I like this. Not a lot, but I do like it. It stands out like a sore thumb amongst the utterly banal marketing and talking down of the rest of pro Lisbon noise… And Jason is unapologetically pro Lisbon. Yet it doesn’t talk to the reader as if they hadn’t got a thought of their own. This bit below the fold is the bit I like the best. It’s the bit where it says what is likely to happen if Ireland does not ratify the Treaty. The answer: not a lot. Except Ireland will likely have to drink its soup on the veranda. Possibly alone, possibly the company of others, like the Czechs or the newly Tory-led British (which would make things very interesting).
We cannot be forced to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. Thats not just Irish law, thats EU law. But if we vote no a second time, we are in effect telling the other countries that this is the end of the line for us. Not that we are leaving the EU, but that we have gone as far as we are going.
The rest of the EU wont like that answer, but theyll accept it, and make their own arrangements without us. Why? Because we told them we were no longer interested. Shocking and all as the concept is, they will actually believe us. If there is anyone who thinks that Ireland is better served by the great majority of our allies having private discussions without us about the future of Europe, then lets hear from them.
In 1916 we fought and defeated the most powerful empire in the world for the right to speak for ourselves at the table of nations. The EU assured us of that place, and now we seem eager to relinquish it, just as other small countries like Iceland seem very eager to take our place. (Or, in the case of Iceland, is it plaice?)
This October, we get to decide our future, and despite what the cynics tell you, our decision will be respected.
It’s better to look these things straight in the face rather than running away from them, or letting fear of the future pre-dominate. Which is kind of what I think Hugh Green is trying to do with this rather complicated piece of working out in which he hopes the left’s No campaign gets a good national hearing but that they actually lose the vote:
I agree entirely with the observations coming from advocates of a No vote that the purpose of the Lisbon Treaty is a consolidation of neo-liberalism within the European Union, that it entails a greater militarisation of that entity, and that for the most part it is a bad thing. At the same time I fear we might see a tendency among No campaigners to gloss over the ugly reality of the consequences of a successful No vote second time round.
I am not the best judge of what those consequences might be, but I do not believe that they would be good for the left wing in this country, nor do I believe from this vantage point that a No vote would serve as some sort of beacon for leftist struggle across Europe. That strikes me as wishful thinking. So I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with a No vote but seeing a Yes outcome as easier to deal with. Perhaps the best result would be for people to hear lots of convincing arguments against voting Yes, none of which would have anything to do with corporation tax, abortion, or the retention of commissioners, but to lose anyway.
Perhaps the prospect of sipping cold gazpacho on that veranda with all those ‘Gung Ho’ Cameronite Tories is just too much for Hugh?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty