The people have spoken..

Ian Dale called it early and, although RTÉ are still cautious, the early tallies indicate a ‘No’ vote. Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has said “The trends are not what we would have preferred.” The BBC is reporting that Europe Minister Dick Roche is “keeping [his] fingers crossed” and that Dermot Ahern has apparently conceded that the Republic of Ireland has voted ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty. More coverage of results here Adds Reuters report these comments from France’s Secretary of State for European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet,

“The most important thing is that ratification should continue in other countries (if Ireland has voted “no”) and I have good reasons to think that the process of ratification will continue. We would have to see with the Irish at the end of the ratification process how we could make it work and what legal arrangement we could come to.”

And Dermot Ahern, “We’re in uncharted waters.” Update RTÉ has the result – Yes 752,451 – No 862,415. And they point out “It is unclear exactly what course the EU and Ireland will follow.” More Taoiseach Brian Cowen

“We must not rush to conclusions. The Union has been in this situation before and each time has found an agreed way forward. I hope that we can do so again on this occasion.”

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  • Harry Flashman

    @Oilifear

    “notmyopinion, “streamling” – a constitution of 35 pages? And you want it *MORE* streamlined!?! You’re taking the piss, right? What do you want, a single sheet of A4???

    Admitedly, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union was long at 150 pages for a constitutional document, but for a document outlining in detail every operation of a federation, you can’t get any more streamlined!! And for it to be copperfastned to requiring a plebesite in order to make a change to it – how more democratic and anti-federalist can you get!?”

    I think you’ll find the constitution of the oldest, most successful democratic federation of states in the history of mankind seems to get by with a mere four pages written in beautifully clear concise English.

  • Harry Flashman

    PREAMBLE
    HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC, HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF DENMARK, THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF SPAIN, THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF IRELAND, THE PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE GRAND DUKE OF LUXEMBOURG, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HUNGARY, THE PRESIDENT OF MALTA, HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF THE NETHERLANDS, THE FEDERAL PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND, THE PRESIDENT OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN, HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND,

    DRAWING INSPIRATION from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, from which have developed the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law,

    BELIEVING that Europe, reunited after bitter experiences, intends to continue along the path of civilisation, progress and prosperity, for the good of all its inhabitants, including the weakest and most deprived; that it wishes to remain a continent open to culture, learning and social progress; and that it wishes to deepen the democratic and transparent nature of its public life, and to strive for peace, justice and solidarity throughout the world,

    CONVINCED that, while remaining proud of their own national identities and history, the peoples of Europe are determined to transcend their former divisions and, united ever more closely, to forge a common destiny,

    CONVINCED that, thus ‘United in diversity’, Europe offers them the best chance of pursuing, with due regard for the rights of each individual and in awareness of their responsibilities towards future generations and the Earth, the great venture which makes of it a special area of human hope,

    DETERMINED to continue the work accomplished within the framework of the Treaties establishing the European Communities and the Treaty on European Union, by ensuring the continuity of the Community acquis,

    GRATEFUL to the members of the European Convention for having prepared the draft of this Constitution on behalf of the citizens and States of Europe,

    HAVE DESIGNATED AS THEIR PLENIPOTENTIARIES:

    HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS,

    Guy VERHOFSTADT Prime Minister

    Karel DE GUCHT Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC,

    Stanislav GROSS Prime Minister

    Cyril SVOBODA Minister for Foreign Affairs

    HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF DENMARK,

    Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN Prime Minister

    Per Stig MØLLER Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY,

    Gerhard SCHRÖDER Federal Chancellor

    Joseph FISCHER Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Federal Chancellor

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA,

    Juhan PARTS Prime Minister

    Kristiina OJULAND Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC,

    Kostas KARAMANLIS Prime Minister

    Petros G. MOLYVIATIS Minister of Foreign Affairs

    HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF SPAIN,

    José Luis RODRÍGUEZ ZAPATERO President of the Government

    Miguel Ángel MORATINOS CUYAUBÉ Minister for External Affairs and Cooperation

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC,

    Jacques CHIRAC President

    Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN Prime Minister

    Michel BARNIER Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF IRELAND,

    Bertie AHERN Taoiseach

    Dermot AHERN Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC,

    Silvio BERLUSCONI Prime Minister

    Franco FRATTINI Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS,

    Tassos PAPADOPOULOS President

    George IACOVOU Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA,

    Vaira VĪĶE FREIBERGA President

    Indulis EMSIS Prime Minister

    Artis PABRIKS Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA,

    Valdas ADAMKUS President

    Algirdas Mykolas BRAZAUSKAS Prime Minister

    Antanas VALIONIS Minister of Foreign Affairs

    HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE GRAND DUKE OF LUXEMBOURG,

    Jean-Claude JUNCKER Prime Minister, Ministre d’Etat

    Jean ASSELBORN Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HUNGARY,

    Ferenc GYURCSÁNY Prime Minister

    László KOVÁCS Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF MALTA,

    The Hon Lawrence GONZI Prime Minister

    The Hon Michael FRENDO Minister for Foreign Affairs…

  • Harry Flashman

    …HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF THE NETHERLANDS,

    Dr. J. P. BALKENENDE Prime Minister

    Dr. B. R. BOT Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE FEDERAL PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA,

    Dr. Wolfgang SCHÜSSEL Federal Chancellor

    Dr. Ursula PLASSNIK Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND,

    Marek BELKA Prime Minister

    Włodzimierz CIMOSZEWICZ Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC,

    Pedro Miguel DE SANTANA LOPES Prime Minister

    António Victor MARTINS MONTEIRO Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Portuguese Communities

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA,

    Anton ROP President of the Government

    Ivo VAJGL Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC,

    Mikuláš DZURINDA Prime Minister

    Eduard KUKAN Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND,

    Matti VANHANEN Prime Minister

    Erkki TUOMIOJA Minister for Foreign Affairs

    THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN,

    Göran PERSSON Prime Minister

    Laila FREIVALDS Minister for Foreign Affairs

    HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND,

    The Rt. Hon Tony BLAIR Prime Minister

    The Rt. Hon Jack STRAW Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

    WHO, having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:”

  • Harry Flashman

    “We THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    Laughable, truly laughable, the corporatist gobbledeygook of Europe will get you every time, no wonder the elites and the establishment love it so much.

    Can’t have the proles vote on these things now can we?

  • Ireland – the mouse that roared!!!

  • BfB

    Yessssssssssss it’s NO….only for the graphic it’s a good take on the valid, right thinking, rejection of the new socialist Europe.

  • Greenflag

    boru,

    The EU can do without Ireland . Ireland would be doing a lot worse without the EU .

    Mice squeak – they don’t roar , unless of course if they want to attract the attention of a passing predator . Such mice are going to enjoy a very much shortened earthly existence

    We Irish have laughed at the Northern Unionist ‘NO’ sayers in the past. 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 this country when we need it least .

    We 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 has to 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 or call a general election at the same time as another referendum. He needs to have a plan before he goes to face the ‘music’ in Brussels and not be seen to be told what to do by the EU.

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

  • 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 has to do.

    It’s amazing how little respect the Pro-Lisbon side has for the democratic decision of the Irish electorate.

    I thought it was just confined to the leaders of France, Germany etc. but no it seems it has even permeated its way to you.

    Comments like yours merely reinforce my view that were was a lack of respect for democracy in this entire process.

    And seeing as your post is a rehash of one you wrote elsewhere, I’ll rehash my reply:

    Are you so naive to 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?

    The reactions to the no vote have hardened my resolve to stay in the no camp.

    Thank God for Dev and Crotty.

  • Lois

    Way to go, Ireland! THANK YOU for your brave vote against creeping Eurofascism. Stand fast! Don’t let your politicians try to weasel their way back in.

    Nice one, Harry Flashman *grin*

  • Oilifear

    notmyopinion

    “I don’t get how slashing the areas where new EU rulings can be vetoed increases anyone’s voice in the EU…” – it increases the voice of the 65% majority of popuation and 55% majority of states that seek such rulings.

    “Nor can I see how losing a commissioner increases a country’s voice – even if other countries are losing commissioners too.” We are not losing a Commissioner, the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy are losing a Commissioner (i.e. before – now – they had 2, after Lisbon they would have had two). This would have equalled the number of Commissioners, and so it would have increased our country’s voice.

    “I don’t see why a EU-wide bill of rights is required.” This already exists, the Charter of Fundamental Rights is already adopted by all EU states, the only difference Lisbon would have made is that the EU would be subject to the same rules with regard to civil rights as member states.

    “I don’t think there is any need for a single EU foreign minister, or representative, be he never so high.” – Certainly there was a need in 2002 when the US ran rough shod over the EU states to have it’s way and invade Iraq. A unified EU voice (remember s/he could only acted on the unanimious direction of the member states) would made a brusing response to the US bully letters sent to individual members threatening reprocussions if they did not roll in behind the US back then.

    “Earlier stateist provisions such as an anthem are also utterly unnecessary.” Yes. The EU has a flag and an anthem and could learn from the UK in this respect that there is no need to codify these things.

    “The tide of federalism and the moves towards a superstate need to be reversed – not increased.” This is your opinion and you are entitled to it, though in many other respect I would argue certain things are better done at EU level – and if so then it would be better that they happen transparently and democratically, which Lisbon would have made great improvements over what we have at present.

    “But you’re right about the debate from the Yes camp – there has been a shameful lack of explanation of the sort of EU they want to take us into.” Agree. See below.

    “And if we’re being honest, it’s not just about streamlining things and increasing accountability, is it?” Yes, surprisingly, it was. The EU is bloated, incomprehensible, pretty much accountable to no-one and democratically challenged. Lisbon would have made it sleaker, comprehendible, accountable and instilled in it a practical democracy. It would have transfered precious little (arguable no) new powers, but would have allowed a role for national parliaments to indefinitely delay EU legistation (as opposed to now, where national parliaments must do as directed by the EU) and give to citizens practical and quite powerful avenues to control the EU directly (not just through the greatly enhanced powers of the EU parliament, but through the right to petitions and for that petition to be acted upon and to the right to a honest and prompt response in writing from any EU body in relation to any query or request).

    To return to your comment about the debate from the Yes camp, if any of this had been properly explained to the electorate, I am certain that the kind of EU the Yes camp want to take people into would be far more welcomed than the unaccountable hulk that we find ourselves bamboozled by today (and I’m talking about the EU, when I speak about an unaccountable hulk that we are bamboozled by, not Cowen).

    Harry Flashman

    “I think you’ll find the constitution of the oldest, most successful democratic federation of states in the history of mankind …”

    Switzerland?

    “… seems to get by with a mere four pages written in beautifully clear concise English.”

    Assuming you meant the USA, I think you’ll find that it is 35 pages in length also. You are confusing the Constitution of the United Sates with the Declaration of Independence. (See here).

  • George

    Oilifear
    “This already exists, the Charter of Fundamental Rights is already adopted by all EU states, the only difference Lisbon would have made is that the EU would be subject to the same rules with regard to civil rights as member states.”

    The only difference being that now there is no danger of the Supreme Court being usurped by a European one while post Lisbon, according to Gerard Hogan the man who wrote THE book on Irish constitutional law, there is.

    You seem to disagree with Hogan. Why should I believe you and not him, the leading authority on the subject?

  • Comrade Stalin

    George,

    What a lot of us are having difficulty with is the fact that the broad spectrum of Irish political opinion, reflected in the Dail, was in favour of this treaty. To accept the black and white view of this poll in the way that you seem to be suggesting is commensurate with your view of maintaining respect for the Irish electorate, requires me to accept the idea that the parties which are elected by the Irish people time and time again have, since the last election, managed to become completely unrepresentative of the electorate who voted them in. I have a hard time with this, because there is no evidence that the Irish electorate have any problems with the European policies of any of the larger parties, which they have reconfirmed in general elections several times over now. Nobody chose to punish Bertie, for example, for recalling the Nice referendum a few years back.

    I feel that the Irish government lost this referendum in the same way that they would lose a referendum requesting the right to impose a tax increase. Governments have to raise taxes from time to time, but would it be disregarding the expressed wish of the electorate to raise them anyway despite a referendum vote opposing this ? This is why we elect politicians, to take decisions which balance all the issues.

  • Oilifear

    What’s that, George? Do I still beat my wife?

    “The only difference being that now there is no danger of the Supreme Court being usurped by a European …”

    The European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights take precedence over the the Supreme Court in matters relating to European law. We are at present compelled by their rulings.

    “… while post Lisbon, according to Gerard Hogan the man who wrote THE book on Irish constitutional law, there is.”

    Gerard Hogan argued that the Constitution would be rivaled by the Charter of Fundamental Rights, not the Supreme Court. Specifically, he raised the question as to whether areas outside of the competence of the EU, such as marriage and family rights, would be affected by adoption of the treaty.

    The opinion of the European Commission and the Irish Attorney General is that it would not be since Lisbon states that the Charter “shall not extend in any way the competences of the Union as defined in the treaties”. The Charter itself says that it applies only to “the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity and to the member states only when they are implementing Union law” (i.e. it applies to the EU, not to Ireland).

  • George

    Comrade,
    I know where you are coming from but the antics surrounding this whole Treaty, the way it was no more than the EU Constitution re-heated after the Dutch and French rejected it put a lot of people on notice.

    If this whole affair has taught me anything, it is the pressure that countries must have been under to ratify this deal.

    Of course everyone has to come out strongly in favour. They have absolutely no choice. Dissent is not tolerated. (Maybe it can’t be in such a broad church.)

    We have Swoboda (number 2 of the Social Democrats in European Parliament) saying today that if Ireland doesn’t ratify then it will have to leave the EU and into a “privileged partnership” deal like Switzerland.

    We are now seeing the type of arm-twisting that obviously went on in 2005 when this thing was agreed. The big countries coming down hard and a far cry from the days when Ireland first joined.

    But this attitude is out in the public eye now and it isn’t pretty. The genie is out of the bottle and who knows where we go from here. The EU would want to be careful because anymore comments like Swoboda’s and some Irish people might just look at the Swiss option more favourably.

    Populist economist David McWilliams has already been advocating this detachment from the EU as the next step for Ireland.

  • George

    Oiliféar,
    the Supreme Court is the ultimate guardian of the Constitution.

  • Greenflag

    comrade stalin.

    ‘there is no evidence that the Irish electorate have any problems with the European policies of any of the larger parties, which they have reconfirmed in general elections several times over now.’

    Precisely -which is why Cowen should call a general election in conjunction with another referendum . That will ensure a higher turnout of voters and presumably more people will be bothered to vote which should give a more accurate result of the electorate’ s view on the Lisbon Treaty.

    Cowen needs to call an election and the sooner the better otherwise he’ll be a lame duck Taoiseach in double quick time and before he knows it . Bertie’s widespread popularity and good times saved him after the Nice 1 fiasco . Brian Cowen is not a Bertie .

  • George

    Oiliféar,
    The European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights take precedence over the the Supreme Court in matters relating to European law. We are at present compelled by their rulings.

    That is completely incorrect. The ECHR does not take precedence over the Supreme Court. The ECHR was brought into Irish law by means of legislation and is not on a constitutional footing.

    It is also nothing to do with European Law as it emanates from the Council of Europe not the ECJ.

    So you obviously don’t know what you are talking about on this particular issue so I’ll stick with Hogan.

    Anyway. If you read my post, I was talking about fundamental rights, which at the moment are not within the remit of EU law.

  • ZoonPol

    George i has this debate with Willowfield in another thread. The ECJ had accepted the jurisprudence of human rights.

  • George

    ZoonPool,
    “The ECJ had accepted the jurisprudence of human rights.”

    I had a discussion with Willowfield about this a while back and he also doesn’t understand what the ECHR’s position is in the pecking order of Irish constitutional law.

    What do you mean by that statement by the way? For the life of me, I haven’t a clue what you are trying to say.

  • Oilifear

    “The ECHR does not take precedence over the Supreme Court.”

    Technically correct, as the ECHR cannot overrule or strike out a decision of the Supreme Court. The turn of phrase I believe you used was that at present there is “no danger of the Supreme Court being usurped by a European one”. If you don’t think that that is the case, maybe you should go tell it to Norris vs. Ireland, etc.

    “Anyway. If you read my post, I was talking about fundamental rights, which at the moment are not within the remit of EU law.”

    Yet you mentioned the Supreme Court and claimed that at present it’s authority was in “no danger of … being usurped by a European one”. That is clearly nonsense.

    Read the second part of my post above regarding fundamental rights. To summarise: post-Lisbon, fundamental rights would not been within the remit of European law – the actual competences of the EU would have been defined clearly in black-and-white elsewhere – but the EU would have been bound to the same rules as member states in making laws under those competences.

  • George

    Oiliféar,
    first you said:

    The European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights take precedence over the the Supreme Court.

    I point out that this statement is completely wrong.

    You reply:

    Technically correct, as the ECHR cannot overrule or strike out a decision of the Supreme Court.

    Not only technically correct, factually too. So far, so good.

    Then you say:

    The turn of phrase I believe you used was that at present there is “no danger of the Supreme Court being usurped by a European one”. If you don’t think that that is the case, maybe you should go tell it to Norris vs. Ireland, etc.

    I am familiar with Norris v. Ireland. Maybe you could tell me where the Irish Supreme Court was obliged to listen to the ECHR on this issue? Tell you what, I’ll save you the trouble. They weren’t.

    There were political pressures to address the Norris issue, not legal ones. There is a world of difference.

    Remember, we are living in a country where the separation of powers is paramount. You seem to be mixing them up.

    Of course there is often political fall-out from judicial decisions, such as the X case or the recent C case that leads to legislative changes but that is a far cry from your claim that another court takes legal precedence over the Supreme Court and the Irish Constitution, “technicaly” or otherwise, when it comes to fundamental rights.

    So, back to Hogan’s concern. Why do you appear to dismiss it? On what grounds?

  • Oilifear

    George, regardless of what the Supreme Court has to say on a matter, Ireland is obliged to follow the ruling of the ECHR. That’s the fact of the matter. That’s what happens in reality. (Or am I being too forward to assume that you reside in reality?) Sounds like the Supreme Court being “usurped” by a European court to me. How about you?

    As for Hogan’s concern, I didn’t dismiss it. As I wrote already (and directed you to above), the European Commission did, the Attorney General’s office did, and other SC’s did. I find their argument forthright and compelling.

    What do you find convincing about Hogan’s argument?

  • George

    Oilifear,
    Ireland is obliged to follow the ruling of the ECHR. That’s the fact of the matter.

    I recommend you read Heaney v Ireland and get back to me. Once you’ve done that I recommend you read up on the relevance of the “declaration of incompatibility” within the ECHR Act 2003 and get back to me.

    If that isn’t clear enough for you, I recommend you take the Irish Human Rights Commission’s word for it. They state:

    “The European Convention on Human Rights Act, 2003, amends the Human Rights Commission Act, 2000. It also gives further effect, subject to the Constitution, to certain provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and of certain protocol thereto.

    I’ve highlighted in bold the part of that sentence which is most important to this discussion.

    That’s what happens in reality.

    What reality are you talking about, a legal one, a political one or simply your own?

    It is clear to me that you are merging judicial and political power because you don’t seem to know where the boundaries lie between the two.

    (Or am I being too forward to assume that you reside in reality?) Sounds like the Supreme Court being “usurped” by a European court to me. How about you?

    As I said, you are wrong in your assertions and, as far as I can see, don’t actually understand the issue.

    As for Hogan’s concern, I didn’t dismiss it. As I wrote already (and directed you to above), the European Commission did, the Attorney General’s office did, and other SC’s did. I find their argument forthright and compelling.

    As Hogan is the leading legal mind when it comes to constitutional issues and academic lightweights like McDowell, who is responsible for the mess post the C case, have held the post of AG, I’ll stick with Hogan.

    And as you don’t seem to understand the issue, it is hardly surprising that Hogan’s concerns haven’t engaged you.

  • Oilifear

    Hogan’s concern doesn’t engage me, just as it didn’t engage the European Commission, the Attorney General’s office, and other SC’s. It has engaged you, but as someone who needs to hide in pedantry about the separation of powers to avoid admitting that the authority of the Supreme Court has already been “usurped” by European courts – and has gone very quiet about the relative role of the European Court of Justice – your conviction hasn’t engaged me either.

  • Oilifear

    Hogan himself never sounded too convinced by it either (“could be”, “may”, “depending on” etc.), so I don’t feel so much out of company.

  • Oilifear

    (Not to mention where the motivation for such would have come from. The only convincing source that I can think of would be that it would have been made in legal blunder, not being one to subscribe to conspiracy theory.)

  • Harry Flashman

    Oilifear

    “Assuming you meant the USA, I think you’ll find that it is 35 pages in length also. You are confusing the Constitution of the United Sates with the Declaration of Independence.”

    Your link isn’t opening, the wikipedia page only shows four pages for the original US constitution (without the Bill of Rights) anyway more to the point if the Lisbon Treaty is only 35 pages long how come BIFFO never read it?

    Furthermore I have seen nowhere an explanation of Giscard D’Estaing’s shocking assertion that the treaty was deliberately incomprehensible. Why should this be so? And is it not a dreadful indictment of the aloof arrogance of the Euro establishment towards the electorate?

  • Shepherd

    If Cowen had read the treaty he would have been losing a vowel from BIFFO.

  • abucs

    Once we can successfully bypass the need to let ordinary people have any say in the matter, we can go on to build a really great democracy.

  • Oilifear

    Don’t know why link wouldn’t open. Here’s the URL in full:

    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=105_cong_documents&docid=f:sd011.105.pdf

    “… if the Lisbon Treaty is only 35 pages long how come BIFFO never read it?”

    Because the treaty itself is unreadable muck (not to mention Shepards observation on vowels).

    The consolidated texts (the end result if you were to follow all the replace-this-section-with-that) are extremely readable. The resulting Treaty on European Union is a mere 35 pages and can be thought of as the constitution per se. The longer (at 150 pages) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is the detailed in-and-outs of how things would happen i.e. what would usually be left to ordinary legislation to describe. To my mind, only the Treaty of European Union is required reading, but both are logical, readable, unintimidating and crystal clear.

    That this wasn’t explained to people, and copies of the consolidated texts not distributed, is/was damning.

    “Furthermore I have seen nowhere an explanation of Giscard D’Estaing’s shocking assertion that the treaty was deliberately incomprehensible. Why should this be so? And is it not a dreadful indictment of the aloof arrogance of the Euro establishment towards the electorate?”

    Absolutely. And it why I believe the referendum was lost (not Giscard D’Estaing’s shocking assertion, but the aloof arrogance of the Euro establishment). The treaty, to my mind, would have been wonderful, but the arrogance has to be put an end to. I don’t know if that message has really come out, or if it can penetrate home past that same arrogance.

  • Dave

    Oilifear, the seemingly endless capacity of the pro-Europeans to suspend disbelief in regard to transparent reality is a tribute to the subtle but incessant application of brainwashing techniques to the gullible masses. They even consider it “wonderful” for Irish people to transfer more of their national sovereign powers to a regime that harbours abject contempt for the democratic will of the Irish people and for the democratic process.

    Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, a supporter of a United States of Europe, is the chief architect of the proposed EU Constitution that was rejected in the Reform Treaty, and was rehashed as the Lisbon Treaty and rejected again. When the citizens of France rejected Giscard d’Estaing’s Constitution in a referendum in 2005, Giscard d’Estaing rejected the democratic will of the French people, arguing that it should simply be ignored: “The rejection of the Constitutional treaty by voters in France was a mistake that should be corrected.” This clown clearly doesn’t understand the basics of democracy.

    Indeed, his contempt for the democratic process is so overbearing that he argued that since the democratic will of the people was against his ‘reforms’ then that democratic will should be expediently censored from expression when the ‘reforms’ were rehashed in the Lisbon Treaty. This time around, the people would be denied their right to vote on ‘reforms’ that alter their fundamental human and constitution rights. The poor fools simply don’t know what is best for them and so it is right and proper that what is best for the people should be determined by unelected bureaucrats such as Valéry Giscard d’Estaing rather than be determined by the people. Rule by deception and by degree, and all that – “public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals we dare not present to them directly.”

    And why would rule by decree upset Giscard d’Estaing when his government supported the dictator Jean-Bedel Bokassa, a close friend of Valéry, who regularly went on hunting trips in France’s colonial Africa with him, regularly bribing Mr Giscard d’Estaing with diamonds which he retained for his personal benefit instead of giving them to French state (which he was required to do under French law). Indeed, when Mr Bokassa plundered the wealth of his country and fled it after personally taking part in the murder of 100 schoolchildren for refusing to wear uniforms, it was Valéry Giscard d’Estaing who gave Mr Bokassa a safe haven in France. This is the scum who we are to consider as our ‘benevolent rulers’ and to whom we are to transfer our nation sovereign powers. Oh dear.

    It isn’t necessary to trade sovereignty in order to trade within the EU, nor is it necessary to transfer more sovereign powers to the EU in order to reform it. Reform is being used as pretext to steal more sovereignty from member states in order to engineer the United States of Europe that Valéry Giscard d’Estaing wants to engineer without the consent of the citizens of the nation states he needs to steal sovereignty, territorial integrity, democracy, and the right to self-determination from in order to complete his grand design and secure his place in history (not to mention his lucrative peaking career on the EU lecture circuit – but at least he is being paid in cash and not in plundered diamonds this time).

    Nor is the problem one of presentation (the “arrogance” of the EU): the problem is one of deliberate fraud by the EU that is predicated on abject contempt for democracy and the inalienable right to national self-determination. Garret Fitzgerald admitted in the Irish Times that fraud is at the heart of the EU’s engineering:

    “Virtual incomprehensibility has thus replaced simplicity as the key approach to EU reform. As for the changes now proposed to be made to the constitutional treaty, most are presentational changes that have no practical effect. They have simply been designed to enable certain heads of government to sell to their people the idea of ratification by parliamentary action rather than by referendum.”

    He admitted it, but he is too brainwashed to join the dots and see that the bigger picture is that we should not transfer the powers of our democracy to those who hold contempt for democracy. Foolish trust in benevolent rulers is how fascist states are engineered.

  • George

    Oilifear,
    It has engaged you, but as someone who needs to hide in pedantry about the separation of powers to avoid admitting that the authority of the Supreme Court has already been “usurped” by European courts

    You are plain wrong and I have shown why you are wrong.

    I thought we were getting somewhere when you admitted I was “technically correct” but now you are back repeating your completely inaccurate initial statement. So here we go again:

    What part of subject to the constitution don’t you understand? It’s written in the title of Act for God’s sake:

    Act to enable further effect to be given, subject to the constitution, to certain provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms….

    So legislation is now mere pedantry? Get a grip.

    I also asked you to look up the “declaration of incapability” but you obviously haven’t and instead prefer to simply repeat your incorrect statement.

    It’s clear you haven’t read the ECHR ACT of 2003 so I’ll put the section I was referring to here for you now so you’ve no excuse. It’s section 5:

    “5.—(1) In any proceedings, the High Court, or the Supreme Court when exercising its appellate jurisdiction, may, having regard to the provisions of section 2 , on application to it in that behalf by a party, or of its own motion, and where no other legal remedy is adequate and available, make a declaration (referred to in this Act as “a declaration of incompatibility”) that a statutory provision or rule of law is incompatible with the State’s obligations under the Convention provisions.

    (2) A declaration of incompatibility—

    (a) shall not affect the validity, continuing operation or enforcement of the statutory provision or rule of law in respect of which it is made, and

    (b) shall not prevent a party to the proceedings concerned from making submissions or representations in relation to matters to which the declaration relates in any proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights.”

    Now, having read all that, what do you think it means?

    Don’t forget the phrase “subject to the Constitution” in the first sentence of the Act when doing this particular piece of statutory interpretation.

  • abucs

    In Australia at the turn of last century they found themselves in a not so unrelated situation regarding federation.

    There were several British colonies who saw the advantage of joining together in a federation that would become Australia.

    One problem though was that most of the population was just in two states – New South Wales and Victoria. So a democratic parliament might take advantage of the smaller colonies (states).

    They decided to counter this to have an upper house where each of the colonies (states) would have equal representation (5 senators each i think back then).

    This allows diverse groups such as Western Australian miners, Queenland farmers, South Australian wineries and Tasmanian environmentalists to have a real input into the passing into law of locally devistating ‘national’ policies.

    As the country began to have an identity of its own and a confidence with its fellow citizen the politics of the upper house was gradually transformed among left / right lines and became more like a review of suggested bills and a way for voters to not give the lower house unrestricted control.

    Some Australians vote one way in the lower house and another in the upper house.

    Or similarly they vote one way in state politics and another in federal.

    Although Austrlaia is more confident as a nation today (like hopefully the EU will be) the disparate colony interests are still served well by an upper House that gives proper respect to the different states.

    I think the EU should be more transparent, more democratic and more flexible and imaginative in laying down the foundations for a new Europe.

    What they are doing now is simply not good enough.