On the myth of Irish ingratitude….

Richard picks up the Chad post noting that Saturday was the day that Irish NO voters took a mild kicking from some Europe’s political and media elite:

Irish troops serving in an EU command came under fire on Saturday. The very day Irish voters were being described as, at best, useful idiots for unpleasant No campaigners in newspapers across Europe and in Ireland.

That would include French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier

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  • So 500 troops in Chad trumps underwriting the country’s infrastructure and kick-starting its economy.

  • Btw Mick. Ingratitude.

  • circles

    Its not a case of horse trading Chekov. It wasn’t a loan the EU gave Ireland, nor was it a bribe to ensure our eternal agreement to anything, but rather an investment which is paying dividends.
    The high-handedness of these polticians is beyond belief though. They won’t let their population vote on it and get pissed off when somewhere else does and they say no.
    And regarding Chad – Kouchner should be kissing irish arse for the legitimacy we’re lending his country in its colonial endeavours.

  • Mick Fealty

    I believe you are right in your second post at least… It just wouldn’t come to me…

    Good post on the previous circles… thanks…

  • jonny

    Chekov,
    why let ignorance get in the way of a cheap dig. The EU didn’t underwrite the country’s (RoI) infrastructure, nor did it kick start the RoI economy. However, it does provide a crumb of comfort to the unionist speriority complex to claim such!

  • Yes it did. EU money played a significant role in boosting the ROI’s infrastructure to a level which could sustain the subsequent economic improvements.

  • jonny

    Certainly significant, but a small percentage of the total asset value of the national infrastructure. if i recall the structural fund provided a little under 8Bn punts over 6-7 year (I don’t recall precisely), which incidently had to be matched by the taxpayer. So projects were only partly funded under the Cohesion fund. Also, as RoI was making a financial contribution to the EU, some of that 8Bn was in fact returning, though obviously RoI was still a NET recipient of EU funds. Unfortunately RoI didn’t have the sheer dumb luck to have a natural resource windfall like a North Sea to provide orders of magnitude more funds to the exchequer than a little over 1Bn a year. And, I think the point is that Irish people are grateful to the EU for the help (and it did help), and are very proEuropean in general. However, it wasn’t the chief reason for RoI’s economic progress, and it could be argued that in fact it overheated the economy and may have had some detrimental effect in that way.

  • CS Parnell

    The myth is surely that the Irish (north or south) have been pro-European. Irish attitudes are much like those in Britain – grudingly accepting the EU as a necessity but never wild enthusiasm.

    After all the dominant ideology of republicanism was pretty hostile to external trade and it was its never fully acknowleged (ask Gerry A) failure that prompted the move towards Europe. Think of the Brits and their empire.

    Culturally Ireland and Britain are similar in having “won” both world wars in one way or another and never having known military occupation (1921 in Cork hardly compares to 1941 in Lyon) and the Irish national anthem boasts of how the country has “never known shame” (unlike France in 1940 or Germany in 1918).

    And post-colonial Ireland bears the scars of long years of poverty – basically we’ve in Europe for whatever we can get and now that we’re rich and somebody else poor has turned up we’re not so keen.

    All the above is cynical, sure, but it also has more than a ring of truth to it. That said the Irish people, like the Brits, are hard headed enough to know that when people come around preaching withdrawal they are clearly loopers.

  • manichaeism

    This article argues the EU money may actually have been a hindrance to Ireland’s growth!

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3070

  • jonny

    From your link that was 11Bn euro (whats that in punts) over 10 years. Is there an equivalent for the EU structural funding provided to NI? it would be interesting to see those figures. And it looks as if the Government of RoI provided two thirds of the funding for the projects that have been funded through the Cohesion fund. And of course there was a significant amount of infrastructure prior 1989. there were certainly railway lines to to the major towns at least if i recollect.

  • Dave

    If self-interest was the motivator for our support for the EU while we were net recipients, then self-interest should also be the motivator for our objection to the EU now that we are becoming net contributors.

    We are completive nation states, not a fucking hippy commune where we all help each other out.

  • Dave

    Typo: “…competitive nation states.”

  • Comrade Stalin

    If self-interest was the motivator for our support for the EU while we were net recipients, then self-interest should also be the motivator for our objection to the EU now that we are becoming net contributors.

    This is like an unemployed person who supports the welfare state, and then campaigns for it’s abolition as soon as he finds a job and begins paying taxes. It’s the debased argument of a man who has no principles. Treaties, contracts and other arrangements whether they are between individuals or between nations rely on basic concepts such as fair play, tit for tat, and people taking things at face value. Without such basic concepts, dealings and relationships between people would stop. If you presented opinions like this up front, nobody would do business with you or have any dealings with you. You would quickly find yourself out in the cold, and that’s the way Ireland will find itself if it follows the insane line of argument that you are professing. Thankfully, I don’t think there is any danger of that. This is not the first time a European treaty has been rejected in Ireland, and one way or another, the European project will go on, with Ireland inside rather than outside.

    Ireland is a small neutral country with few national resources. It needs friends and alliances to survive. Europe has asked for very little from Ireland, yet it has provided a lot in the form of the structural funds used to build much of the current national road and rail network. To shun this generosity would be very foolish. Could Ireland’s economy really survive a spell outside of the common market ?

    jonny:

    Unfortunately RoI didn’t have the sheer dumb luck to have a natural resource windfall like a North Sea to provide orders of magnitude more funds to the exchequer than a little over 1Bn a year.

    Yes, and this is why Ireland needs alliances, and must carefully protect it’s role as an honest and scrupulously fair nation which plays by the rules. Not a nation which grabs the cash which is going, and then thumbs it’s nose.

    And, I think the point is that Irish perople are grateful to the EU for the help (and it did help), and are very proEuropean in general. However, it wasn’t the chief reason for RoI’s economic progress, and it could be argued that in fact it overheated the economy and may have had some detrimental effect in that way.

    The structural grants and funds were not the chief reason for Ireland’s progress, but it’s role as an English-speaking gateway to Europe was/is most certainly a very major factor.

  • jonny

    “but it’s role as an English-speaking gateway to Europe was/is most certainly a very major factor”.

    certainly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be a bilingual English and Gaelic speaking, and lets not overemphasise language. Large amounts of money have flooded into Asia and China despite those areas not being English speaking, and China is investing heavily in Africa and South America despite those areas not being Chinese speaking. Money goes were there is a profit to be made. Sentimentality about English (which is a fantastic language) has a marginal effect. A young, educated, cheap workforce and low rates of corporation tax will also attract investment regardless of the language spoken.

  • Garibaldy

    I find the idea that because the south has done well out of the EU it is obligated to spend whatever the EU tells it on military resources ridiculous. And why are people even mentioning what would happen if the south wasn’t in the common market? Has anyone even suggested that? Have you heard anyone say that the Euro will be removed and the punt restored?

    People should really make sensible arguments, no matter what side they are on.

  • Dave

    “Treaties, contracts and other arrangements whether they are between individuals or between nations rely on basic concepts such as fair play, tit for tat, and people taking things at face value.”

    Actually, they rely on contractual obligation. You are welcome to point out where Ireland contracted to support a federal Europe in return for structural funding. If you can’t do that, then sit down and stop embarrassing yourself.

  • Dave

    By the way, add the total amount of structural funds that Ireland received from the EU to Ireland’s national debt and what are you left with? The lowest ratio of debt to GNP in the Euro Zone. In other words, we could have borrowed that money for national development purposes and we’d still have comfortable debt repayment. Do pro-EU dupes imagine that Ireland wasn’t allowed borrow money and therefore could not have proceeded with its succession of national development plans without the EU? What a piss-poor argument that is to surrender sovereignty!

  • jonny

    the truth is that the various politicians in ALL the other European countries didn’t have referenda of their own because their own people would have voted against the treaty aswell, just as they did in France and Holland when the treaty/consitiution was being tested last time. Ireland should be proud of itself for upholding democracy when every other European country in the EU tried to thwart it. In fact, it may turn out that Ireland may have saved Europe from some future split by slowing down Federalism before the people of Europe are ready for it!

  • jonny

    just as we saved european culture in the dark ages ;0)

  • Dave

    Stalin, as a Euro-federalist, why do you think Ireland held a poll on the Lisbon treaty? Surely if, as you claim, Ireland was either morally or legally obliged to support the Lisbon Treaty, then they would not have that discretionary option of deciding if they would support it or not, would they? Contrary to your warped perception, democracy, national sovereignty, and the right to self-determination are not commodities that are sold by one generation for financial gain and thereby forfeited for the following generation. This bizarrely distorted thinking is another example of the detrimental effect that the EU project has had on Western democracy.

  • earnan

    ““Treaties, contracts and other arrangements whether they are between individuals or between nations rely on basic concepts such as fair play, tit for tat, and people taking things at face value.”

    Actually, they rely on contractual obligation. You are welcome to point out where Ireland contracted to support a federal Europe in return for structural funding. If you can’t do that, then sit down and stop embarrassing yourself. ”

    game, set, match. Good work Dave

  • DC

    http://tinyurl.com/6ezmgx

    Some German feedback accusing NO camp of being USA-CIA-Neo-Con infiltrated!

  • bigroary

    The NO campaign was totally orcastrated by US interests who fear a strong Europe, check this, http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87311

  • Dave

    Yawn. When the *ahem* quality of the ‘arguments’ that you proffer in support of your Euro-federal agenda amount to no more than ad hominem rumour about Mr Declan Ganley and declaring those who oppose your agenda to be a bunch of ingrates then you really shouldn’t need to ponder too long in order to figure out why you lost the debate.

    But take a lesson, dear children, from the logic of those who accuse the Irish of ingratitude: if your policy is one of buying ‘loyalty’ for your federalist agenda by bribing a people, then learn that your policy will fail. And this alone should make you question the wisdom of proceeding with it. If the Irish will turn around and say, “Thanks for the free money, now kindly fuck off” then others will do the same. Ergo, those other countries that are joining for the free money will also take your money and run in due course. It just goes to show the stupidity of these Europa/Utopia engineers. 😉

  • Dave

    There is a particularly nasty comment by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, proffering the ‘ingrates’ line and insulting the intelligence of the Irish people:

    [i]“They are bloody fools,” he told aides, according to le Canard Enchaîné weekly. “They have been stuffing their faces at Europe’s expense for years and now they dump us in the shit.”[/i]

    Apparently, this clown is demanding that Brian Cowen “make the Irish vote again, if possible even before European Parliament elections next June.”

    I’d like to see Biffo try that stunt and see where it gets him.

    Ingratitude means a No vote, so gratitude means a Yes vote. Clearly, these blackguards assumed that they had successfully corrupted the democratic process by bribing the Irish people to support their federal aims. They discovered that Ireland’s national sovereignty is not for sale and they don’t like it one bit. Too bad.

    More revealingly, the clown also shows equal contempt for the democratic wishes of the French people, admitting that the French people would also reject the Lisbon Treaty if they were actually given an opportunity to vote on a document that alters their fundamental constitutional, political and civil rights:

    [i]Mr Sarkozy says privately that he believes that French voters, had they been asked, would have rejected the Lisbon treaty even more resoundingly than they did the constitution.[/i]

    Again, it begs the question, why do people want to place the powers of their democracy under the control of Euro-Federalists who have blatant distain for the democratic will of the people? This is like putting paedophiles in change of a kindergarten.

    In regard to the insult to the Irish nation, I wonder if Biffo will call the French ambassador in to apologise or will he continue to act like the spineless backwoodsman that he has revealed himself to be?

  • Sarkozy has been “kozying up” to the US as much as anyone in the NO campaign – including rejoining the NATO Command Structure.

  • ulsterfan

    When the people of Ireland voted NO did they think of consequences which might follow and what is plan B.
    Ireland has put a stop to the treaty of Lisbon and further progress to be made.
    Things will not be the same again. The forces which brought about Lisbon are still relevant and so it is back to the negotiating table ( this is the best Ireland can hope).
    The worst case scenario is that the others will go on ahead and leave Ireland out of the loop waiting for her to catch up with the rest of Europe.
    If it is back to the drawing board do you think Ireland can get a better deal. I don’t think so .
    The best hope is to get other countries to follow suit. So much for sovereignty when you have to rely on others.
    Sovereignty as we understood it 50 years ago no longer exists and those trying to stand by that definition are whistling in the wind.

  • joeCanuck

    UF

    Surely you meant whistling in the dark whilst pissing into the wind.

  • ulsterfan

    JOE

    NO. Have just made up a new saying!
    The other version is too rude.

  • RepublicanStones

    So this is european democracy,

    ‘you may have a referendum so long as you vote the way we want.’

    Rather like Henry Ford’s quip about the colour of his cars. If the process of ratification was going to be ignored, why go through the motions. I would have more respect for the Eurofatcats if they at least had the balls to try and say ‘this is it, no vote.’
    Cowen is no Biffo, a real Biffo would support the wishes of his people, not run to Brussles cap in hand tugging the forelock !

  • BfB

    ‘Meeting in Brussels, European Union leaders signaled their intent to prevent a two-tiered union by ensuring that all 27 member states ratify the treaty.’

    Irish revote likely on EU treaty

    “It’s not being said specifically yet, but it is quite clear that the other countries, especially Germany and France, want the Irish to vote again,” says Simon O’Connor, editor of E!Sharp, a Brussels-based magazine on European Union affairs.

    Down croppie…lie down.

  • Mick Fealty

    This is what Wikipedia says in it definition of ‘croppy’:

    The name “croppy” derives from Ireland in the 1790’s as a reference to people with closely cropped hair, a fashion which was associated with the anti-wig (and therefore, anti-aristocrat) French revolutionaries of the period. Those with their hair cropped were automatically suspected of sympathies with the pro-French underground organisation, the Society of United Irishmen and were consequently liable to seizure for interrogation by pro-British forces.

    I’d suggest that if you want a persecution complex over this issue, you’ll need to grow a new one!

  • RepublicanStones

    Wasn’t it Wiki which stated that Kevin Myers was a british agent?

    Don’t take things so literal Mick me ‘aul flower !

  • jonny

    why can’t we have a multispeed Europe

    we have a Eurozone that does not include all EU countries

    we have a Schengen Agreement that does not include all EU countries

    Britain and the rest can go ahead with a ‘Lisbon area’ and Ireland can either join piecemeal (sp?) or in a single step later