Friday, 12 December 2008

Lisbon Two addresses imaginary concerns of the Irish

Well, what a great service the Little Irelander “no” voters have done for us and the EU's population of 491,018,683. And all because 862,415 were against a treaty they did not understand.

Now Brussels has bent over backwards to banish the imaginary demons, and every country will now keep its commissioner in a revised Lisbon Two. Ironic, given that one of the aims of Lisbon was to streamline the Commission, and minimise bureaucracy in an expanded EU of 27 states. Was excess “bureaucracy” not one of the planks of the “no” vote campaign? Along with racism, nationalism, ignorance and xenophobia, of course.

Now, assuming the Irish vote “yes”, every country will have a permanent commissioner with his/her attendant cabinets and entourage. Also, we will continue to have the lamentable Charlie Mc Creevy – who proudly declares he never read the Treaty – taking a big wad of cash while showing us up in Europe for the fools that we are. "How could any nation ever have voted such an inarticulate imbecile into power?", they will correctly think.

Other nonsense guarantees forced on Brussels, on topics that were never at issue anyway, are:

Neutrality – Despite us handing Shannon over to US troops engaged in an unjust war, we Irish can continue to indulge in the hypocrisy we are so good at, and pretend to be morally superior to everyone else. Hypocrisy was not at risk from the Treaty, but we have assurances on it now.

Abortion – The denial of women’s right to choose was never an issue either, but the reactionaries will be placated nonetheless.

Tax – Nor was tax harmonization. But we Irish might beg for it when the multinationals go East, lured by lower corporate rates than even we were prepared to prostitute ourselves for.

Conscription - This is the most laughable of the “no” sides threats. There is no EU army so there is no conscription - imaginary or otherwise.

Immigration – The Irish government, along with the Swedes and the British, opened up their borders to the accession states when they joined - other EU states will do so in 2011. That was our decision, and again, is unaffected by Lisbon.

So, if we are eager to secure real guarantees, on real issues, we should pressurise this Government to sign up to EU-wide workers' rights. This would protect all workers from unscrupulous bosses who use nationality to exploit and divide.

Also, we should question why the Irish Government does not allow us to enjoy the full benefits of EU membership, apparent in its continued application of Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT), which makes buying a car up to 40% more expensive here than it is in other EU states.

We should blame our Government for these failures, not Brussels.

VRT , McCreevy, and the Lisbon "No" vote

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Ella said...

We vote no to the Lisbon Treaty and then run to Europe when we have a pork crisis for handouts, sorry lads we can't have it every which way. I do realise one was not dependant on the other but it just serves to highlight the hypocrisy of the Irish voter.

The Gombeen Man said...

Well, Ella, as I say: hypocrisy is what we do best! Doesn't it make you proud!!!!

Ben said...

Isn't the EU planning on allowing in 50 million African workers?

Anonymous said...

The nasty bias towards people who voted against the Lisbon treaty is ruining this blog.

The Gombeen Man said...

Well Anon, I think that whenever you express an opinion, some people will agree with it and others won't. After all, a blog's a blog.

FP said...

That post is spot on GM.
If Europe wants to understand why Ireland voted no to Lisbon, they need to look beyond the crank issues. Not least, they need to look to McCreevyism and the sustained attack on workers' rights in Europe over recent years.
It's no coincidence that the so-called negotiations of concessions for Ireland focussed on a few idiosyncrasies and carefully avoided real commitment on anything that would upset the EU's 'free' market-led apple cart.
This whole debate has been skewed by Libertas. No on in Ireland would vote for Libertas because we know we need Declan Ganley and his politics and policies like we need a hole in the head (or a banker in a recession).

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, FP, good point.