Downhill racing for the Lisbon Yes camp?

One of the big stories of the next few months should be the referendum campaign over the Lisbon Treaty. Double carpet at Political Betting includes it in his predictions for the Autumn. It’s to be a win for the Yes side:

with Ireland’s economy collapsing and with concessions being made on touchstone issues to Irish voters, it looks as though Ireland will reverse 2008’s decision and vote “Yes”, opting for the perceived safety blanket of the EU in difficult times.

It should be a win for the yes team, since even Libertas indicated its ambivalence in the government’s deal (which although, aside from the guarantee of an Irish commissioner, is largely meaningless, it has effectively blocked any easy targets for the ‘opposition’) in backing off the campaign leaving a divided Sinn Fein as the only significant party against it. In the run up to the campaign the national mind will be trained towards a tough budget and the amelioration of the extravagant cuts proposed by the McCarthy committee (or An Bord Snip Nua, or as the Phoenix has it An Bord Bulldozer)… For which the Irish government no doubt expect a grateful public will trot dutifully into the Tá lobby…

To lose at this stage would be something rather more than carelessness…

, , ,

  • “It’s to be a win for the Yes side”

    Now if only Ireland had voted YES first time round it wouldn’t have had to endure Le Crunch 😉

  • Candyman

    [i]leaving a divided Sinn Fein as the only significant party against it.[/i]

    What exactly does that mean? It really does look like there’s an orchestrated campaign being conducted on this site to deliberately overhype the party’s misfortunes. 3 or 4 nobodies leave, a couple of the young ones call for an internal dialogue and fresh approach and, therefore, the party is somehow ‘divided’ – is that the logic here? 2 FF TD resigned the party whip last week – are they in utter freefall? The DUP vote recently collapsed and several of their councillors have defected to a party that looks like it’s imploding under its gutless leader. The UUP’s only MP is flying solo. And the SDLP are, well, the SDLP – Derry only. When can we expect three or four articles daily on the divisions that exis within these parties? I suppose we need Pete Baker to broaden his obsessive compulseness to incorporate a loathing for other parties too.

    [i]For which the Irish government no doubt expect a grateful public will trot dutifully into the Tá lobby…[/i]

    Can’t argue with that. I’ve £40 on there being a Níl. My heart and wallet both hope I’m right.

  • Paddy Matthews

    My gut instinct is that Lisbon II was lost the day that the McCarthy Report was published.

    The government are seemingly intent on treating the electorate to an undiluted dose of McCarthyism in this winter’s budget, while simultaneously pouring billions of euros into the greedy maw of the banking sector and continuing to borrow money to pour into a national pensions fund which is losing money hand over fist (this being one McCarthy cutback recommendation that they’re ignoring).

    I suspect that the electorate may well take the opportunity to give a giant two-fingered salute to our political/media/business class who are overwhelmingly both pro-austerity and pro-Lisbon.

  • Candyman

    I am often critical of SF, but you make a very fair point, in my eyes it is to SF’s credit they are acting consistently and opposing the Lisbon Treaty referendum 2. Unlike the Greens it must be said.

  • Greenflag

    candyman,

    ‘I’ve £40 on there being a Níl. My heart and wallet both hope I’m right.’

    There’s light at the end of the gangplank . Before you hit the water hold on to your wallet , your testicles and your spectacles tightly . They may come in useful when the sharks start circling .

    There is not a government in the western world least of all the Irish Government that has not disgraced itself in the run up to the current financial crisis . There is not an opposition anywhere be it on the left or right that has offered a practical alternative to the bowl of shit that’s on the table .

    There’s no point in being against the Lisbon Treaty if you are SF unless your alternative has a bats chance in hell of being seeing as a practical alternative .
    And their alternative has less than a bat’s chance in hell .

    What we are witnessing is the economic constraints on governmenteverywhere in face of powerful multinational financial institutions who tell our elected public representatives not just to dance to their tune but how high and how low .

    The Irish people KNOW their government is relatively powerless vis a vis international financial institutions .. The British people can still keep up the pretence as long as they have a picture of Queenie on the face of sterling notes . We’ll soon get to see how much more of the family silver will be sold off via the upcoming Cameroonian sell off ?

    The public will not be grateful -believe me . The word politician now has the same currency as a retard snake oil salesman purveying a dodgy line in solar powered worm can openers 🙁

  • RepublicanStones

    In the intrest of fairness it should be best outta three. If the YES crowd chalk up this one, then its all to play fair, anyone else think it should be decided with one round of Rock Paper Scissors?

    http://www.independent.ie/multimedia/archive/00177/cowen2_177989t.jpg

    http://www.anphoblacht.com/news/images/2008/12/11/adams-p4.jpg

  • Paddy Matthews

    Greenflag:

    There is not a government in the western world least of all the Irish Government that has not disgraced itself in the run up to the current financial crisis.

    Most are not making things worse by deflating their economies in the middle of the worst recession in 75 years. The exceptions are the likes of Iceland and the Baltic States – who, like us, were poster-boys and girls for neo-liberalism and the bubble economy and are now making their citizenry pay the price for the mess they’ve landed them in.

    The Irish people KNOW their government is relatively powerless vis a vis international financial institutions..

    What the Irish people SEE is that our government is doing its best to look out for the interests of its mates in the banking and construction sectors and to hell with the rest of us.

  • For the no side more like. Green shoots are already appearing, including a 9.3% increase in Irish industrial output in April-June, even as it fell 0.6% in the Eurozone as a whole. Exports are also on the rise, growing 5% in the year up to April 2009. I predict a second no vote. The online polls are mostly opposed (51-45 on boards.ie, 62-38 on politics.ie). Could that be due to an atypical demographic that is more youthful and Eurosceptical than the electorate as a whole? Perhaps. But they were accurate enough last time. Methinks this is not going to be the shoo-in the govt and the elites expect, astroturf phenomena like ‘Women for Europe’/Generation Yes notwithstanding’. In a global recession, the last thing we need is the ECJ interfering in our asylum system with provisions like Article 15 of the Charter allowing asylum-seekers to work (and therefore compete with Irish people for work), and Article 19(1) giving the ECJ jurisdiction of deportations. Paragraph 7 of the referendum legislation, allowing the govt to take us into the passport-free Schengen area, would also increase illegal immigration and welfare-tourism. I m still voting no.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Future Taoiseach/Brian Boru:

    The online polls are mostly opposed (51-45 on boards.ie, 62-38 on politics.ie). Could that be due to an atypical demographic that is more youthful and Eurosceptical than the electorate as a whole? Perhaps.

    Online polls aren’t worth a twopenny damn because they are liable to manipulation by the obsessives on either side.

    Yes, our exports are doing extremely well – though there is little detail as to which sectors are performing well or badly within that overall total.

    But domestic consumption is collapsing – down 16% year-on-year (more than any EU country other than the abovementioned Baltic basket-cases) – and unemployment is still increasing, putting further strain on welfare spending and sending us further into deficit financially.

    Deflating the economy by cutting take-home pay (either through wage cuts or increased levies), increasing charges for public services, and increasing unemployment won’t help on that score.

  • If the no campaign can galvanize enough people to go out and vote come October, they will win. By insisting on another referendum, only just over a year after the last, the Irish government and EU elite are pouring excreta all over the democratic will of the Irish electorate.

    Were the Irish to vote yes, it would send a dreadful message to their mainstream politicians that they are willing to suck whatever the politicos stick up them.

    A no vote is also a vote against the wretched behavior of the Irish and EU political elite.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Most are not making things worse by deflating their economies in the middle of the worst recession in 75 years.’

    True enough. The voices that were raised by the neo con right a year or so ago to allow the banks to collapse etc are now somewhat muted particularly in the USA where off the front page some 35 banks have been closed down /taken over by Feds and sold off since the beginning of this year .Meanwhile the number of American homeowners going into foreclosure last month was 30% higher than the same month last year . And George Soros bless his philanthropic heart has coughed up 35 million dollars to help the 100,000 poorest schoolchildren living on food stamps in New York just a stone’s throw from Wall St ? . At the same time Mr Soros is of the opinion that while we may have reached the bottom of the recession the climb out of same will be a long laborious process for the simple reason of the banking system’s undercapitalisation brought about by the ‘gambling ‘ activities of mainly but not exclusively the shadow banking fraterity in Wall St , the City etc .

    While the news from France & Germany is heartening we should remember that neither of those countries have suffered the property bust that the anglophone countries have. And while the Chinese are now being diverted to making ‘domestic demand ‘ the main engine for their economic growth now that western consumption is maxed out by ‘indebtedness’ and there is some better news from the Eurozone , the fact is that the world (and all it’s smaller nations will be looking to the USA for the signal that the recession is over ).

    As for Ireland -We haven’t much of a choice . It’s the Euro or bust a la Iceland.

    While I’m just as upset about our government sleepwalking the country into this situation I’m only too well aware that the origin of this crisis lies squarely across the pond among the ‘rodentian’ infested back alleys of shadow banking and the like .

    Voting ‘no’ is like cutting off one’s head to effect a cure to a gangrenous lower leg . While a minor limb amputation will ensure many years of life for the patient-amputation of the head will ensure the patient will no longer be a participant in economic activities 😉

    Tough times ahead and that’s an end of it . Give up the fags -cut down on the drink and if you still believe -pray 😉

  • Greenflag

    WTF ?

    The above post 11 is Greenflag’s reply to post 7 above .

  • Paddy Matthews

    I’m only too well aware that the origin of this crisis lies squarely across the pond among the ‘rodentian’ infested back alleys of shadow banking and the like.

    No. Our property bubble and its subsequent collapse – and the resultant collapse in tax revenues from an unbalanced tax system which is why we’re in a much worse situation than the rest of western Europe – is entirely home-grown.

  • Dublin Exile

    I think there’ll be a Yes outcome for a couple of reasons:

    1. The people will put their own economic interests first. The recession, like the prospect of being hung in the morning, has focussed peoples attentions on real issues rather than on the red herrings that carried the debate last time round. Like it or not being the odd man out on Lisbon will be bad for inward investment and jobs.

    2. A number of new civic groups and grassroot type campaigns have emerged on the Yes side to campaign while the No side are the same old faces from last time minus Ganley. Evidence from both the newspapers and the web is that these groups are out there working and making the arguments.

    3. The voters used the council and euro elections to ‘kick bishop brennan up the arse’ as it were, and gave FF and the Greens a bit of a hiding so they dont need to use this next opportunity to express their antipathy.

    4. As a direct result of the successes in June the FG and Labour organisations are in ebullient form and will find it fairly easy to get their members out on the doorsteps for another campaign.

    5. FF morale is in the gutter at the moment so the leadership will pull out all the plugs to give their activists and supporters a campaign ‘win’ in the hope that this will wipe out the memory of bad losses in June and have them prepared to back out on the doorsteps at the next general election (in 2010).

  • Greenflag

    Perhaps I should have stated the origin of the ‘worldwide’ financial crisis . I agree that our local tax structure and our very high home ownership percentage circa 87% or 20 points higher than the USA has made things worse than in the rest of Europe but then nowhere else in Europe is home ownership at such a high percentage .
    Home grown -yes but not entirely . And the same can be said for most of the western world bar Norway where a mixture of old fashioned conservative banking practices and the sovereign wealth fund created by government ‘ownership’ of the oil wealth has kept the Norwegian economy growing at 3% .

    There’ll be a YES result even if not by a landslide . And NO – FF had better not interpret such a result as a campaign win and neither should any of the other supporting parties . The people will vote yes because they cannot see an economic alternative . The ‘commissioner ‘ business and all that is just a red herring or should that be a green cod 😉

  • Dublin exile

    How would the Irish people be the odd man out by voting no, if the vote is no the treaty falls and everyone is in the same boat and it is back to the drawing board or in reality where we are today.

    Again, how is putting ones economic interests first by voting no?

    It is either a ridiculous statement or a dishonest one.

    ————————————————

    There is no question of a no vote bringing the whole EU house down, what a no vote will do is bluntly tell the EU’s political elite, [who most agree got us to where we are economically,] that we [the EU tax payers] will not empower them any further without the EU placing democratic infrastructure in place.

    There free ride is over, no taxation without representation.

  • That should have been

    how is putting ones economic interests first by voting yes?

  • “2. A number of new civic groups and grassroot type campaigns have emerged on the Yes side to campaign while the No side are the same old faces from last time minus Ganley. Evidence from both the newspapers and the web is that these groups are out there working and making the arguments.”

    They have “astroturf” written all over them, at least with respect to “We Belong” and “Women foe Europe”, both founded by dyed in the wool FFers. “We Belong” is a FF front founded by Olivia Buckley, FF communications-director in 2002-7. Likewise, “Women for Europe” is founded by Olive Braiden, FF euro election candidate for Dublin in 1994. Phoenix Magazine is right: “it’s the same old political hacks and Eurocrats that are really calling the shots”..But the presentation of visionaries and ‘cool’ personalities from the arts, sport and business is designed to give the impression that it’s not the political establishment and fat cats that are driving the Yes side”.

  • Candyman

    [i]Like it or not being the odd man out on Lisbon will be bad for inward investment and jobs.[/i]

    1. The Irish may be briefly scapegoated if we votáil níl arís. However, the rest of the European political establishment know very well that if they had the guts to put the ‘Treaty’ before their people then it would also be rejected several times. Do you think the British are going to embrace it?

    2. Have you got any evidence to substantiate your claim that another no vote will have a negative effect on investment?

    [i]The voters used the council and euro elections to ‘kick bishop brennan up the arse’ as it were, and gave FF and the Greens a bit of a hiding so they dont need to use this next opportunity to express their antipathy.[/i]

    The McCarthy report was published post-European elections. I think you are grossly underestimating the anger out there at the moment. I predict civil disorder by the beginning of next year.

    [i]As a direct result of the successes in June the FG and Labour organisations are in ebullient form and will find it fairly easy to get their members out on the doorsteps for another campaign.[/i]

    Pure speculation. And why does it logically follow that a supporter of FG or Labour is, by extention, pro-Lisbon?

    [i]FF morale is in the gutter at the moment so the leadership will pull out all the plugs to give their activists and supporters a campaign ‘win’ in the hope that this will wipe out the memory of bad losses in June and have them prepared to back out on the doorsteps at the next general election (in 2010)[/i]

    With respect, that’s utter rubbish and, once again, pure speculation. How exactly are they going to ‘pull out all the plugs’? The people hate FF at the moment – if all they see is FF ramming down the message that they need to vote yes then people are automatically just going to vote no.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Greenflag:

    our very high home ownership percentage circa 87% or 20 points higher than the USA has made things worse than in the rest of Europe but then nowhere else in Europe is home ownership at such a high percentage

    Buy-to-let was a major factor in driving up house prices and is a bigger contributor to the mess than home ownership as such. And that’s before we consider the problems of non-performing commercial property and large-scale speculative development that the Government is asking the electorate to underwrite with Nama.

    Dublin exile:

    The people will put their own economic interests first. The recession, like the prospect of being hung in the morning, has focussed peoples attentions on real issues rather than on the red herrings that carried the debate last time round. Like it or not being the odd man out on Lisbon will be bad for inward investment and jobs.

    Agree on the deciding issues being the economic situation rather than red herrings, but I’m not convinced that threatening economic damnation or expulsion from Europe will be a plus for the Yes campaign.

    The electorate have spent the last year being bullied by our political/media/business class about the economic situation, with the IMF making regular appearances as the bogeyman who will come if we don’t shut up and take our medicine. It doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect so far and the electorate may well be “all bullied out” by now.

    As far as inward investment goes, a Yes to Lisbon I would hardly have prevented Dell from relocating to Poland (which hasn’t ratified Lisbon either). No-one is proposing leaving the EU.

    A number of new civic groups and grassroot type campaigns have emerged on the Yes side to campaign while the No side are the same old faces from last time minus Ganley. Evidence from both the newspapers and the web is that these groups are out there working and making the arguments.

    The likes of We Belong, Women for Europe and Generation Yes seem to be largely the same people who populated the “new civic groups and grassroot type campaigns” in the last Yes campaign – the great and good along with the usual bunch of young would-be politicos, PR people and lobbyists anxious to get a foot on the career ladder. I don’t see any evidence that they’re active beyond the newspapers or the internet (whose importance is in any case overstated).

    The one plus so far for the Yes campaign is the early support of the IFA leadership, but even then the proposed McCarthy cuts to farm subsidies and rural infrastructure may be a bigger influence.

    And Ganley’s absence may be a very mixed blessing for the Yes side. He’s acquired a lot of baggage since Lisbon I, and in any case I’m not convinced that Libertas had the influence on the last referendum that either it or the media liked to think it did. Middle-class Dublin still voted strongly Yes; it was rural and working-class urban voters who defeated Lisbon II.

    The voters used the council and euro elections to ‘kick bishop brennan up the arse’ as it were, and gave FF and the Greens a bit of a hiding so they dont need to use this next opportunity to express their antipathy.

    What Candyman said, with the addition of Nama. Not personally convinced that we’ll have riots by the beginning of next year, although Hallowe’en night could be hairier than usual.

    As a direct result of the successes in June the FG and Labour organisations are in ebullient form and will find it fairly easy to get their members out on the doorsteps for another campaign.

    The FG and Labour memberships and even more so their supporters are not as Euro-enthusiastic as their leaderships. Enda Kenny’s stronghold of Mayo produced one of the highest No votes for Lisbon I.

    In addition, how inclined will the parties be to spend campaigning resources on a referendum with a possible general election in the near future?

    FF morale is in the gutter at the moment so the leadership will pull out all the plugs to give their activists and supporters a campaign ‘win’ in the hope that this will wipe out the memory of bad losses in June and have them prepared to back out on the doorsteps at the next general election (in 2010).

    What Candyman said.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Middle-class Dublin still voted strongly Yes; it was rural and working-class urban voters who defeated Lisbon II.

    That should have been Lisbon I, of course; although we can expect the same relative strong and weak areas for Lisbon II.

  • Candyman

    [i]Not personally convinced that we’ll have riots by the beginning of next year, although Hallowe’en night could be hairier than usual.[/i]

    I’m not convinced that we’ll see riot situations either, what I’m getting at is that I think we’ll see more situations arising like the Thomas Cook sit-in last week, except maybe a little less genteel than a few dozen, generally polite women occupying an office.

    However, in saying that, I think we’ll the crisis can only fuel anti-immigration sentiment. After all, it stands to reason that people will soon become angry when they question why they, or their sons and daughters, must emigrate to Canada or Australia in order to find work given the continued residence of hundreds of thousands of non-nationals. Prime Time recently had an eye-opening report on the growing number of ‘racist’ incidents in Dublin recently.

    [i]And Ganley’s absence may be a very mixed blessing for the Yes side. He’s acquired a lot of baggage since Lisbon I, and in any case I’m not convinced that Libertas had the influence on the last referendum that either it or the media liked to think it did.[/i]

    Very true. His neoconservative links would only have been exposed further during this campaign to the ultimate detriment of the no campaign. Anyways, I’d be very surprised if a man as passionate about he seemed to be about an issue over the past 18 months suddenly decided not to use any of his influence and millions to have an impact on the referendum campaign.

    [i]it was rural and working-class urban voters who defeated Lisbon II.[/i]

    Yep, very true and, as far as I remember, the no vote was highest in the west and, most especially, Donegal. The tens of thousands of middle-class voters who have lost their jobs since the last election will be itching to give the establishment another good drubbing and, given how short some memories can be, may begin to blame EU immigration for this state of affairs.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Anyways, I’d be very surprised if a man as passionate about he seemed to be about an issue over the past 18 months suddenly decided not to use any of his influence and millions to have an impact on the referendum campaign.

    Ah, but how many millions are there left? Indeed, how many millions were actually there in the first place?

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0612/1224248690587.html

  • Dave

    “How would the Irish people be the odd man out by voting no…” – Mickhall

    They’ll be the ‘odd man out’ whichever way they vote since they are the only electorate in the EU who are allowed to vote on a document that alters their fundamental civil, political, human, and constitutional rights. They should use that vote to reject the treaty, and reject all such treaties that are imposed on people without their consent. That is how the Irish can once again save civilisation. 😉

  • Paddy Matthews

    The tens of thousands of middle-class voters who have lost their jobs since the last election will be itching to give the establishment another good drubbing and, given how short some memories can be, may begin to blame EU immigration for this state of affairs.

    One mildly encouraging sign on that score was the utter failure of the Libertas candidates in Dublin and Leinster in June in spite of their effort to raise the anti-immigration hare.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0519/1224246880126.html

    After all, if Ireland was to restrict immigration from other EU countries, isn’t it likely that they’d retaliate against Irish people seeking work in their countries?

    And I fear that hundreds of thousands of Irish people are going to have to do exactly that over the next decade.

  • “After all, if Ireland was to restrict immigration from other EU countries, isn’t it likely that they’d retaliate against Irish people seeking work in their countries?” I reject the thesis that Ireland has the EU to take for being allowed emigrate to the other member states, given that probably over 90% of that emigration was to the UK, and mostly before EU membership because of the CTA and the Ireland Act 1949 allowing Irish citizens residency in the UK.

  • Paddy Matthews

    I reject the thesis that Ireland has the EU to take for being allowed emigrate to the other member states, given that probably over 90% of that emigration was to the UK, and mostly before EU membership because of the CTA and the Ireland Act 1949 allowing Irish citizens residency in the UK.

    Let me guess.

    You wrote that in your first language (Polish, perhaps) and then did a Google Translate to English on it.

    Didn’t work.

  • Zoon

    Who would the Irish want to vote no anyway?

    http://www.lisbontreaty.ie/

  • Dublin Exile

    It’s all about Perception lads, if we’re percieved as moving into the UK’s Euroskeptic camp then we start to look like semi-detached members of the EU rather than fully committed.

    Also if we reject the treaty we are not just back to where we are now, we would then be seen as the country that prevented the reform of the EU and delayed the accession of other states – the goodwill that existed towards Ireland for so long at EU level evaporates.

    Theres an old irish seanfhocal (proverb) that goes ‘An té nach bhfuil laidir, ní folóir do bheith glic’ or ‘He who is not strong would want to be clever’. Ireland is not a big strong economy, it imperative that we be clever.

  • I’m a citizen of the EU, get me out of here

    Errr, what difference does perception make? The UK, Poland etc. may correctly be viewed as somewhat ‘Eurosceptic’ by the rest of the Union but what tangible difference does that actually make? There’s no grey zone to occupy or no “semi-detached” status to be had. You’re either in the EU or you’re out. End of.

  • Dublin Exile

    How anyone can post on a site dedicated to politics and society and ask the question ‘what difference does perception make?’ is beyond me…

    The fact of membership does not change but the nature of the relationship does, and thats what matters – the nature of our relationship with the rest of our neighbours in the EU.

  • I’m a citizen of the EU, get me out of here

    [i]the nature of the relationship does, and thats what matters – the nature of our relationship with the rest of our neighbours in the EU. [/i]

    Care to explicate i.e. actually substantiate your point rather than rely on hyperbolic vagueness?

  • Drama queen

    [i]if we’re percieved as moving into the UK’s Euroskeptic camp then we start to look like semi-detached members of the EU rather than fully committed. [/i]

    Yeah, and what’s the problem with that then? Do you enjoy handing over our sovereignty to French and German federalists? I want my fish back.

  • Dublin Exile

    It was only when we gave some say to those nasty German, French and British people that we dragged Ireland out of Devs monotheistic nightmare (read the Ryan report) and got some decent protecions for workers, equality of treatment for women, and real economic development. As far as im concerned ‘sovereignty’ was a by-word for maintaining the inequitable status quo and resisting social and economic progress – and still often is. Look at whose worried about ‘sovereignty’ – Dana and the religious right along with the flat earthers in PANA FFS!!!

    And if the Irish government gave a fig about fish they’d negotiate a better deal for our fishermen, but they’re far more interested in keeping that bastion of conservatism happy – the small to medium farming community – than promoting the development of a decent fish processing industry on the west coast.

    The more say european social democrats have the better, bring it on.

  • Greenflag

    Dublin exile ,

    ‘It was only when we gave some say to those nasty German, French and British people that we dragged Ireland out of Devs monotheistic nightmare ‘

    Well said . The anti EU shower would like to return the continent to a pre 1914 morass of competing mini empires .

    ‘How anyone can post on a site dedicated to politics and society and ask the question ‘what difference does perception make?’ is beyond me”

    LOL exile 🙂 The school of ‘we are the centre of the world and the world owes Ireland especially Northern Ireland ‘ is alive and well on slugger alas . If half of these eejits lived in Poland for a while it might improve their ‘perceptional skills’ but I doubt it . Village idiots don’t do well outside their village !

  • Paddy Matthews

    It was only when we gave some say to those nasty German, French and British people that we dragged Ireland out of Devs monotheistic nightmare

    Very interesting phrasing, but we’re not actually voting on a proposal to leave the EU and install Dev’s mummified corpse as Supreme Leader.

    As you yourself said earlier, the red herrings won’t work this time. On either side.

  • Greenflag

    paddy matthews ,

    ‘and install Dev’s mummified corpse as Supreme Leader.’

    If it was’nt a financial & economic crisis I’d say Dev’s mummified corpse would probably have done a better job than any of the so called political leaders on this island or even on the neighbouring one :(!

    But alas like recent US Presidential candidate John McCain our Dev despite being a mathematician of some note was not well versed in the economic sciences or in gypsy fortune telling which might have proved a better foundation for our economic developement policy . In that respect Dev seemed to have had a lot in common with the Clinton’s -Bushes ( both Sr & Jr ) and the Friedman’s , Paulson’s etc who appeared to have been directing the world economy if not from behind a wing and a prayer than from the backroom of some sleazy mafia gambling casino for the past two decades 🙁

  • I’m a citizen of the EU, get me out of here

    Dublin Exile,

    You completely avoided my question i.e. failed to substantiate your assertion. Instead, you held up a very large straw man. No one in their right mind would advocate withdrawl from the EU.

  • Greenflag

    paddy matthews ,

    ‘but we’re not actually voting on a proposal to leave the EU ‘

    True enough . Anthropologists tell us that our ancestors climbed down from the trees and stood erect and took the million year walk to sapiens status by virtue of their developing intelligence .
    The latest research indicates however that it was’nt so much that man left the trees but that it was the trees that left man .

    So while Ireland will not be leaving the EU the EU may leave Ireland behind . That will be the perception anyway . Perceptions count and if you haven’t got the resources to market your ‘economy ‘ then FDI will pass you by .

    We may even become as attractive an investment destinatiion as Northern Ireland .:(

  • “You wrote that in your first language (Polish, perhaps) and then did a Google Translate to English on it.”

    My first language is English. Spelling mistakes are not the preserve of the non-Anglophone world.

  • Dublin Exile, it is the elites who are “semi-detached” for refusing to accept the no votes in Ireland, France and Holland.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Greenflag:

    So while Ireland will not be leaving the EU the EU may leave Ireland behind. That will be the perception anyway. Perceptions count and if you haven’t got the resources to market your ‘economy’ then FDI will pass you by.

    FDI will go wherever it can get the best deal. The things it is looking for are costbase, skillbase, access to markets, levels of taxation, political stability. It’s not sentimental unless it thinks it can increase its profits as a result of being sentimental.

    The antics of the Kaczynski brothers (remember the Fawltyesque rows with Germany over EU voting rights?), or the fact that Poland is not in the Euro and is unlikely to join in the near future, did not stop Dell setting up in Lódz and eventually pulling the plug on Limerick. The antics of British eurosceptics didn’t stop Nissan setting up in Sunderland. Vaclav Klaus’s looniness on a multitude of issues isn’t going to stop companies setting up in Brno or Prague if they think they can get a good deal there.

    No-one – at least no-one sane – is proposing leaving the EU. No-one is proposing imposing tariffs on Ireland if we fail to do what we’re told and it couldn’t be done even if it was threatened.

    Look, personally I’m an agnostic on Lisbon. I voted Yes last time, the final deciding factor being Declan Ganley (associate of the American God-and-gun-loving right) trying to claim the Sunday before the vote that the Lisbon treaty would allow (abolitionist) Brussels to introduce the death penalty over our heads. There was only so much bullcrap that a man could put up with before snapping…

    I don’t think whether Lisbon comes into force or not will make any significant difference to the lives of ordinary people either here or anywhere else in the EU. It seems to be the sort of institutional fiddling and self-aggrandisement beloved of the EU bureaucracy.

    What will make a difference to the lives of ordinary people here (and those of their children and grandchildren) are the economic policies currently being followed by this government. I fear that this country will be stunted for the rest of my lifetime not as a result of Lisbon but of Lenihan.

  • Greenflag

    paddy matthews ,

    ‘FDI will go wherever it can get the best deal. ‘

    No question. I read the Russians (i.e Russian capital ) is now involved in high level negotiations to revive the German ship building industry at Rostock on the Baltic . German know how and modern technology in exchange for Russian capital ( i.e wealth derived from oil or former communist turned capitalist asset confiscators ). I mention that just to reassure you there isn’t a sentimental bone in GF’s body when it comes to the nature of ‘return on capital’ industry . It’s the nature of the beast . Of course now that any putative ‘alternative ‘ even if it was a totalitarian one i.e communism is no longer around we have essentially a world wide system with regional groupings (EU, SEATO, NAFTA etc ) and in and amongst these are larger emerging economies like China , Russia , Brazil , India etc all competing for scarce investment and economic development . Meanwhile the politicians in all countries have lost any relative power they used to have over the ‘market’ and the movement of capital .

    Look at the problems that Obama is facing re health care reform in the USA ? Despite the medical /health insurance / drug companies ‘grabbing ‘ of almost 17% of USA GDP up from 5% in 1970, the resistance to any equitable reform is being led by the Ganley type neo cons -backed up by right wing mobs, radio jocks a la Limbaugh , private health insurance companies and the drug manufactures and all this despite a clear preference among the majority of American medical doctors and people for at the very least a public option to compete with the private sector?

    The question thus arises when the people vote for a President /Government on the basis of certain reforms or changes that need to be made and when elected that government or President or Prime Minister /Taoiseach decides to listen to a small though powerful financial lobby , elite or interest group then what worth the voice of the people ?

    Ireland for several reasons is in a tough bind re Lisbon II . I don’t believe that the opposition to Lisbon II has made enough of a case to vote NO. That does not mean of course that those advocating Yes have been models of persuasive clarity . They haven’t. It’s the lesser of two evils for most people .

    ‘What will make a difference to the lives of ordinary people here (and those of their children and grandchildren) are the economic policies currently being followed by this government’

    Fair enough .Have you any confidence in the ‘Opposition’s’ stance ?

  • Actually Libertas did quite well for a first election outing by Irish standards (5.4%), especially when you consider they won 7% across the 3 constituencies in which they ran. That’s 100,000 votes – about quadruple the Green vote in the Euros, and more than double than the PDs in 2007. Had it been a GE, or had they ran local election candidates, they would have won seats. I see a case for them remaining on the scene. A vote for a pro-Lisbon party does not equate to a pro-Lisbon vote in a referendum. We had 2 Eurosceptic Green MEPs for 10 years but people were voting yes to Maastricht and Amsterdam in 1992/98. So it would be very foolish indeed to go overstating the relevance of that election to the referendum. They were voting on domestic issues, and immigration is a concern that people have – just not sufficiently important for them to vote primarily on that basis.

  • Dave

    A pan-national political party aimed at eurosceptic voters was a fundamentally flawed model, since it is aimed at people whose concerns are likely to be based on national sovereignty and national interest and who would obviously see a pan-national nationalist party as self-contradictory. Ganley tried to solve that problem by making each party autonomous but that didn’t fool anybody and left it exposed to ridicule as a unified party when each autonomous branch began adopting different positions on the same issues according to their respective national interest, leading to conflict between the autonomous branches, e.g. some branches calling for greater immigration controls on EU nationals while the Polish branch campaigned for the removal of such restrictions on its nationals.

    If Ganley had formed a political party in Ireland, he would have been able to attract very high calibre people to stand for political office and that would have done the nation a huge service. The two political parties in Ireland both have a bi-partisan policy on EU issues which censures all political debate. In addition, they both only select candidates for public office who are pro-EU. Candidates who are eurosceptic are not selected. So Ganley would have provided a democratic option that would allow the public to elect candidates who are not Europhiles and that has been deliberately deleted from Ireland’s compromised democracy. He would also not be in the dismal position whereby the mediocre elite within political parties ensure that nobody is promoted that might present a threat to their own position. Since the elite are mediocre, they only promote those who are sub-mediocre, leading to an inevitable downward slope.

  • Greenflag

    Dave,

    ‘If Ganley had formed a political party in Ireland, he would have been able to attract very high calibre people to stand for political office and that would have done the nation a huge service.’

    While we could do with a stronger opposition than what we have I doubt if Ganley could even have stepped into the shoes of the former PD’s who though europhile could be said to have veered towards a more right wing prescription for Ireland’s economic and social ills . The fact that the PD’s are no longer around should have told Ganley that the market for ultra laissez faire economics is thin on the ground in Ireland and probably also in NI and the UK.

    ‘The two political parties in Ireland both have a bi-partisan policy on EU issues which censures all political debate”

    There are actually 5 including Irish Labour , the Green Party and SF which together add up to approx 30% of the vote . Apart from SF they are pro Lisbon . If Ganley had a party the SF anti EU front would have been ‘strengthened’ by a few per cent .

    ‘Since the elite are mediocre, they only promote those who are sub-mediocre, leading to an inevitable downward slope.’

    Interesting comment . The same argument was used if I recall for explaining the financial meltdown in Wall St whereby hundreds of financial executives were promoted beyond their moral never mind intellectual and financial capacities which led them to believe that vast fortunes could be made by lending people with low paying jobs large amounts of money to buy houses they could’nt afford and selling the mortgages off as triple A investments to investors and cities and municipalities all over the globe ? Now was that mediocre or sheer genius or stupid or just criminal ?

    Of course before the economic meltdown the elite of the shadow banking world were hailed as genii recession killers. Their political backers were also considered to be without blemish and knew the score . Even the guru of the US federal reserve Milton Friedman was seen to be the oracle of permanent prosperity . By his own later admission his own analysis of the market was seriously flawed .

    If the USA has turned it’s back on the neo cons why ever would Ireland want to support those like Ganley who are on record as supporting the Cheney’s , Rumsfeld’s and the rest of the war mongering corrupt corporations like Haliburton and their ilk who have fleeced the American taxpayer in the interest of ‘war’ profits ?