wilde Rover

    Paddy Mattews,

    “It’s called investigative journalism and the pity is that we don’t have more of it.
    I think you’re allowing your slip to show here.”

    All valid questions but I think it’s a bit rich to leave that at the door of Mick. Considering the fact that publications like the Irish Times are so concerned with recent poll numbers, perhaps the question might be better put to them.

    Surely if there is dirt then the onus should be on those who provide media that one pays for to send out the investigative journalists.

    Or could they also be considered to be “in on it”?

  • Mick Fealty

    Paddy,

    Did I say it was unfair? The investigation is good. And it should continue beyond the poll outcome.

    It’s just that it’s a late tackle; if you follow the link you’ll see why I take that view.

    In my view the Yes side ignored the need to make a case, and thought they’d get away with saying nothing.

    Well, it might work. But it doesn’t look like it.

  • henry

    “…including Libertas (termed not entirely inaccurately as ‘four blokes and a website’ by Newton Emerson last week).”

    Yeah, sure it is.
    I doubt I’ve seen a more childishly inaccurate description of any group taking part in this campaign.

  • Mark McGregor

    I welcome the fact Libertas has had an impact on the No campaign though for me it is suggesting the right response for the wrong reasons. What I find entirely predictable is the media latching on to a small but vocal pressure group while ignoring the real work being put in on the ground by a broad coalition of left and progressive groups. Groups like the CAEUC have set the ground work in communities for years but the mass media focuses on a campaign by a small right-wing pressure group ignoring it was the left that hit the doors, held the meetings and did the propaganda as always. If the vote goes No it’ll be presented as a Libertas victory when from the demographic breakdown of polls so far it isn’t the right and business class of Libertas that is making the major gains and impact.

  • Dave

    “The question of our taxation is not at issue here. We retain unanimous requirements for that to be changed. . . . We negotiated that and we were accommodated by the European Union,” he said.

    This from a man who admitted that he hasn’t read the Lisbon Treaty!

    One of Ireland’s top economists, Professor Ray Kinsella, Chair of Banking and Financial Services at UCD, has stated that the Lisbon Treaty presents “a clear and present danger” to Ireland’s tax sovereignty even if a veto is retained. He said that Ireland’s corporation tax rate of 12.5% would be “harmonised out of existence” in the short term by “real politic” and that the inevitable consequence would be tens of thousands of job losses as businesses relocate to lower wage economies within Europe due to tax harmonisation measures. Yet the warning from this senior economist was almost completely ignored by the Irish media.

    Professor Kinsella is absolutely correct. Article 113 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union means that the European Court of Justice will have sovereignty over Ireland’s corporation tax policy if it decides that our low tax policy creates a “distortion of competition” within the EU. An example of that “real politic” is that under the Common Consolidated Tax Base proposals a percentage of tax revenue will be paid in the country that the goods are sold to (as opposed to the country where the goods are sold from), so that will result in a shortfall of corporation taxes for the country that exports the goods. Since Ireland exports the goods that foreign companies located here to manufacture due to our low tax rate, that shortfall in tax revenue post-CCTB can only be compensated for by upward mobility in our corporation tax rate, thereby forcing harmonisation upon us. As we raise our tax rate, those companies that located here to take advantage of it will no longer have a reason to stay here. Indeed, they’ll find that our minimum wage rates (which are amongst the highest in the world) simply cannot compete with other countries in the EU which have much lower wage rates. So corporation taxes will be forced upwards and wage rates will be forced downwards. That is the exact reality that will transpire, and those who claim otherwise are deluded about the power of the veto to alter the real politic of it.

    Politicians look upon Europe as a source of jobs for the boys. Those quislings don’t give a toss about the national interest.

  • New Red C poll:

    Yes 42% (+1)
    No 39% (+6)

    6/7s of the DKs who decided went into the no camp. That’s why I think the Treaty will be defeated 51-49 on Thursday if the trend continues. I’m voting no.

  • abucs

    Thanks for the info Dave.

    One worry i have is that it is only in Ireland that there is a referendum.

    From the outside, it looks like the internal mechanisms of the future EU are increasingly being put together in a very undemocratic and political elitist way.

  • Greenflag

    Ireland has 1% of the EU population. Much of our prosperity and economic growth over the past 40 plus years of membership has been because of our EU membership. I do not wish to see Europe returning to what it was in the early 20th century or in ‘imperial ‘era of competing powers.

    In a global trade context Europe needs to hang together. When I see the forces who are lined up advocating a NO vote i.e The Sunday Times and SF (strange bedfellows eh ?) I’ll be voting ‘yes’ not because I have no reservatins about Brussels ‘democracy’ but because I believe to do otherrwise is not in our longer term economic interest.

  • The video End of nations exposing the New World Order and the Lisbon Treaty is great even if the Dublin accent on the narrator lacks that Dawrt quality.
    Lisbon will give the Franco-German alliance and the anonymous mandarins a veto. The New World Order do not believe in demos, the people.

    Dev’s Constitution should never have been amended. Crotty is a hero, no question.

  • Dave

    “Ireland has 1% of the EU population.”

    And if the Lisbon Treaty, Ireland will have 0.8% of control over a raft of policy making areas is passed that it should have 100% control over.

    Democracy in the state should mean that power is exercised by the people who are elected by, and accountable to, the people. Ireland is our democratic state, not the EU. We should not surrender national sovereignty and the power to formulate national policies to an emerging super state that is not our state.

    It doesn’t matter that Irish people make up 0.8% of Europe anymore than it matters that Irish people make up 0.06% of Earth. That only matters if you believe that we are all citizens of Earth or are all citizens of Europe, and that the nation state is obsolete.

    You might be a craven surrender monkey who believes that Irish people – or the citizens of other nation states on the continent of Europe – have no right to determine their own destiny, but kindly do not inflict your dismal disposition on others.

    “Much of our prosperity and economic growth over the past 40 plus years of membership has been because of our EU membership.”

    Utter tosh. The total amount that Ireland received in funds from the EU over 35 years of membership does not even amount to a quarter of this year’s GDP. It was NEVER into double digits as a percentage of GDP and averaged less than 3%. That means that 97% of GDP have fuck all to do with the EU. Indeed, over 90% of the funds that Ireland received from the EU went straight to the farmers. We have given more to the EU than we have taken out of it – ask the Irish fishermen who is taking billions of Euros worth of stock out of Irish territorial waters every year.

    “I do not wish to see Europe returning to what it was in the early 20th century or in ‘imperial ‘era of competing powers.”

    More garbage. The two world wars that Europe experienced were caused by imperialism, not nationalism. The EU is imperialism by other means. If it forms a superstate, it will likely pursue its aggressively expansionist agenda by violent means. The difference then will be that the members states that were stripped of their sovereignty in order to engineer the EU superstate will be powerless to oppose any wars that the EU superstate wishes to engage in – and the citizens of those states will be members of the EU’s army, so they will directly involved in those wars whether they like it or not.

    “In a global trade context Europe needs to hang together.”

    Do you mean it needs to aggressively promote its own selfish interests against the other nation states of the world who have not merged into a new superstate? Trade wars and other wars and such? Well done. Now you are beginning to see that the EU doesn’t mean the end of the 195 nation states in the world and a new world order: it simply means the end of the nation state for its current member states and the creation of a larger nation state that will be aligned against the other nation states and against the 93% of the world’s population who live within a nation state that is other than the EU’s super state.

    “When I see the forces who are lined up advocating a NO vote i.e The Sunday Times and SF (strange bedfellows eh ?) I’ll be voting ‘yes’ …”

    And when I see national sovereignty, independence, and the right to self-determination thrown away on the basis of that fatally flawed ‘logic’ I wonder if the men of 1916 would laugh or cry.

  • Dave

    Typo: “And if the Lisbon Treaty [i]is passed[/i], Ireland will have 0.8% of control over a raft of policy making areas is passed that it should have 100% control over. “

  • Dave

    Err, I’ll try that again: “Typo: “And if the Lisbon Treaty is passed, Ireland will have 0.8% of control over a raft of policy-making areas that it should have 100% control over.”

  • POL

    Just like in the past, if its defeated then it will be presented again very soon after a media blitz of how we`ve shot ourselves in the foot.

  • Isn’t it grand how the New World Order don’t take no for an answer? I wonder who will lead the 2016 Easter parade down Sackville St. Mr Pussy perhaps?

  • http://www.wiseupjournal.com/

    The video information etc are available from this site. Liberatas screwing up the Louth Dublin game with their airforce is not a bright idea.

  • Although I think the Repuiblic voting No would be the shortest political and diplomatic suicide note in history, just looking at the posters between Dublin and Ballinasloe this weekend makes me think the No-ers are the better organised camp.

    ‘No’ posters have succinct pithy messages linked to direct consequences of the treaty. These might be bullshit, but the marketing is good.

    ‘Yes’ posters have waffle superimposed on pictures of ugly middle-aged men. You get the impression the Yes campaign are more about not being lynched by Biffo/Enda/Eamonn for not pulling your weight if the vote goes the wrong way.

  • BfB

    ‘The Taoiseach accused the No campaign of “sheer inaccuracy and absurdity” and said Ireland could not get a better deal than the one on offer.’
    Looks like you’ve got yourself a real appeaser in the the slot there. I didn’t know Ireland had to deal at all. Cowen
    is mooing for the eurocrats right out of the box… .. Vote no, or the real mess is just beginning. Screw with the hamsters and you’ll get yours..
    Things will get worse when you are ultimately absorbed by the euborg.. you beta males are no match for these wankers…’A right wing Dutch MP has called for the youths to be deported.’
    Racist bastard…
    Welcome to the eu bhoys…….;-0

  • Hints for Happy Living No. 666: Save time when reading Bob from Boston posts on Slugger by just memorising his previous comment and mentally rehashing it when you see ‘BfB’ pop up in red lettering. He just repeats the same things over and over again anyway.

  • Janus Hansen

    As danish I will beg you Irish people NOT to vote yes for the Lisbon Treaty.

    The European politicians is only interesting in two things:

    1. To put more money in their pockets
    2. To create culture conflicts

    Please vote NO, because there will be noway back.

    J. Hansen
    Copenhagen/Denmark

  • Sammy: Do you support bashing up gay Dutch guys? Or stabbing them? Why does Israel not have open borders?
    There is a new world order being shaped and regional consuls like Berie Ahern, Colm O’Gorman and Prionsias de Rossa get their cut. Just as the Roman Empire had some good points, so alsoc does the New World Order. But it ain’t demo-cracy, rule by the demos, the people. Perhaps that is ok?

  • Sir Basil Rosemary

    “That means that 97% of GDP have fuck all to do with the EU.”

    Is only 3% of Ireland’s trade with the EU.

    Sinn Fein’s website urges us to vote no telling us that it would be ironic if Europe’s “first colony” became her “last democracy”.

    Are Sinn Fein unaware of the existence of the Roman Empire?

    The idiocy and ignorance of the “No” camp is embarrassing enough. The capacity of the Irish elctorate to swallow the No camp’s bilious bullshit doubly so.

  • Garibaldy

    Basil,

    Don’t you know history started in 1169?

  • The No vote have it right. The more power the facless, unelected Eurocrats get, the worse for democracy. There is not even a copy of the so called Constitution available, only amendments thereto.
    Britons never never shall be slaves.

    What a joke.

    Mind you, the UK Independence Party speak well. Maybe the nutcases here think they are SFIRA as well.

  • Sir Basil Rosemary

    “There is not even a copy of the so called Constitution available”

    Here you are sweetie.

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:2007:306:SOM:EN:HTML

    Or is your objection that the Treaty of Lisbon is not the whole constitution in itself, but is rather, limited to those features of the proposed Constitution which represent a change to the provisions of previous treaties?

    If so perhaps you should direct your ire to those who would claim that to set the entire rule book in one document, or to even use the very word constitution, would be a declaration of statehood it itself.

  • Dave

    Garibaldy, will you follow Greenflag’s logic and contrarily vote ‘Yes’ because people you don’t like are voting ‘No’?

    John Bolton, Neocon hawk and a former US ambassador to the UN, said that he couldn’t understand why the Irish people want to give “more powers to bureaucrats.”

    “The only people you elect have a very limited role and I think this treaty will further enhance the power of institutions in Brussels without extending democratic authority to people.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/2094840/John-Bolton-Lisbon-Treaty-will-undermine-democracy.html

    Democracy should not be rented out to the EU but should mean – in accoradance with its proper definition – that power is exercised by the people on behalf of the people. Clearly, transfering power to the EU wherein we will have 0.8% control over the exercise of that power on our behalf instead of 100% control is not democracy under any proper definition. Do we believe in democracy or not? We’ll soon find out.

  • Sir Basil Rosemary

    John Bolton’s principal objection is this;

    “the new Treaty could hurt the military alliance between Europe and the US.”

    John Bolton opposes any potential threat or alternative to the US’s current military hegenomy. John Bolton sees that threat in the developing competence and reach of the European Union.

  • “Or is your objection that the Treaty of Lisbon is not the whole constitution in itself, but is rather, limited to those features of the proposed Constitution which represent a change to the provisions of previous treaties?”

    The Irish in the 26 cos (an important point given SFIRA’s speel) are voting on the amendments to the Constitution. The amendmenrs should be inserted into the document and the document seen as a whole. The amendments only make sense if inserted into the original document and displaying them (with smaller fonts) is a con job.

    The Danish MEP featured on End of Nations was very convincing in regardto pointing out the Eurocrats’ tricks.

    The USA is not a democracy, rule by the people; it is a republic, set up by Freemasons (50 of the 56 signatories to the US Delcaration of Independence were Masons, modeled on Greco- Roman 666 lines. Jesus is not mentioned anywhere in the US Constitution though the Neocons have a point, even though they are not democrats (except in Kuwait, S Arabia and other oil rich emerging democracies).

  • Wilde Rover

    Sir Basil Rosemary,

    “The idiocy and ignorance of the “No” camp is embarrassing enough. The capacity of the Irish elctorate to swallow the No camp’s bilious bullshit doubly so.”

    Yes, the No side do seem to be coming out with a lot of shite that has nothing to do with the treaty. But you make it seem like the Yes side are just trying to get their message out.

    It’s a constitution dressed up as a treaty. A constitution that has already been rejected by two other member states.

    So the bullshit is flying thick and fast from both sides but one of the main differences is that the Yes side keep calling the electorate stupid.

    Good luck with that.

  • Dave

    “But you make it seem like the Yes side are just trying to get their message out.”

    That’s the de facto policy of how the 50/50 balance rule within RTE is to be manipulated in favour of those who support the transfer more sovereign powers to the EU. The ‘No’ side is presented as proffering bogus information that is designed to mislead the public and the ‘Yes’ side is presented as correcting the mistruths and clarifying the muddied waters left by the ‘No’ side. It is done with subtle comments by the presenters such as “But as [pro-treaty spokesperson] pointed out, this would not be the case…” etc.

  • Greenflag

    Dave

    ‘Ireland should have 100% control over’.

    Get real . No country on the planet has 100% control over it’s economy .Even the mighty USA is unable to insulate it’s huge economy from world competition. What chance Ireland .

    ‘Ireland is our democratic state, not the EU.’

    The Irish people voted by a large majority to join the EU in 1973 IIRC . They would do so again tomorrow .

    ‘The total amount that Ireland received in funds from the EU over 35 years of membership does not even amount to a quarter of this year’s GDP.’

    The benefits Ireland has accrued from EU membership go a lot further than ‘EU funds transfers’. Compare Ireland’s Trade statistics in 2008 with those of 1973 . We have erased our virtual complete dependence on the UK economy from taking 90% of our exports to a figure less than 25% . We also benefit from being part of the EURO. The European Central Bank recently celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in Frankfurt and the Euro continues to grow in strength as a ‘reserve currency’ if the time should come given the insane policies of the USA neo cons who having burnt the ‘american house ‘ down 7 years ago now are trying to convince the world that the fires they started can’t be put out . Where is Mr Murdoch he of the ‘the good thing about a future Iraq War will be it will bring oil down to 20 dollars a barrel ‘ ? Where indeed ?

    I’ll be voting Yes not simply because SF and the British Sunday Times are pushing a NO vote but because the vast majority of EU countries have voted for this Treaty through their democratic representatives . I look forward to an EU that will eventually absorb the newly established Balkan States and the Ukraine and hopefully in time even Russia .

    ‘I wonder if the men of 1916 would laugh or cry.’

    They lived in a ‘different’ world -quite possibly the one you still inhabit. PS the rest of us have moved on .

  • Garibaldy

    Dave,

    I have no vote in the free state. But if I did I would of course vote no. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day etc

  • Greenflag: I note how you disparage the men of 1916 and I suppose the BNP have their rights too.
    However, the era of 1916 (when the Irish never had it so good) is not the right analogy. Norway,. Switzerland and other modern states with EU market access is the right one. Francce and Germany are poorer per cap than those countries.

    Any particular reason why you support the New World Order? Napoleon and Hitler did.

  • Greenflag

    ‘John Bolton, Neocon hawk and a former US ambassador to the UN, said that he couldn’t understand why the Irish people want to give “more powers to bureaucrats.”’

    Another of Bush’s gobshites who helped push the USA into a totally unnecessary war in Iraq and caused the deaths of 4, 500 US military and 300,000 ? Iraqis and who have delivered the world economy oil heading for 150 dollars a barrel .

    Mr Bolton has demonstrated that there is little he understood prior to the Iraqi war and it seems he understands even less now!

    When we look at the comparative strengths of ‘democratic ‘ values as between the USA and the EU countries the vast majority of Europeans prefer their ‘form ‘ of democracy to the present American model . Can anyone imagine the Germans or French or the Swedes or the Dutch putting up with a ‘health care system ‘ like the USA’s ?
    Even the English would long since have taken to the streets .

  • earnan

    Hitler’s New World Order was a very different one from that which is being talked about here.

  • Greenflag

    dave

    ‘I note how you disparage the men of 1916 ‘

    Then your ‘noting ‘ is not up to shite. I did not disparage the men of 1916 . Pointing out that 1916 is not 2008 is not disparagement . It’s a fact of life . The men of 1916 fought for an independent Ireland at that time . That period and the 50 years prior to it were a time when many of europe’s smaller countries endevoured to escape from their forced inclusion in the various European Empire States . The Irish people just like the Scots and Welsh did not have a choice in joining the British Union . We did have a choice when the time came to join the EU .

    ‘Norway,. Switzerland and other modern states with EU market access is the right one.’

    Ireland is not Norway and neither is it Switzerland . The Norwegians have millions of barrels in oil reserves . The Swiss have a 500 year old ‘banking ‘ system and tradition of investing most of Europe’s aristocracie’s ill gotten gains over centuries .

  • Janus Hansen

    This is the New World Order in Scandinavian

    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1300

  • Any particular reason why you support the New World Order?

    Because the men in the black helicopters implanted a microchip in my brain which will blow me up if I fail to follow the commands of my masters in the NWO.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Any particular reason why you support the New World Order? Napoleon and Hitler did. ‘

    The fact that you compare Napper and Adolf is testimony to your historical ignorance. Napoleon ‘liberated’ the Jews of Europe -abolished the Spanish Office of the Inquisition and overall brought much needed reform to a Europe which was still in thrall to degenerate aristocracies and medieval minded churchmen .

    Hitler’s ‘New Order’ was based on pseudo racist gobshittery that ensured the 1,000 years Reich lasted 12 years.

    Your references to the New World Order are a strong indication that you are a reader of many of those toilet tissue American publications that tell us that the Beast of Revelation is centred on Rome and that the EU is the Anti Christ.

    The EU is an experiment in multi national democracy . Germans , French , English , Czechs and Spanish and Irish are capable of having a ‘dual ‘ or even triple ‘ nationality in many different combinations . British , Irish and European for one , French Corsican and European , Dane , Scandinavian and European etc.

  • Greenflag

    sammy morse,

    ‘Because the men in the black helicopters implanted a microchip in my brain which will blow me up if I fail to follow the commands of my masters in the NWO.’

    Thanks for reminding me . I’d forgotten that one 🙂

    I suppose I should’nt mention that I have close ties with the Free Masons and that’s my other reason 🙂

  • Sir Basil Rosemary

    ‘Norway,. Switzerland and other modern states with EU market access is the right one.’

    Don’t the Norweigians describe their peripheral position as a “fax democracy”; ever ready to adopt the next piece of common market legislation, so to ensure that their trading standards remain aligned with those of their neighbours?

  • Greenflag

    janus hansen,

    Thanks for the link – Interesting read . I’ll tepl later when I can get some time to absorb the info .

  • Sir Basil Rosemary

    Tepl?

    Humanist poet Johannes von Tepl?

    “Technology Enhanced Professional Learning”?

  • Janus Hansen

    Greenflag

    You’re welcome. The worst women in Scandinavian is the Norwegian and Swedish women (social feminism) At least Danish women has open their eyes, perhaps because Denmark is the most closest country against the Muslims in Europe and the danish women has realized the problems.

    Janus Hansen/Copenhagen/Denmark

  • Dave

    “Even a stopped clock is right twice a day…” – Garibaldy

    Unless it’s a 24-hour clock. 😉

    [i]‘Ireland should have 100% control over’.

    Get real . No country on the planet has 100% control over it’s economy .Even the mighty USA is unable to insulate it’s huge economy from world competition. What chance Ireland . [/i]

    Truncating a sentence in order to wilfully misrepresent its meaning is a bit devious, isn’t it?

    “And if the Lisbon Treaty, Ireland will have 0.8% of control over a raft of policy making areas is passed that it should have 100% control over. Democracy in the state should mean that power is exercised by the people who are elected by, and accountable to, the people. Ireland is our democratic state, not the EU. We should not surrender national sovereignty and the power to formulate national policies to an emerging super state that is not our state.”

    Does it say that we should have 100% over world affairs? No, dunce, it doesn’t: it means we should retain sovereignty in the formulation of our economic policy instead of allowing others to formulate our economic policy for us. Naturally that economic policy is a response to market forces. Because some of those market forces within the global market are beyond our control does not means that our response to them should also be beyond our own control. This is the same crazy ‘logic’ you applied earlier in regard to your contrary voting. 😉

    [i]‘Ireland is our democratic state, not the EU.’

    The Irish people voted by a large majority to join the EU in 1973 IIRC . They would do so again tomorrow .[/i]

    Is the Lisbon Treaty a vote on our membership of the EU? It isn’t, so what are you blathering on about? The vote is about whether or not we yield more of our sovereignty to the EU, allowing others to exercise that sovereignty rather than exercising it ourselves.

    [i]The benefits Ireland has accrued from EU membership go a lot further than ‘EU funds transfers’. [/i]

    Those benefits are available to any country that sells goods to member states. It isn’t necessary to trade sovereignty in order to trade within the EU, kid.

    [i]They lived in a ‘different’ world -quite possibly the one you still inhabit. PS the rest of us have moved on .[/i]

    The ‘rest of us’ still believe in democracy, self-determination, independence and sovereignty. You might have moved backwards to believing that you have no right to those things, but your surrender monkey mentality is not shared by the majority. No one agrees to yield on those fundamental principles, and were they put to a vote instead of being pilfered by degrees and by stealth by the EU, then the Irish people would vote overwhelmingly to retain them. Just as brave men of principle have died to those beliefs before, they will die for them again.

  • Sir Basil Rosemary

    “It isn’t necessary to trade sovereignty in order to trade within the EU, kid.”

    It is. You can either trade it voluntarily by being part of the team that sets the standards issued by the EU or you can stand on the sidelines and just accept that adhering to them is the price of trading both with the EU, and increasingly, with the rest of the world.

    An article from the economist;

    “How the European Union is becoming the world’s chief regulator

    A VICTORY for consumers and the free market. That was how the European Commission presented this week’s ruling by European judges in favour of its multi-million euro fine on Microsoft for bullying competitors. American observers had qualms. Would a French company have been pursued with such vigour? Explain again why a squabble among American high-technology firms ends up being decided in Brussels and Luxembourg (where Euro-judges sit)? One congressman muttered about sneaky protectionism and “zealous European Commission regulators”. It certainly seemed zealous of the competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, to say that a “significant drop” in the software giant’s market share was “what we’d like to see”.

    More broadly, the ruling confirms that Brussels is becoming the world’s regulatory capital. The European Union’s drive to set standards has many causes—and a protectionist impulse within some governments (eg, France’s) may be one. But though the EU is a big market, with almost half a billion consumers, neither size, nor zeal, nor sneaky protectionism explains why it is usurping America’s role as a source of global standards. A better answer lies in transatlantic philosophical differences.

    The American model turns on cost-benefit analysis, with regulators weighing the effects of new rules on jobs and growth, as well as testing the significance of any risks. Companies enjoy a presumption of innocence for their products: should this prove mistaken, punishment is provided by the market (and a barrage of lawsuits). The European model rests more on the “precautionary principle”, which underpins most environmental and health directives. This calls for pre-emptive action if scientists spot a credible hazard, even before the level of risk can be measured. Such a principle sparks many transatlantic disputes: over genetically modified organisms or climate change, for example.

    In Europe corporate innocence is not assumed. Indeed, a vast slab of EU laws evaluating the safety of tens of thousands of chemicals, known as REACH, reverses the burden of proof, asking industry to demonstrate that substances are harmless. Some Eurocrats suggest that the philosophical gap reflects the American constitutional tradition that everything is allowed unless it is forbidden, against the Napoleonic tradition codifying what the state allows and banning everything else.

    Yet the more proscriptive European vision may better suit consumer and industry demands for certainty. If you manufacture globally, it is simpler to be bound by the toughest regulatory system in your supply chain. Self-regulation is also a harder sell when it comes to global trade, which involves trusting a long line of unknown participants from far-flung places (talk to parents who buy Chinese-made toys).

    A gripping new book* by an American, Mark Schapiro, captures the change. When he began his research, he found firms resisting the notion that the American market would follow EU standards for items like cosmetics, insisting that their American products were already safe. But as the book neared completion, firm after firm gave in and began applying EU standards worldwide, as third countries copied European rules on things like suspected carcinogens in lipstick. Even China is leaning to the European approach, one Procter & Gamble executive tells Mr Schapiro, adding wistfully: “And that’s a pretty big country.”

    The book records similar American reactions to the spread of EU directives insisting that cars must be recycled, or banning toxins such as lead and mercury from electrical gadgets. Obey EU rules or watch your markets “evaporating”, a computer industry lobbyist tells Mr Schapiro. “We’ve been hit by a tsunami,” says a big wheel from General Motors. American multinationals that spend money adjusting to European rules may lose their taste for lighter domestic regulations that may serve only to offer a competitive advantage to rivals that do not export. Mr Schapiro is a campaigner for tougher regulation of American business. Yet you do not have to share his taste for banning chemicals to agree with his prediction that American industry will want stricter standards to create a level playing-field at home.

  • Sir Basil Rosemary

    Part Two

    Winning the regulatory race

    One American official says flatly that the EU is “winning” the regulatory race, adding: “And there is a sense that that is their precise intent.” He cites a speech by the trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, claiming that the export of “our rules and standards around the world” was one source of European power. Noting that EU regulations are often written with the help of European incumbents, the official also claims that precaution can cloak “plain old-fashioned protectionism in disguise”.

    Europe had no idea the rest of the world was going to copy its standards, retorts a Eurocrat sweetly. “It’s a very pleasant side-effect, but we set out to create the legislation we thought that Europe needed.” At all events, America’s strategy has changed. Frontal attempts to block new EU regulations are giving way to efforts to persuade Brussels to adopt a more American approach to cost-benefit analysis. That would placate students of rigour, who accuse some European governments of ignoring scientific data and pandering to consumer panic (as shown by European campaigns against “Frankenstein foods”).

    But rigour can quickly look like rigidity when it involves resisting competition. There is a genuine competition to set global regulatory standards, as Europe and America have discovered. There are also rising protectionist pressures. Perhaps zealous EU regulators may be what jumpy consumers need if they are to keep faith with free trade and globalisation. Viewed in such a light, even Microsoft’s champions might hope that this week’s verdict will help global competition in future.”

  • Janus Hansen

    Sir Basil Rosemary

    With Odin and Thor. Could you please and make your political messages shorter?

    Janus Hansen/Copenhagen/Denmark

  • Dave

    Basil, a European standards agency is a great idea. Indeed, countries even shared standards for the supply and manufacture of goods before the EU… go figure, eh?

    However, there is a big difference between coperating on common standards and merging into a common country with a common army, common parliment, common laws, common constitution, etc. The latter is being used as the pretext to engineer the former.

    We need to return the EU to first principles: that it is a common market for a group of coperating nation states and must not become a country.

  • Sir Basil Rosemary

    Sorry Mr Hansen.

    I thought to add a link to the article but I was worried that you (or other readers) might not have access to the economist’s subscriber services.

    Dave,

    Perhaps you are right. There is an argument for a Europe that is, more explicitly, a set of overlapping institutions – an economic union, a union of borders, a union of mutual-defence; membership of one neither requiring nor dictating membership of another.

    Can you honestly say though that the various opt-outs and vetos remaining to Ireland do not have the same effect? You imply that Ireland’s membership of a customs union which uses (to facilitate a larger membership) more majority voting, demands that it also join a future defence union.

    Beyond her contribution to the Nordic battlegroup, only to be used in UN missions, I see little evidence of this “threat”.

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    ‘The ‘rest of us’ still believe in democracy, self-determination, independence and sovereignty.’

    So who exactly is this us ? Who do you speak for other than yourself ? The UK Independence party?

    Many will be so unconcerned about Thursday’s vote that 40% will probably not even make it to the polling booth . The majority will go the Yes vote despite the efforts of Mr Adams and his assorted supporters .

    All of the EU nations have ratified the Treaty of Lisbon and Ireland won’t be an exception.

    This is not the Eurovision song contest!

  • Greenflag

    Tepl?

    Humanist poet Johannes von Tepl?

    “Technology Enhanced Professional Learning”?

    Leider nicht 🙂

    Dyslexia mixed with speed (the no time variety and a persistent obstinacy to use spell checker )

    Excellent points re EU regulatory standards winning the global competition race.

    ‘In Europe corporate innocence is not assumed.’

    The US Lead industry got away for decades poisoning it’s workforce . And would still be at it were it not for the efforts of one Clair Patterson.

    Before 1923 there was almost no lead in the atmosphere . The USA banned the use of lead in indoor paints 44 years after most of Europe . Even lead solder -highly toxic was not removed from American food containers until 1993.

    There are many other examples out there of of ‘corporate’ greed . I believe the American consumer is discovering the hard way that europeans are better protected from corporate greed than they are.

  • BfB

    ‘Another of Bush’s gobshites who helped push the USA into a totally unnecessary war in Iraq and caused the deaths of 4, 500 US military and 300,000 ? Iraqis and who have delivered the world economy oil heading for 150 dollars a barrel .’

    He is a great man with the guts to tell it like it is. Causing liars like you to spin into the ground. And, as usual your numbers are wrong, wrong, wrong…

    Tsk, tsk…
    Do you’re homework, or stay a whinging, desk thumping liberal.

  • Greenflag

    Bfb,

    ‘as usual your numbers are wrong, wrong, wrong…’

    Naw I just left out some few numbers which you normally choose to blissfully ignore . The 2 to 3 million Iraqi refugees forced to flee their country as a result of the American invasion- also the 10,000 plus Americans seriously injured many crippled for life and not least the 40 to 50,000 US soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or the huge increase in suicides in the US military .

    Never in the history of the United States has it had such an incompetent -fiscally improvident administration nor one with such an idiotic foreign policy .

    ‘He is a great man with the guts to tell it like it is’

    I’m not doubting his guts. It’s the ‘organ’ that operates his thinking process that’s been the problem .

  • Don’t the Norweigians describe their peripheral position as a “fax democracy”; ever ready to adopt the next piece of common market legislation

    I remember feeling sorry for the Norwegians during tedious negotiations on arcane points of policy at the Justus Lipsius Building. The had a seat at the table, and to stay part of the internal market they had to implement what we decided. They could speak, but they had no vote and with no vote they had no horse-trading power, which was a pity as they usually spoke sense.

    The annoying thing about the Libertas campaign is the focus on the loss of a Commissioner. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s very smart politics. Every other fringe group have a paranoid conspiracy theory from the EU wanting to privatise everything and export your job to India to the EU wanting to give 14 year old girls compulsory practical sex education lessons. Libertas had the wit not to present the EU as the end of the anarcho-capitalist state, but to focus on the issue of losing the Commissioner. This is a concrete loss; the Yes campaign have put before the public no concrete counter, just a load of waffle and bluster.

    Smart referendum politics though it is, anyone who thinks all 27 EU countries should get a Commissioner of right needs their head examined. Do all 50 US States get a member of the US Cabinet? The same people campaigning in favour of 27 Commissioners (could be 35 by 2020) are usually the first to complain about ever sprawling bureaucracy.

    Irish soft power is one of the most remarkable things about the EU. A country with less than 1% if the EU population gets what it wants 90% of the time through a combination of good PR, speaking the lingua franca as natives, having a suitably sexy revolutionary history and getting Hungarians and Portuguese drunk in the James Joyce, and then having Dutch university students write essays about how they do it.

    No country has less to fear from losing an automatic Commission place. But equally no country has more to lose by polluting its brand with its partners. It’s a small step from being the EU’s golden boy with the cutesy revolutionary past to being typical Eurosceptic Anglophones.

    I’m far from a big fan of the Lisbon Treaty, but some institutional reform needed to happen post-enlargement and it’s better than doing nothing. The way the Commission and many member states behaved after the French and Dutch referenda was a case of the hysterical crossed with the delusional. If Ireland was going to vote No with a chance of the French and Dutch, not to mention Brits, Danes and Swedes, doing the same thing, I’d be tempted to vote No just to force a necessary crisis to force genuinely democratising reforms through the Union. But voting No when 24 other countries have already given it the nod is diplomatic suicide.

    In fact, the No campaigners urging people to vote No to ‘keep our clout in Europe’ are probably the most delusional people I’ve seen in action for a long time.

  • Garibaldy

    “Do all 50 US States get a member of the US Cabinet?”

    You’re not just that the EU is about to become a federal state as a result of this treaty Sammy, are you?

  • Janus Hansen

    Perhaps I’m not allow to doing this: But I has upload an documentary film on The Pirate Bay about Stalin.

    http://thepiratebay.org/tor/4226776/Stalin_-_The_man_of_Steel_(Documentary___subs)

    Janus Hansen/Copenhagen/Denmark

  • Wilde Rover

    Sammy,

    “If Ireland was going to vote No with a chance of the French and Dutch, not to mention Brits, Danes and Swedes, doing the same thing, I’d be tempted to vote No just to force a necessary crisis to force genuinely democratising reforms through the Union. But voting No when 24 other countries have already given it the nod is diplomatic suicide.”

    This constitution was put to the people in two countries, France and the Netherlands, and it was voted down on both occasions.

    A No vote this week would make it 3/0 No.

  • You’re not just that the EU is about to become a federal state as a result of this treaty Sammy, are you?

    The EU is and has been for decades something between an international body and a federal state. What’s your point?

    This constitution was put to the people in two countries, France and the Netherlands, and it was voted down on both occasions.

    Both of whose governments decided to ignore the wishes of their people, sign up to a Treaty that was the constitution in drag, and were joined by every other country in the Union.

    It’s currently 26-0 and Ireland is the last country to phone in the results of its Eurovision jury. Will it suit Ireland to be the only naysayer I doubt it.

    I don’t like being boxed into corners by political force majeure, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respond when it happens.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Will it suit Ireland to be the only naysayer I doubt it. ‘

    It may sound ironic but on this occasion the Irish (ROI) will prove to be loyal EU Unionists. Being the odd man out is of course the market ‘niche ‘ and a predominantly ‘unionist’ predeliction in these islands .

    27 -0

  • BfB

    Mr. Flag

    Cite sources for your figures or stfu. You are a textbook, barking, anti-USA, useful idiot.
    Tsk, tsk. Imho, that is.
    Oh, and vote no….

  • Janus

    To Ireland.

    Thanks, thanks, thanks Ireland for voting NO.

    About the Treaty of Lisbon, EU said every 18. countries votes yes! That isn’t the truth, because the Danish government wouldn’t let the Danes vote. Why not? We would vote no, as the Irish people.

    A great kiss to the Irish no-voters from Janus, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Mick Fealty

    Sammy,

    Sharpest analysis on this matter (and many others) in some time:

    Irish soft power is one of the most remarkable things about the EU. A country with less than 1% if the EU population gets what it wants 90% of the time through a combination of good PR, speaking the lingua franca as natives, having a suitably sexy revolutionary history and getting Hungarians and Portuguese drunk in the James Joyce, and then having Dutch university students write essays about how they do it.

    No country has less to fear from losing an automatic Commission place. But equally no country has more to lose by polluting its brand with its partners. It’s a small step from being the EU’s golden boy with the cutesy revolutionary past to being typical Eurosceptic Anglophones.

    I’m far from a big fan of the Lisbon Treaty, but some institutional reform needed to happen post-enlargement and it’s better than doing nothing. The way the Commission and many member states behaved after the French and Dutch referenda was a case of the hysterical crossed with the delusional.

    If Ireland was going to vote No with a chance of the French and Dutch, not to mention Brits, Danes and Swedes, doing the same thing, I’d be tempted to vote No just to force a necessary crisis to force genuinely democratising reforms through the Union.

    But voting No when 24 other countries have already given it the nod is diplomatic suicide.

  • Greenflag

    Mick ,

    ‘voting No when 24 other countries have already given it the nod is diplomatic suicide.’

    Not just diplomatic . From getting what we wanted from the EU 90% of the time we’ll find ourselves getting it in the neck most of the time .

    Sammy’s analysis is spot on. I’m ‘stunned’ that we have ‘forgotten’ how important the EU has been for our emergence from behind the British curtain these past 35 years .

    We have laughed at the Unionist ‘NO’ sayers in the past. In the final analysis we have now out ‘NO’ed’ the Unionists . We have shot ourselves in the foot at a time in the economy and political history of the country when we need it least .

    We have alas caught the ‘unionist’ disease :(. One only has to look at the groups who pushed the NO vote- SF , ‘Libertas’ with dubious connections to US security contractors and neo cons , and the traditional religious nutters on the lunatic right wing of Catholicism to see where the NO’s have come from.

    Given that the referendum was rejected by 26.5% of the total electorate (based on 53% of a 50% turnout) then it’s clear to me what Cowen must do . Embarassing though it will be he needs to put his political neck on the line by going back to the electorate after the summer . If the referendum is lost a second time he should resign and call a general election. He needs to have a plan before he goes to face the ‘music’ and not be seen to be told what to do by the EU.

    I’m far from a big fan of the Lisbon Treaty also , but as you say some institutional reform needed to happen post-enlargement and it’s better than doing nothing.

    The idea that Ireland alone can renegotiate the Lisbon Treaty is patent nonsense .

    And of course Mr Brown and Co will be ratifying the Lisbon Treaty with much tut tutting to the major European partners such as the French and Germans etc about the ‘stubborn ‘ Irish :). Now you see what we’ve been up against.

  • George

    Greenflag,
    “Given that the referendum was rejected by 26.5% of the total electorate (based on 53% of a 50% turnout) then it’s clear to me what Cowen must do.”

    My major issue with this was that there appeared to be a lack of respect for democracy in all this, especially the way the views of the Dutch and the Frence voters were sidelined.

    A day after we vote no, we have the French, Germans and Barroso saying they will ignore the result and people like you going one step furter and saying the democratic will of the people is pretty much invalid.

    A good few of my friends who voted yes are already so angry about the reaction that they said they wished they voted no.

    The yes side weren’t in touch with the national mood before the referendum and your clear disregard for democratic process shows not only are you not in touch, you don’t care.

    And you think this type of attitude will win people like me, who have always been yes to Europe but this time decided no, over to your side?

  • Garibaldy

    Does the EU have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force within the territory covered by it? No. No mandate for force at all. Falls at the first hurdle of statehood then. My point was that the EU is nothing like the US. So it was a pointless comparison.

  • Dave

    “A country with less than 1% if the EU population gets what it wants 90% of the time…” – Sammy Morse

    Europe is a continent, not a country. We are citizens of a nation state, and not the citizens of a continent.

    This comment is predicated on the curious delusion that it is legitimate for the sovereignty of a nation state to exercised by a parliament that is not accountable to the people of that nation state, and wherein the people of that nation state are granted 0.8% control over their own right to formulate laws and policy when they are entitled to 100% control as a nation state with a sovereign parliament.

    Europe must remain a continent that is comprised of sovereign, democratic, territorial nation states wherein self-determination is exercised by the people of those nation states on behalf of the people of those nation states, and it must not be allowed to become a country (which is can only do at the direct expense of its member states).

    Indeed, who but a braying jackass (such as Greenie) would advocate that a nation state transfers more of its democratic powers to an entity that has nothing but abject contempt for democratic process and for the democratically expressed will of the citizens of that nation state?

    The people have spoken on the Lisbon Treaty, rejecting it. Others may not like that rejection, but if they refuse to accept the democratic will of the Irish people when they have declared that they would be bound by it, then let the other citizens of the nation states of the continent of Europe see exactly the might of tin pot fascists they are entrusting their democracy to. Those with eyes will see. 😉

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