Lisbon passes by two to one margin

A massive swing to YES has seen the Lisbon Treaty referendum pass by 67.1% to 32.9%. Its the highest margin for a European referendum since Maastricht in 1992.

Over on O’Conall St I argue this is a good result for the North and a bad one for David Cameron.

  • exile

    Hardly incisive or provocative to argue that this is a bad result for Dave.

    [i]…allowing Ireland to remain at the centre of the European project.[/i]

    Exactly [i]how[/i] would a ‘níl’ have meant the opposite?

    [i]The YES vote is good news for the North too as the region remains highly dependant on EU support and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future.[/i]

    Are you insinuating the a ‘níl’ would have resulted in the EU withdrawing funding to the north? If so, do you have any evidence to back up such an assertion?

    Even if we were to accept that the EU, in the event of a ‘níl’, would seek revenge by chucking Ireland off the gravy train I would at least give the bureaucrats some credit to be able to distinguish between an area governed by the Republic of Ireland and an area governed by the United Kingdom.

  • loki

    Conall,
    You really need to get out more. The best thing that the UK can do is withdraw from the EU. How much n=money would we save- probabaly enough to pay off Labour’s massive and ever-increasing deficit!!!

  • Greenflag

    Conall ,

    Yes it was a good result for Ireland -North and South .The best thing the UK can do is to apply for membership of the Eurozone so as to save the British people from the danger of hyperinflation and further devaluation of their currency which will become more attractive to currency speculators as a British general election approaches.

  • exile

    [I]Yes it was a good result for Ireland -North and South[/I]

    Why?

  • Over in Dun Laoghaire

    It was a fantastic day for the Irish nation, but I have to completely disagree with this statement:

    “…allowing Ireland to remain at the centre of the European project.”

    Sorry, but every country in the EU claims its at the centre of Europe. That’s all well and good when proclaimed by a government because they know it’s what their people want to hear, but do we really need bloggers spitting out the same nonsense? The reality is that Germany, France and the UK are at the centre of Europe. We, however, are not.

  • DC

    I was always told that the Czech Republic was at the heart of Europe! True geographically, but erm well politically, I’m not so sure. It should be though.

  • I am very disappointed. The fear of the people – not the will of the people. But I accept the decision of the people. The concerns about Europe have not gone away, but they have been swamped by the economy, which I personally believe is already starting to recover (latest monthly CSO figures showed unemployment only rose 600), abd Bloxham Stockbrokers say growth may return in the New Year. So at the very moment we may be about the recover, we have voted away our sovereignty.

    I’m hoping the Czech President blocks this – at least long enough to allow the Tories to reverse UK ratification and hold a referendum. If President Klaus proves unable to do that, I think this saga may end up strengthening partition if the UK ends up pulling out of the EU and taking NI with it. The SDLP may regret its role in this campaign.

  • Conquistador

    But I accept the decision of the people

    If only that was done 1st time round

  • Dave

    Dr Anthony Coughlan, economist at Trinity College Dublin, along with the late Raymond Crotty, are responsible for the ‘Crotty Judgement’ by the Supreme Court which declared in 1986 that sovereignty belongs to the people and not to the government. Because the government do not own the fundamental rights of the people, they cannot remove those rights from the people and them away to third parties without asking permission. If the government did seek to give the peoples’ hard-won freedom away, there would have be no referendum.

    Here is his Anthony Coughlan’s view on this result is that it reflects “Not the will of the people, but the fear of the people.” In that he is correct. Only a tiny minority of voters would vote Yes because they want to give their fundamental freedoms away, declaring themselves to no longer have the freedom to determine their own affairs. That is just the hardcore minority of brainwashed europhiles who believe that there is a non-existent European demos. Most will have voted Yes out of fear and misinformation.

    “Not the will of the people, but the fear of the people, has led a majority of Irish voters to approve ratifying the Lisbon Treaty in yesterday’s re-run referendum.

    Ireland’s voters voted not on the content of Lisbon but on membership of the EU, on fear of political isolation if they did not say Yes to the same Treaty as they said No to last year, and on the promise of jobs and economic recovery which the Yes-side bullied and bamboozled them into believing was they would get if they only voted Yes.

    Thus the bankrupt Irish political Establishment, which has ruined its country’s economy, has opted through stupidity and fear to clamp an undemocratic Constitution on itself and most of Europe.

    This year the Republic of Ireland will suffer a decline of nearly one-tenth in its economic output; it will have a Budget deficit equivalent to 12% of GDP, an unemployment rate of some 14% of its labour force and resumed net emigration from the country.

    One accepts the result of the Lisbon re-run as a fact, but it is not a result that democrats need morally or politically to identify with or approve. This result does not have political legitimacy, whatever the voting percentages amount to, because of the fraudulent and undemocratic way in which the referendum was run, making it unique in these respects among the 30 or so referendums that have been held in Ireland since its Constitution was adopted in 1937.

    With limitless money provided by the Brussels Commission, the political parties in the European Parliament, the Irish Government and private business firms, Ireland’s Yes-side forces easily outspent the Nos by at least ten to one in a referendum campaign which was unique in modern Irish history for its massive unlawfulness and breaches of the country’s referendum law.”

    As Pete says, you can read the whole article here.

  • Dave

    Typo: “If the government did not seek to give the peoples’ hard-won freedom away, there would have no need for a referendum”

  • Dave

    DC, the ball and not the man, lest I kick your two balls so far up your torso that that tiny marble-sized brain of yours will sound like three rattles in a tin can. 😉

    Anyway, here is a typo-free version:

    Because the government do not own the fundamental rights of the people, they cannot remove those rights from the people and [b]give[/b] them away to third parties without asking permission. If the government did [b]not[/b] seek to give the peoples’ hard-won freedom away, there would have [b]been no need for a[/b] referendum.

    Anthony Coughlan’s view on this result is that it reflects “Not the will of the people, but the fear of the people.” In that he is correct.

  • Dave

    ah…DC’s post got snipped…

  • who would Stoop so low?

    ”Over on O’Conall St I argue this is a good result for the North and a bad one for David Cameron”

    Err no you don’t, actually. You merely state that it is a good and bad result for yhe aforementioned parties without even bothering to even beginning to make anything resembling an argument for such a view.

    How about substantiating your viewpoints? If not, don’t bother insulting our intelligence by pretending that you’ve made a persuasive case to back up your opinion.

  • Paddy Matthews

    Future Taoiseach:

    I personally believe is already starting to recover (latest monthly CSO figures showed unemployment only rose 600), abd Bloxham Stockbrokers say growth may return in the New Year. So at the very moment we may be about the recover, we have voted away our sovereignty.

    Not convinced that the shoots are all that green. The unemployment figures may be showing a decreasing rate of increase but we don’t know yet to what extent that’s due to a reduction in redundancies or due to people going back to education, giving up the search for work, or simply emigrating.

    Certainly last month the CSO were able to state that net emigration had returned in the period up to April but we still don’t know what the situation has been over the last five months. I have memories from the last recession of the CSO having to revise population and migration figures in hindsight.

    And – even assuming the world economy is out of the woods – we also run the risk of the Government dousing whatever green shoots there may be in Paraquat as a result of a premature and excessive fiscal adjustment in December.

    I’m hoping the Czech President blocks this – at least long enough to allow the Tories to reverse UK ratification and hold a referendum. If President Klaus proves unable to do that, I think this saga may end up strengthening partition if the UK ends up pulling out of the EU and taking NI with it. The SDLP may regret its role in this campaign.

    You’re assuming that David Cameron actually wants to indulge the carpet-chewing wing of his own party rather than find some way of weaseling out of the commitment due to “events, old boy, events”. I wouldn’t be too sure of that if I were you.

    As far as the Lisbon result itself goes, personally I’d have preferred a closer result so as not to encourage delusions of adequacy on the part of this government, but mainly I’m glad that the last two months of lies, hyperbole, misrepresentation and boorishness (from both sides) is over.

  • DC

    I know Dave, Colon was being anal or, sorry, religious over enforcing the ‘man’ rule. Jeez, it’s a Saturday night and Colon is acting like he’s got the Monday blues, I was joking!

  • Wilde Rover

    Greenflag,

    “Yes it was a good result for Ireland -North and South .”

    I’m sure you are as happy as I am at the prospect of Tony Blair becoming president of the EU.

    The people of Europe are blessed to have a person of such honesty and kind heartedness willing to represent them.

    Who can forget how he stood alone when he said that Saddam Hussein was capable of hitting anywhere in Europe with Weapons of Mass Destruction within forty five minutes? I think we all know how that claim has been vindicated over time and how, alone, he saved Europe from imminent destruction at the hands of Saddam’s expansive arsenal of death.

    I am sure that you are also delighted at how he has helped Iraq with its dreadful overpopulation problem. Naturally, I am sure you are as excited as I am by the prospect of him helping to reduce the overabundance of women and children in other resource rich parts of the world, this time flying the EU flag into battle.

  • tom

    “I think this saga may end up strengthening partition if the UK ends up pulling out of the EU and taking NI with it. The SDLP may regret its role in this campaign.”

    There is not a snow balls chance in hell that David Cameron will take the UK out of the EU.

  • the futre’s bright, the future’s orange

    well if gerry was against this treaty then I assume this is a good result 🙂 🙂

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    So we have voted YES and according to the Looney Left we can now we can look forward to……

    1. All round Abortions for everyone.
    2. Joining NATO and a European army and engaging in foreign wars (with our very own fleets of battleships, aircraft carriers, nuclear subs, squadrons of airforce fighters, artillery and tank divisions…. that we already have.)
    3. Minimum wage comprising of a bowl of steam.
    4. the End of the World.

    etc…

    I remember the same Loony Left used the very same arguments during the Maastricht Treaty and the Nice Treaty…..when subsequently Ireland recieved € billions from the EU and the Celtic Tiger was born.

    What a kick in the arse then for Trish McKenna, Richard Boyd Barret, Richard Greene, Declan Ganley, UKIP, the Séinners Gerry Adams and his shadow Mary Lou McDonald etc…and the rest of the cranky bunch.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Only a tiny minority of voters would vote Yes because they want to give their fundamental freedoms away, declaring themselves to no longer have the freedom to determine their own affairs.”

    What nonsense! What freedoms is he talking about.

    Look, let’s put this into perspective…a small nation of just 4.5 million, and seen by the EU bureauocrats to be holding up the whole European project of which they will implement no matter what……all because of the “democratic” will of it’s misinformed people on the edge of Europe who said NO. A misinformed people on the edge of Europe who said NO who received billions from the EU taxpayers of Germany, France, Britain etc…that kick started the Celtic Tiger and the boom and wealth that our country had never seen the like of before in our history.

    BTW, democracy means nothing, so forget all the noble hoo-haa and gibberish about liberty, democracy, neutrality, soverneigity etc… Maybe if we had a population of 80+ million people like Germany, a vast army and a nuclear arsenal as well as a history of being a bit of a bully our “democratic” voice would then mean something
    in Europe no doubt.

    So pleeze stop all this bullshit about democracy, neutrality, soverneigity, freedom rights etc…
    on paper it’s sounds great but in the real political world it means fuck all as history proves. Best thing for Ireland is to go along and
    play the game as we get more outta Europe as the past has proved.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    BTW, our “neutrality” means nothing….

    “But the underlying, indisputable truth is that Ireland is not neutral.

    Ireland actively assisted the allies during the Second World War — not as much as the allies wanted, and not as much as it might: but ours was a vastly more pro-allied policy than that followed by Sweden or Switzerland.

    The latter shot down allied bombers which entered its airspace: Ireland allowed British aircraft access to the Atlantic’s vital north-western approaches through the Donegal corridor. Ireland allowed thousands of its citizens to join the British armed forces. Ireland gave vital weather reports to the British.
    Our Defence Forces handed over U-boat parts and German mines washed ashore on our coasts to the British.

    Yet, there remains a truly extraordinary desire to conceal this central non-neutral truth, even from ourselves. It apparently makes us feel better if we maintain the fiction of “neutrality”. This also feeds into the moral laziness which is central to our “defence policy”, if such a grandiloquent term can be used to describe an anti-aircraft defence which consists of a pencil sharpener, a fighter-command which is composed of two airborne bottle-openers, and a tank force which can deploy three up-gunned, eco-friendly, wind-driven, gender-neutral Model T Fords.

    Any Dail debate on defence or neutrality is always dominated by the reiteration of sanctimonious and unprincipled vapidities from the left, (which conveniently forgets these days that once upon a time it preferred the USSR to the USA). Reality will not be allowed intrude into the chamber, as TDs once again conduct a rhetorical morality competition.
    Meanwhile, American aircraft bound for Iraq and Afghanistan refuel in Shannon, and USAF B-52s fly invisibly high through Irish airspace on their way to operations.

    This is a mad, dishonest way for a state to behave, but it is consistent with de Valera’s regrets over Hitler’s death. It makes us appear to be neutral, even when we’re not. Why the Holy Grail of neutrality should be a worthier objective than being in the line of battle against the Third Reich, the USSR etc… is a conundrum of Irish political identity which I have neither space nor brainpower to explain here.”

  • OC

    What % of the RoI electorate cast ballots on this referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. And what of the last referendum?

    Also, any info re absentee ballots from expatriots?

  • Greenflag

    Dave,

    ‘Dr Anthony Coughlan, economist at Trinity College Dublin’

    So what ? To paraphrase an old medical term -economists differ and economies die ! The world has just reaped the ‘benefit’ of a generation of neo conservative economists of the Chicago School. We have all read how ‘economists’ were so adept at forecasting the property bubble and this recession and matters economic that we should now take them at their word when they pronounce on ‘sovereignty ‘ whatever that means in the world of the 21st century . Dr Coughlan speaks for a tiny organisation that has little support among the broad mass of the people.

    ‘Here is his Anthony Coughlan’s view on this result is that it reflects “Not the will of the people, but the fear of the people.” In that he is correct’

    Is he then ? Well if he is he needs to be consistent . Did Dr Coughlan make the same claim after the first referendum ? Did he claim that the fear mongerers of SF , Ganley’s Libertas and their neo fascist supporters in France and Austria scared slightly over half the voters into voting NO ?

    He did’nt . Like the rest of the NO shower at the time he pranced on about ‘democracy’ in a referendum when half the people did’nt vote and the No’s edged the Yes vote by a small percentage .

  • Greenflag

    OC

    59% for this referendum . 52% for the last .

    41% of voters did’nt bother on this occasion whereas 48% did’nt bother the last time .

    In that context Dave’s rantings re sovereignty and democracy etc etc have to be seen for what they are . A hard case of Europhobia. He is Libertas in tooth and claw 😉

  • Greenflag

    greagoir o frainclin ,

    ‘Why the Holy Grail of neutrality should be a worthier objective than being in the line of battle against the Third Reich, the USSR etc… is a conundrum of Irish political identity which I have neither space nor brainpower to explain here.”’

    LOL 🙂
    To judge by this referendum and the notable absence of comments from French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel during the campaign -I think the French & Germans have finally cottoned on to the lesson that our British neighbours learned in WW2 i.e . ‘Don’t ask the Irish to be your Allies -it’s far more productive and less hassle to let them ‘volunteer’ instead .

  • Greenflag

    wilde rover

    ‘I’m sure you are as happy as I am at the prospect of Tony Blair becoming president of the EU. ‘

    Well he did a good job in NI . Not a pretty one but enough to stop the locals from trading their respective animosities via AK 47’s to trading their respective insults across the floor of a powerless talking shop .

    Beats ‘blood in the streets ‘ anyway .

    He’s wasting his time in the Middle East . The Israelis have no intention anytime soon of dealing seriously with the Palesinian people on a political settlement .

    President Blair . It’ll be one for the books 🙂 I’m sure every Unionist in Northern Ireland will be delighted to see the first EU president being a ‘Roman Catholic Englishman ‘. Now if he was a Roman Catholic Irishman they would be less happy eh ;)?

  • Everyone seems so fixated about Blair becoming President of the European Council. When was the last time the “obvious” candidate got any plum EU job? (reappointments aside)

  • Greenflag

    ‘Everyone seems so fixated about Blair becoming President of the European Council’

    Wilde rover isn’t everyone 😉 He just dragged that diverting canard up because the No’s are still in denial about the extent of the YES margin of victory .

    Can’t be our Bertie anyway . You can’t have the EU president going around in a yellow anorak drinking pints of Guinness at Old Trafford and at the Cat & Cage with his Drumcondra ‘mafia ‘ .
    Berlusconi would be more qualified 😉

    Perhaps they should send Bertie to Israel and Palestine to help American Senator George Mitchell sort out that mess . Shure it could be lifetime employment even two or three lifetimes !

  • guevara

    So can anyone say whats changed ( apart from the credit crunch )since it was rejected last time.

  • exile

    Looks like another “blog and run” from McDevitt: throw out some unsubstantiated drivel and then go into hiding when challenged.

  • Jimmy

    Peter Hitchens tells it straight as usual, I particularly like this part of his colunm regarding the Lisbon referendum, I would suggest people read it.

    That referendum was just another nail in the coffin of democracy.

    (Hitchens)”What about Ireland, which still lovingly and proudly preserves the bullet marks on Dublin buildings from the Easter Rising against British rule in 1916? How strange that the last gasp of national sovereignty should happen in this odd, quiet way on a wet and windy morning, here of all places”.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1217950/So-Ireland-votes-yes-Lisbon-treaty-1000-years-history-ends-like-this.html?ITO=1490&referrer=yahoo

  • Dave

    [i]“Only a tiny minority of voters would vote Yes because they want to give their fundamental freedoms away, declaring themselves to no longer have the freedom to determine their own affairs.” – Dave

    What nonsense! What freedoms is he talking about.

    Look, let’s put this into perspective…a small nation of just 4.5 million, and seen by the EU bureauocrats to be holding up the whole European project of which they will implement no matter what……all because of the “democratic” will of it’s misinformed people on the edge of Europe who said NO. A misinformed people on the edge of Europe who said NO who received billions from the EU taxpayers of Germany, France, Britain etc…that kick started the Celtic Tiger and the boom and wealth that our country had never seen the like of before in our history.

    BTW, democracy means nothing, so forget all the noble hoo-haa and gibberish about liberty, democracy, neutrality, soverneigity etc… Maybe if we had a population of 80+ million people like Germany, a vast army and a nuclear arsenal as well as a history of being a bit of a bully our “democratic” voice would then mean something
    in Europe no doubt.

    So pleeze stop all this bullshit about democracy, neutrality, soverneigity, freedom rights etc…
    on paper it’s sounds great but in the real political world it means fuck all as history proves. Best thing for Ireland is to go along and
    play the game as we get more outta Europe as the past has proved. ” – Greagoir O Frainclin[/i]

    Oh dear Lord! That’s hilarious! I’ll print that post and pin it to wall – it’ll keep me smiling for at least a week. 😉

  • europass

    “Only a tiny minority of voters would vote Yes because they want to give their fundamental freedoms away, declaring themselves to no longer have the freedom to determine their own affairs”

    Well that would certainly be perverse Dave but plenty us chose not to “give away” our freedoms but to secure them. The only “freedom” you’ve offered is nothing more than an island prison of conservative prejudice. You stay in it with Mr Hitchens if you like. The rest of us will spread our wings – even if that mean entrusting our freedoms to the wider democracy we’re building with Johnny foreigner.

  • Dave

    europass, that propaganda was a key part of the Yes campaign. Those who were betraying Irish sovereignty by advocating the surrendering of it to the EU were careful to cover themselves in an Irish flag in applicable photo ops while doing so. The propaganda here is that these quislings cannot be traitors because, well, look at how they hold the Irish tricolour aloft. They are not traitors but true patriots.

    Peter Hitchens points this out (as linked by Jimmy above) in relation to other photo ops that were chosen by the Yes quislings to work this propaganda, such as the GPO which is a symbol of Irish sovereignty:

    “What about Ireland, which still lovingly and proudly preserves the bullet marks on Dublin buildings from the Easter Rising against British rule in 1916? How strange that the last gasp of national sovereignty should happen in this odd, quiet way on a wet and windy morning, here of all places.”

    The propaganda is basically that surrender of Irish sovereignty is the best way of defending Irish sovereignty, and so we see traitors transformed into patriots.

    In reality, you have given your fundamental national freedoms away, the most fundamental of which is the freedom to determine your own affairs.

    You have “secured” absolutely noting by the surrender of your freedom other than your own enslavement. That is the power of propaganda.

  • Dave

    One lesson that northern nationalists should learn from the way that their southern counterparts voted on the Lisbon Treaty is that they don’t believe that the freedom of nations to determine their own affairs is an ideal that is worth any inconvenience to short term financial considerations. They have literally sold their sovereignty for the promise that its new owners will look after them.

    If the southern Irish don’t believe that their national freedom is worth defending when the cost of defending it may be a free billion less ‘free’ money from the EU, why should northern nationalists continue to believe that the southern Irish will make even greater financial sacrifices when called on to assert the right of the Irish nation to national self-determination as one sovereign island?

    One thing that northern nationalists should take from this vote is that their unity project is now well and truly dead in the water if they continue to base it on such sentimental assumptions or ‘outdated’ concepts such as national freedom. On the other hand, if they could show their southern counterparts that there is some money in it for them by unifying the island under British rule, then unity may still be progressed by that method.

    What a pitiful little people…

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “What a pitiful little people…”

    What a patroninzing, condescending, snobbish thing to say!

    “On the other hand, if they could show their southern counterparts that there is some money in it for them by unifying the island under British rule, then unity may still be progressed by that method.”

    That notion was bandied about when Ireland voted NO last year. The constant badgering by UKIP Farage, the mouthings of Cameron etc…but more importantly it was the economic downturn that help change Irish peoples minds to vote YES.

    Using the old emotive example of the 1916 Rising to demonstrate Irish Nationalist credentials doesn’t work anymore. Folk have moved on.

    BTW, Ireland can pull out of the EU if it wanted. There’s no gun in our back. Of course it would be economic suicide. We were not coerced into this Union from the start. There are no European troops on our streets to keep the population in check.

    Wow, the sheer paranoia and zenophobia displayed by Dave.

  • Dave

    You need to keep up with the latest europhile-spawned insults: “swivel-eyed” and “frothing at the mouth” seem to be most fashionable. Xenophobia misses the mark, unless you redefine it as opposition to foreign rule. Paranoid also misses the mark since the declared purpose and the empirical evolution of the EU project is the creation of a single European state. The delusion, my friend, resides with those who declare otherwise.

    Err, the europhiles used that “emotive example” by holding their rally at the GPO. The implication being that they were asserting Irish sovereignty rather than betraying it.

    But indeed folks have “moved on” from the principles out down in the Irish Proclamation:

    [i]”We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.”[/i]

    Ireland now remains a sovereign state in theory only. It is no longer sovereign in the true meaning that the nation has the freedom to determine its own affairs, nor is it ever intended that such sovereignty should ever be reclaimed from those who now possess it – or that it should ever be practically possible to do so post-integration.

    The EU is now empowered to act like a state, and Ireland is a region of it. The EU now has legal personality, and all of the embryonic institutions and offices to mimic a state – and all will develop in the fullness of time. Its own Supreme Court takes precedence over the Irish Supreme Court as the highest court in the land (being the EU). Its constitution takes precedence over the Irish constitution. Its citizenship takes precedence over Irish citizenship. The EU parliament takes precedence over the Irish parliament – “National Parliaments shall contribute actively to the good functioning of the Union.” Ireland is now a subordinate region of another state. Instead of the Irish government representing Ireland’s interest in the EU, the Irish government now represents the EU’s interests in Ireland.

    It’s true, however, that Ireland now needs the support of the eurozone to get itself out of the mess that membership of the eurozone got it into. It wouldn’t be in this mess it if didn’t join the eurozone. Ireland’s collapsed financial system collapsed under EU rule. The Irish government, kid, does not regulate monetary or macroeconomic policy or regulate the financial or banking system. That was all under EU rule. The role of the Irish government was to support the policies that were destroying its economy. It has a constitutionally-binding obligation to support those disastrous expansionist monetary policies under the Maastricht Treaty. In case you don’t understand how that works: the Maastricht Treaty became part of the Irish constitution when it was ratified. The Irish government would have been acting illegally if it offered any advice whatsoever to the ECB or acted in any that was not supportive of its disastrous policies. See, kid, that’s what happens when you no longer have the freedom to determine your own affairs.

  • Dave

    Incidentally, here is Article 107 of the Maastricht Treaty:

    [i]”When exercising the powers and carrying out the tasks and duties conferred upon them by this Treaty and the Statute of the ESCB, neither the ECB, nor a national central bank, nor any member of their decision-making bodies shall seek or take instructions from Community institutions or bodies, from any government of a Member State or from any other body.

    The Community institutions and bodies and the governments of the Member States under take to respect this principle and not to seek to influence the members of the decision-making bodies of the ECB or of the national central banks in the performance of their tasks.”[/i]

    That means in simple terms that the Irish government could not have asked the ECB to raise the policy rate in order to effect a rise in interest rates in order to stop the overheating and the over borrowing in the Irish economy, nor could it have issued any warning to the Irish public about the dangers of the ECB’s expansionist monetary policies. To do so would have been seen to influence the ECB in violation of its constitutionally-binding obligation not to offer any advice whatsoever about the suitability of monetary or macroeconomic policy, and would also have been in breach of its constitutionally-binding obligation to publically support such policies.

    Governments must avoid a situation where fiscal policy conflicts with the monetary or macroeconomic policy. That is why central banks are nominally independent of government but still take their policy direction from the other economic policies of the government. The national central bank must support the economic policy of the national government. Because the Irish government cannot in any influence the European Central Bank, it must take its direction from the ECB’s monetary policy and tailor its other policies accordingly if it is too avoid a conflict of polices, i.e. where the government is seeking to control expansion and the central bank is seeking to do the opposite. In other words, if the monetary or macroeconomic policy is expansionist, then the government must adjust its other policies to support the expansionist policy – even if it knows that it’s all leading to a great big fucking economic disaster.

    If that sounds utterly insane to you then you now understand it.

  • europass

    Cripes Dave – how did you get from a commitment not to prejudice decisions of the ECB to a commitment not to use fiscal measures to direct or control consumption and investment in your member state?

    I doubt that the submission of statistical or other objective evidence is considered “influence” within the meaning of the Article you cite.

    You’re like a lovely Atlantic Salmon Dave, leaping defiant from one argument to the next against a torrent of fact (and reason) flowing the other way.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Ireland now remains a sovereign state in theory only.”

    …I suppose as well as the other 26 states of the EU club.

    “It wouldn’t be in this mess it if didn’t join the eurozone.”

    Na, instead we’d be still dancing at the crossroads with 2 left feet, rosary beads in hand and no arse in our trousers as was always our case in our history!

    “Oh bring back the Punt” I hear you say, or the “Pound Sterling of the good ol’ days, when all was rosy in the garden regarding our economy and welfare!”

    “……See, kid, that’s what happens when you no longer have the freedom to determine your own affairs.”

    Ah, I do remember the rather cavalier Charlie McCreevy telling the EU to more or less fuck off regarding the over-heating of our economy at one time. Ah, if only we heeded the good advice of our Euro colleagues then. Maybe our financial mess might not have been as bad now.

  • Erasmus

    Dave,
    Seeing you want to misappropriate 1916 and all that, we have decided to throw in our lot with our ‘gallant allies in Europe’.
    I’ll now deal with your sophistic argument that this is somehow a two fingers to Northern nationalists. Let us leave aside the issue of whether a UI is a good thing or not; it is theoretically dependent on a vibrant southern economy. To all but the most economically illiterate it is obvious that this is best served by fully buying into the European project.
    I note a certain ad hoc doublethink by unionist propagandists: a tendency to explain the period known as the celtic tiger as being simply a spin-off of handouts from the EU, and, now, a tendency to ascribe the ROI’s current difficulties to the said institution.