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Spirit of Contradiction

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national / eu Tuesday September 22, 2009 15:51 by Joe Higgins MEP
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Joe Higgins, Socialist MEP.

Many issues have come up so far in the Lisbon debate, some very relevant, some less so. The key issues the Socialist Party have been raising so far are workers rights, public services and miltarisation. Elsewhere Joe Higgins has looked at the issue of workers' rights (http://www.joehiggins.eu/510) and public services (http://www.joehiggins.eu/489). Here, he goes into precisely how Lisbon boosts the armaments industry and is another step towards a militarised EU.

The absence of any detailed debate on the new provisions in the Lisbon Treaty concerning armaments policy and military strategy is quite alarming. This arises on the one hand from the reluctance of the 'Yes' side to highlight a face of the European Union which many Irish people would find revolting and on the other a blatant failure by the media to analyse these provisions.

It should be a matter of massive debate that, for the first time, the EU armaments industry is given a formal place in an EU Treaty. The role of the European Defence Agency is essentially to co-ordinate the armaments industry in the EU, making it an integral part of EU operations. Its tasks include: ‘implementing any measures needed to strengthen the industrial and technological base of the defence sector’ and to participate ‘in defining a European capabilities and armaments policy’ (Art. 42 TEU).

The EU armaments industry is the guilty secret that the EU political establishment likes to keep hidden. The major EU arms-exporting countries - France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Britain - account for one third of the world's arms deals. Their products include military helicopters, submarines which carry nuclear missiles and aircraft bombers. The largest armaments company in the United Kingdom, BAE, is currently in contention with other major contractors to get a contract with India for 130 Eurofighter combat aircraft. BAE already has a contract with Saudi Arabia for 72 Eurofighters.

national / rights, freedoms and repression Monday September 21, 2009 20:46 by Kev
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Image Caption Goes Here

Earlier today, Friday 18th September, Sean Clinton, a member of the anti-Lisbon campaign group Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon (IFPAL) was arrested outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin. His "crime" was erecting an IFPAL sign calling for a 'No' vote in the Lisbon Referendum.

national / summit mobilisations Friday September 04, 2009 23:39 by Chekov Feeney
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The Anarchists are Voting No!

One of the great problems that people encounter in making up their minds about the Lisbon treaty is that, depending on who you talk to, the treaty can appear to be an altogether different thing. According to those who are campaigning for a Yes vote, it merely serves to tidy up the existing European treaties, with a few changes to allow the EU to function more efficiently.

national / eu Saturday August 29, 2009 13:14 by Joe Higgins MEP
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If they're saying yes, I'm saying no!

The pro-Lisbon political parties do not need to raise funds for the 'Yes' to Lisbon campaign. Big business is directly funding their side of the debate. The announcement that Intel and Ryanair will spend hundreds of thousands of euro to try to achieve a Yes vote in the upcoming Lisbon Treaty represents an unconcealed attempt by big business to shape politics in its favour.

Ryanair alone says it plans on spending over half a million Euro advertising for a pro-Lisbon vote, together with Intel that means up to a million Euro for a 'Yes' by only two private corporations.

national / anti-capitalism Tuesday August 25, 2009 11:48 by James
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What's Left? Unity?

The SWP hasn't really engaged in Public debate on the subject of Left Unity but have decided to state our position in relation to recent statements by the Socialist Party.
There are a lot of new people entering into struggle, and radical politics, for the first time and we feel it's appropriate now to make our views known.

Left Unity: Time to move on

The need for a radical left formation in Ireland could hardly be more urgent. We are in the midst of the deepest global capitalist crisis since the 1930s and the economic collapse is worse in Ireland than many other countries. Workers are facing extremely serious attacks on living standards and are getting no leadership from the Labour Party and the union bureaucracy which is closely tied to it. Sinn Fein has entered a period of political turmoil that has arisen from efforts to position itself as a potential coalition party with the Right.

Indications that a significant minority of workers are looking for a real alternatives is evident from the votes for Joe Higgins in the European election and the good showing of People Before Profit Alliance, the Socialist Party, the Tipperary Workers and Unemployed Action Group, the Workers Party and Left independents in the local elections.

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