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Spirit of Contradiction

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international / eu Friday September 04, 2009 11:55 by Harry Browne
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Harry Browne
"Voting No is a way of showing them that they’re not out of trouble yet"

There are plenty of good reasons to vote No, again, on Lisbon – far more than there are reasons to vote Yes. We shouldn’t be ashamed of saying that the best of them are only partly to do with the specificities of the treaty itself.

On the other hand, we should be careful about some of the debating points we adopt.

Anti-imperialists, peace campaigners and workers’ rights advocates on the No side have the best set of arguments, to be sure. The writings of Kieran Allen and Andy Storey, among others, are the gold standard and I wouldn’t presume to add to them. But a few folks on ‘our side’ – and with that phrase I don’t include the right-wingers who happen to support the same vote but are otherwise alien politically – are wandering down some political dark alleys.

We should not, for example, get hung up on a ‘No Means No’ kick, as though in putting the Lisbon question to another referendum the Government were behaving like a rapist. Given that many of us on the left would consider ourselves advocates of more direct democracy – and are heirs to a democratic tradition that has often advocated annual parliaments and frequent referenda – it does seem rather churlish for us to suggest that the people aren’t allowed to change their minds, as they eventually did on divorce. Admittedly a simple cry of “we told you already” has some popular, populist traction – we never, after all, get a re-run when we vote the way the elite wants us to first-time. But it’s unsustainable as a real argument.

international / eu Wednesday August 12, 2009 19:37 by Harry Van Bommel
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Harry Van Bommel

In 2005 the Dutch people overwhelmingly said ‘no’ to the constitutional treaty, just as the French had done some days before. In contrast to the Irish, this was the first time the Dutch people had been allowed a say about the future of Europe; and they made it clear that they didn’t like the way it was heading. Did they want to get out of the EU? No - the Dutch are big supporters of EU membership, just like the Irish, but they don’t want Europe to develop into a federal superstate.

international / eu Sunday August 09, 2009 13:46 by Michael Gallagher
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Gently Down the Stream

Irish (and tourist) people wake up to a sign of the coming times in Dublin.

Hello friends,

This Morning, Saturday the 8th August at 7am, Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon (IFPAL) launched the Vote No To Lisbon raft on the River Liffey in Dublin City Centre.

Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon are calling for Irish voters to oppose the Lisbon Treaty in the forthcoming re-run of the Lisbon Treaty Referendum, a referendum that is exactly the same as the one they have rejected already. VOTE NO to Lisbon on October 2nd.

Issued on behalf of IFPAL.

international / anti-war / imperialism Wednesday July 01, 2009 18:24 by Raymond Deane
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Raymond Deane

My complaint to the Israeli Embassy elicits a remarkably informal and rude reply, to which I respond as politely as I can under the circumstances...

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