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Lisbon Referendum – Some Truth and Plenty of Lies

category national | summit mobilisations | feature author Friday September 04, 2009 23:39author by Chekov Feeney - WSM - WS111author email wsm_ireland at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

featured image
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.

According to those campaigning for a No vote, the treaty would sign away national sovereignty, undermine democracy and workers' rights, increase militarisation and override Ireland's social and cultural ethos. And that's without mentioning the numerous alarming claims from the fringes that predict all sorts of catastrophes if the treaty goes one way or the other.

The great confusion surrounding the treaty is not just a consequence of the dishonesty of the political parties and special interest groups that are involved in the campaign, although that certainly doesn't help. The nature of the treaty very much depends on the context in which it is considered. If the general direction and trajectory of the EU is taken as a given and the treaty is considered in isolation, the Yes campaign's interpretation of the treaty appears to be more accurate.

There is very little in it that is likely to bring about any great change to the current political or economic direction of the EU or its member states. The most substantial changes primarily focus on the problem of allowing the EU state to take decisions more efficiently, in a way that is slightly more representative of population distribution.

It's only when you look at the bigger picture that the arguments of the No campaign begin to make sense. The EU is a state in slow formation which largely exists in order to enable the European states to combine forces in order to assert themselves economically and politically on the world stage.

Since its formation, there has been a series of treaties which have seen the member nations progressively cede sovereignty over areas of their affairs to the EU. Perhaps most importantly, the EU has served as a common political front for Europe's industrialists - negotiating trade agreements, setting tariffs and distributing subsidies in order to ensure that European industry remains internationally competitive.

Thus, despite the fact that the Lisbon treaty may not itself contain much that is new, it represents a significant step in further enabling European integration and continuing towards the goal of making the EU a global economic and political power.

This process will involve further centralisation of decision making power, economic reforms that continue to privilege property rights and free markets over social goals and workers’ rights, the development of a central military capacity and the gradual erosion of national identities in favour of a unified European identity.

Of course, it is unlikely that very many people campaigning on either side of the referendum will be altogether frank. The campaigning will be dominated by political parties and interest groups who are much more interested in winning the contest than they are in presenting a realistic depiction of the treaty to the public.

Yes campaigners will continue to present any and all concerns about the overall direction of the EU as some sort of xenophobic rejection of European civilisation. No campaigners will continue to find clauses in the text that they claim reveal the treaty’s enormous negative significance.

The big problem for the supporters of European integration has always been that they consider the population of Europe to be insufficiently mature to allow them to honestly consider the arguments in favour of integration. The people are too nationalistic, too economically ignorant and too sentimental to allow the rulers of Europe to openly propose the elimination of their nations and the formation of a European super-state, no matter how rational such a step might be.

Hence, they will concentrate on minute examination of the details of the treaty devoid of context alongside predictions of catastrophic consequences if the people should be so foolish as to reject “Europe”.

It is worth noting that the treaty amounts to little more than a redrafting of the defeated European constitution and is being presented to the Irish people for a second time, entirely unchanged, after being rejected. Its proponents are certainly not people whom one could accuse of having great faith in the democratic will of the people.

However, the No campaign also faces its own big problem. While it is easy to criticise the current direction of the EU, coming up with a convincing alternative is far more difficult. Rejecting the treaty merely means the retention of the status quo. Particularly in Ireland, it’s hard to see the EU state being any less democratic, honest, principled or competent than the hapless gombeens who run this place.

When it comes to alternatives, virtually none of the No campaigners are in favour, openly at least, of Ireland leaving the EU. It is indeed difficult to see how such a departure would result in anything other than a total economic collapse and the idea enjoys almost no public support. Those No campaigners who do put forward alternative proposals normally limit themselves to demanding a better deal for Ireland, despite the fact that such demands are generally unrealistic.

What this all means is that, for those who oppose the current direction of the EU, rejections of referenda are pretty pointless by themselves. In the absence of alternative ideas that are supported by large numbers of people, the status quo will reassert itself while Europe’s political machine will busy itself in coming up with a more successful way of advancing integration.

The real challenge is in coming up with effective ways of convincing large numbers of people that alternatives to the current logic of the EU are seen as both plausible and desirable.

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/lisbon
author by Ronocpublication date Fri Sep 04, 2009 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The alternative is to reject the treaty and set up true social change in Ireland. For eg. Cut the wages of all those in public service, well those who earn most. Nobody realistically needs to earn more than a 100 grand. Sure most of us slaves live on between 15 - 25 grand a year. So why not put a cap on earning enormous amounts in the public sector?? Imagine how much tax that would save!!!
Become independant on food production, so no matter what, we as a nation can feed outselves.
We are at the mercy of international corporations, who have no sympaty for us and will leave once they find cheaper labour.
But we are at a time in this world when we as people have to consider where we are going! Consumerism, pop culture, ignorance, the polution of our water, and our wildlife. Do we want to leave a good clean earth to our children? Heaven is on earth but soon if we dont change our ways, it will be hell on earth. The balance is tipping. Its time we disconnect from the matrix and find a true way forward, for us and our kids and our kids kids. We are all in the same boat at the end of the day. Life is out of balance!!!

author by Granarchistpublication date Sat Sep 05, 2009 16:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's all true, Conor. Maximum wage must be established now! Talk about what crimes people do on drugs, and money is the biggest drug of all, turns people to murder and atrocities. What else would drive people to the enormities that $Hell have committed in Nigeria and Mayo?

author by Cocopublication date Sat Sep 05, 2009 20:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors



author by punter petepublication date Sun Sep 06, 2009 01:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Chekov's thoughtful article puts the nub on it by saying "The people are too nationalistic, too economically ignorant and too sentimental to allow the rulers of Europe to openly propose the elimination of their nations and the formation of a European super-state..". Yes, I'd say those who have been pushing the EEC-EU project centrally for the past couple of decades have pursued a softly softly strategy of shifting national powers gradually towards Brussels, their long term aim being a European super state. The referendum voters in France and the Netherlands got their one and only chance and said No to that.

Nationalism won't go away; it has been the common political framework of modern Europe since the French Revolution and has not run its course. People find their identities locally and nationally before they think of a wider world. Nationalism does however possess what Chekov calls sentimentality, and it has often attracted chauvinism, racism and used an awesome ability to rally the poor and exploited sectors of nations to the flag of imperialist war. An alternative experience in early twentieth century Ireland occurred when the vanguard nationalists enlisted Irish nationalism against conscription into the imperial project of the Great War.

People will continue to be nationalistic. Accept that as a given, but be continually aware of nationalism's historical and continuing ideological flaws. Those who believe in international co-operation and solidarity need to promote forms of solidarity that transcend nationalism, such as trades union alliances, educational exchanges, peace movements, campaigns against ethnocentrism and racism, solidarity between the unemployed across national boundaries, programmes of language learning and cultural exchange. I suggest that these are some key areas in which the new thinking Chekov hopes for can be done. We can retain national identities and be international Europeans without supporting a super state project.

author by paul - wsm (pers. cap.)publication date Sun Sep 06, 2009 16:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The full quotation is:

"The big problem for the supporters of European integration has always been that they consider the population of Europe to be insufficiently mature to allow them to honestly consider the arguments in favour of integration. The people are too nationalistic, too economically ignorant and too sentimental to allow the rulers of Europe to openly propose the elimination of their nations and the formation of a European super-state, no matter how rational such a step might be."

In context, it is less clear that the assertion "The people are too nationalistic..." is Chekov's perspective rather than the "supporters of European integration" being talked about.

As a broader consideration of whether Lisbon is "good for bosses, bad for workers", particularly the reason given by SIPTU and other pro-Lisbon unions for their support, we need to look at the difference between the creation of legislation and its actual enforcement in practice.

The whole point of the Viking, Laval & Ruffert cases is that there are competing clauses in the already existing legislation - some guaranteeing workers rights to organise to defend terms & conditions and others guaranteeing bosses rights to do cross-border business as they see fit. The crux is that the European Court of Justice has consistently, in the three cases mentioned, come down on the side of the bosses right to employ workers in West European countries at East European pay (& conditions) and against the workers rights to take action to defend wage levels against the race to the bottom.

This is why the SIPTU et al position is completely dishonest - they know very well the details and implications of Viking, Laval & Ruffert, so for them to say that the supposedly pro-worker's rights clauses in Lisbon represent any kind of defence against the current direction of enforcement is a blatant lie. Class conscious union members need to do whatever they can to challenge this con job by the social partner leadership.

But on a broader level, the difference between legislation and enforcement is power. The only real way to stop the construction of a Neoliberal Europe that retrenches the gains of two centuries of European workers struggles is not to advocate a retreat to social-democracy in one country (something Ireland has never had in any case) - capitalism is a world market, ever increasingly so. But to build co-operation between European workers organisations to wage a common struggle for power against our bosses who are, lest we forget, currently more united than we are. Of course we do not want to limit our struggle to uniting only EU workers, but we have to start somewhere, and if we can't defend ourselves against the European capitalist project, then we're unlikely to have the power to do much else besides.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Sep 07, 2009 15:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why should Irish people vote Yes to Lisbon when they are told to do so by a government that resists reform of TDs expenses and the hiring at €41,000 a year of assistants, permits Silent John O'Donoghue a month's grace to make a statement on his own expenses profligacy and makes us pay for the failure and outright roguery of their mates in the banks? Why should we obey a government that denies us our democratic right to say No to Lisbon? Why should we heed a government that taxes children's allowances?

author by James Kellypublication date Thu Sep 10, 2009 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seems to me pretty obvious that the shock and awe campaign of the Yes men and women is only slowly starting to light it's fuse. They will not, in the main, get out on the doorsteps and put their case.

They have the BCI's "ruling" that 50 50 broadcast presentation does not apply privately owned broadcasters.

This is in spite of the fact that the Supreme Court RTE v Coughlan judgement, explicitly stated that a referendum to amend the Constitution must have an equal balance in the broadcast of the yes and no sides.

Eamon Dunphy and David Begg may be have said to lit the fuse this week and brought it down, not at all surprisingly to money. ECB will freeze liquidity if we vote no, visions of famine no doubt being conjured up all over the country.

The NO side will need to get a few media spectaculars along with accurate information on the actual treaty text otherwise Yes will have it in the bag on Oct 2.

author by Khalidpublication date Thu Sep 10, 2009 19:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The no side has had accurate quotes from the treaty text.

If you actually looked into Horan's slurs against Joe Higgins in any depth you would see that they are completely unjustified.

Horan is citing a quote buried deep in the joehiggins.eu website, which is actually a reprint of an article published from another website that quoted Joe Higgins. The error was that 'and' was put in instead of 'which'. That's what the issue is. The fact that RTE are even reporting this is beyond belief to be honest. It shows the agenda of the media establishment. They are running scared on workers rights so have to try to find some dirt to throw around with a hope that it sticks

Lets look at some facts on this,

Horan said Higgins quoted the treaty wrong in his press releases and in a press conference earlier in the week. This is not true, the slightly incorrect quote was given once a few weeks ago. In every publication and in every press release since the correct quote of Article 52 has been given. Check it out for yourself, they're all online.

Horan himself made errors on his own press statement, apart from several basic childish spelling errors he actually quoted the text of Article 52 wrong as well. He used an old version of the Charter which has no legal standing now.

Horan is more than likely motivated by his desire to get a job in Brussels after his term in the CPSU is up. He is also well know for his hatred of the SP in the CPSU who have contsantly provided a vocal and organised opposition to his bureacratic leadership. Horan is a particularly viscious right winger who supported the pension levy and is willing to see 1000s of his members put on to the dole. Hardly a man whop can claim to know anything about workers rights!

Lets not get distracted, the whole typing error issue is a red herring, it doesn't take away from the substance of the No sides argument. The Lisbon treaty DOES institutionalise the judgements of the ECJ, it is clear in in the Treaty. Lisbon does say that the Charter is dependent on the case law of the ECJ which has always said that the right to trade across borders and set up business comes before the rights of workers.

The passing of Lisbon would weaken workers rights and must be opposed.

author by France24 TVpublication date Thu Sep 10, 2009 21:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The European Milk Board are in Paris now & would appear to br giving away their milk, 'cause of supermarkets not paying the going rate. Seems Gemany and another country are going to back them.

author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Sun Sep 13, 2009 17:00author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is part of a phrase attributed to the 19th Century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, among others, and later popularized in the United States by, among others, Mark Twain: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." The statement refers to the persuasive power of numbers, the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, and the tendency of people to disparage statistics that do not support their positions. The phrase is not found in Disraeli's works nor is it known within his lifetime and for years afterward. Many coiners have been proposed. The most plausible, on current evidence, is Charles Wentworth Dilke (1843-1911) .........


Photo essays etc etc on workers struggles etc etc... http://www.myspace.com/libertypix


Pics: Michael Gallagher 2009
Pics: Michael Gallagher 2009

author by Mark Cpublication date Sun Sep 13, 2009 18:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I find it very interested that Fianna Fail (can't bring myself to put in the fada) and Fine Gael have not mentioned Lisbon on their posters, merely said "YES to Europe" and "YES to Jobs" and "Ireland needs Europe" (because we messed it up so much!) but no mention of Lisbon or why the posters are up. You'd think they were just letting us know something, a small bit of inconsequential information, nothing to do with, perhaps, the most important treaty we'll ever vote on (since we won't have to vote on them anymore if this one is passed).

Mark C
PS Excellent article Chekov.

author by paul otoolepublication date Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:58author email pauljotoole at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes to Europe, No to Lisbon.
Workers rights are at risk, Neutrality is nonexistent, they even say 95% of us wolud not vote for it. Jobs wont be protected or created by it....
Some very basic reasons why anyone should vote for this for any other reason than intimidation....

1. Workers rights are not portected in this treaty. The leaflet produced by the government says so loud and clear. At the bottom of the last page, in small print....and I quote...
"The European Council declaration on workers rights is a political statement. It is not legally binding."....
This means that the Lavalle case is legal precedent, and that forigen labour could, and already has, brought down the established wage in Sweeden... Minimum wage government 'assurances' are weightless.

2. Our Government does not seem to posess the slightest concern regarding the responsibility placed upon the Irish electorate. Arround 1.2 million Irish could be expected to vote in this election...which if passed will determine the future direction of the EU and all its 500 million inhabitants within its territories. This is a HUGE responsiblity, and why no other country gets to vote on this important issue concerning so many shows an appaling lack of trust in the democratic process by our government.

3. The Broadcast Comission of Ireland, our safe guard for fair and balanced reporting has stated that it dosent have to ensure a balance of media coverage in this matter. Given the nature of the BCI, and its remit to show fairness and balance in all matters concerning the citizens of this republic, it is worrying to have our 'media-watchdog' not watching over us.

4. Article 48 is 'self Amending'. This little article ensures that all these 'assurances' can be dismantled with agreement among a select few in EU government and the stroke of a pen. Our legislation will now come from Europe and there will be damn all we can do if this treaty is passed.

5. Charlie Mcreevey stated that 95% of Europeans citizens would not vote for this treaty if given the chance, no wonder that they wont let the people have their say. Sarkozi also stated that this treaty was deliberately made difficult to understand or follow in order to make it hard to grasp and deliberately keep people in the dark.. These are two of the architects of this document who want us to vote on something that was deliberately designed not to understsand.

6. The courts in Ireland have already ruled that Neutrality is 'aspirational', in the context of the Constitution. This was Cmmdnt. Edward Horgans case brought to court. The fact remains that Ireland IS involved in agressive, pre-emptive wars at the moment. Contrary to UN law which Ireland assures it is paramount, the Irish government and virtually all opposition TD's pay lipservice to this breach in constitutional law and most actually support these acts of genocide.
This Treaty ensures that Ireland will play a part in future military opperations under an EU Common Defense Stragedy. Our troops will be sent to wherever the EU Comission decides there is a war...or a 'threat'.

7. The fact remains, that we have already voted on this EXACT same constitution. This is a blight on democracy. And our so called leaders should have insisted that all countries get a vote on this massive piece of lifechanging legislation

....All in all....we are being forced to vote on the same treaty with nonexistent 'assurances' included, on a 'promise' that they will be implemented at a later date..... 'as a protocol'....

author by Anonymouspublication date Mon Sep 14, 2009 14:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'll be voting yes as i think the treaty points are only minor bureaucratic changes!

author by Cynicpublication date Mon Sep 14, 2009 17:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If the next vote is a YES?

By our governments logic, I don't see why we shouldn't, do you? But that would never happen would it? Ask yourself why this is the case. Now you are starting to understand what is really going on here. VOTE NO to lisbon

A logical fallacy being used by many politicians is that "europe has been good" . As if "europe " was a constant thing

A complete fallacy. You cannot talk of a dynamic entity as a constant unchanging thing.

The thing is europe is CHANGING. The europe that has been good to us, the europe with some semblance of idealism, is not necessarily the same europe we will be voting for.

Europe started out with good intentions I think but it has gradually been co-opted by corporate forces, bankers and the military industrial complex. and mired in corruption and lack of accountability. Whatever ideals were there at it's inception are largely thin on the ground these days and getting thinner.
Its agenda is no longer trust worthy as it may have been to some extent in the past.

It needs an ethical shake up, not a mandate to become unaccountable to it's citizens.. Our civic duty as good european citizens is to vote NO.

Not because we are against europe but because we believe in it

author by p.ie gawkerpublication date Mon Sep 21, 2009 21:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No Side Ahead 59% t0 41%

Lisbon Treaty On The Rocks.

A new opinion poll shows that there has been a massive surge in support for the No side, which, if it holds till voting day would result in the Lisbon Treaty being heavily defeated by a margin of 59% NO ‘V’ 41% YES.

In one of the largest polls of its kind ever carried out: Gael Poll polled 1,500 respondents in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Kilkenny, Galway, Athlone, Tralee, Dundalk and Letterkenny over the course of six days last week.

The respondents were asked one single question: How do you intend to vote in the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?

A substantial 723 (59 %) said they intended voting No as opposed to 502 (41%) who indicated that they would vote Yes. The survey also showed that 15% percent of voters were still undecided.


Paddy Power: "We have seen a shift toward the No side"
Sharon McHugh, a spokeswoman for Paddy Power is reported as saying "We have seen a shift toward the 'No' side in the last couple of weeks and it appears our punters think things could be just as tight second time around".

Paddy Power has responded by cutting the odds on a NO.

author by dunkpublication date Mon Sep 21, 2009 22:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why the 18-35 year age group voted No last time


ERASMUS GENERATION: Many under 35s said No in the last referendum.

But what happened to Ireland’s Erasmus generation in last year’s referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? Aside from the usual issue of low turnout among voters aged under 35, that demographic returned an overwhelming No vote.

The fact a majority of young Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty did not go unnoticed elsewhere in Europe. President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said it was one of the aspects of the Irish No he found most worrying. When French president Nicolas Sarkozy visited Dublin to “understand” the result, he made sure that young people were among those he met.

“We know from research that this age group is not anti-European, in fact it’s the most pro-European of any age group,” he says. Byrne believes young people felt “disconnected” from last year’s Yes campaign.

“They were ignored last year. The campaign didn’t speak in their language and it didn’t use their media. If there’s a deeper issue at work here, it is perhaps a disconnect between the major political parties and younger people.

“I think there is a sense that our age group is perhaps more independent-minded than previous generations, and more willing to question authority.

“That’s a big difference in mindset, and may have perhaps fed into the whole anti-Government sentiment.”...

author by au pairpublication date Tue Sep 22, 2009 00:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

olé! Dunk! olé! for your fine last comment! I'd take that as a cue to hopefully encourage people in Ireland to now bring the unspeakably divisible element into the referendum campaign.

Let's not be modest or prudish about the concerns of the 18-35 year old Irish voter be they :-

(a) one of those whose luck and life has afforded them the triumph of Euro-identity formation - the Erasmus independent minded year abroad reminding every second person they meet that though they speak English, sound like an English speaker (when speaking any language other than English) and almost always have pasty skin, they're Irish and not British

(b) one of those who luck and life has assigned them the affordability of a weekend independent air travel complete with reminding every second person they meet that though they speak English, sound like an English speaker (when speaking any language other than English) and almost always have pasty skin, they're Irish and not British.

not excluding those 18 - 35 year old Irish voters who belong to both or neither (a) nor (b)

* You lose your job - you're concerned.

* You're told you've contracted some flesh eating bacteria which will kill you within 12 hours - you're concerned.

* You get Facebook rejected by half the attractive people you met on Erasmus or budget holiday - you're concerned.

*** You have or someone very close to you has an unwanted or unplanned zygote in your womb......
.. you are MORE THAN CONCERNED and each day adds weight to the significance of mere concern to produce an issue.

How that concern maps out thereafter may or may not have something to do with the quality of human relationships, sexual fidelity, Darwinism or religious based concepts of life and ensoulment.
Whatever, whichever, however - those concerns will become issues and most definitely will have much to do with your GP, local health service, legal service - or else we're talking bottles of gin, coat hangers (&/or) the Cahirciveen plot line of the early Glenroe generation and the kind of thing which really is too ghastly to even allude to even in a confessional situation.

I'd like to ask all of you Irish 18 - 25 year old voters! to vote No! to Lisbon 2 for this very "abortion" reason, without arguing the right to body autonomy nor the right to uninterrupted zygote development, not coz;- I'm pretending to be gifted in the ethical logical deparment, sickeningly cynical, nor even in the quandary of having just missed my period.

It's just quite simply because I'm older than you.

By time I got to wondering was my 35th birthday worth celebrating, I would quite probably have lost count of the number of people, Irish or indeed "non-Irish" who had faced these "concerns". I'm glad not one of them got to be written up in an Irish newspaper as a "Ms A", "Child B" or "suspicious coat-hanger victim C". Maybe other readers have passed this monumental 35year watershed of market researchers & EU movers & Shakers just like me. Possibly other e readers having thus lived enough life and seen enough of others living their lives, might agree or disagree with me when I suggest that, what people think about themselves and say is true may be believable but hardly ever is "real".

For some reason those people over in Europe thought the way to persuade the Irish to vote Yes! to Lisbon either for a second time or the first time was to do their best not to use the "Zygote word". They didn't even use the Foetus word, probably knowing certain people would use it on their posters. I don't believe in statistics that much, yet I do reckon on a hunch that most people without a vote from 6 - 18 years of age are not in favour of the right to abortion. I also guestimate that most people with a vote over 35 have either had a family of their own or are either an uncle or aunt to some wee nephew or niece.

I'd go out on a limb of bloody horrible truthfulness and suggest -

A very significant percentage of the 18-35 year old Irish voters knows what abortion is about & could quite well have done without the notion of Lisbon v.1. murdering every innocent unborn babe in Erin just as they can't get their head around the notion that Lisbon v.2. guarantees that every Irish zygote will not only be entitled to a European soul but a cot in an Erasmus hostal.

Naturally of course we deal with a world where important people like Sarkozy and all our government ministers have never known a young girl who chose to abort or chose not to abort nor have known a young boy who knew a young girl that aborted...............................That's the kind of thing that only happens in soap operas and possible disreputable parts of England.

utrum horum mavis accipe : as the Roman writer, lawyer, witness to Pompeii and campaigner against slavery, Pliny the Younger would have put it. : = "take whichever [way out of a very nasty situation that you prefer." Vote No & don't lose your choice even though you don't have it yet....

author by Patrickpublication date Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For those who might not have seen it, there's an interesting piece on RTE's web site this morning titled: "Churches give advice on Lisbon".

"The Standing Committee of the Catholic hierarchy" have not a SINGLE word to say about the fundamental social issue of "democracy" it seems, and the fact that hundreds of millions of European voters outside the Republic of Ireland get no chance to have their say at the ballot box, on this most important decision: possibly the MOST important political decision ever so far for Europeans.

So much for "government of the people, by the people, for the people" -- as far as the Catholic hierarchy is concerned at least.

The RTE article can be viewed at http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0922/eulisbon.htm l

author by cardinal rulepublication date Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why should anyone care what the folks at the front of the church say- who voted for them?

author by Patrickpublication date Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Why should anyone care what the folks at the front of the church say - who voted for them?"

I would answer this question by saying:

Because "they" (i.e. Catholic hierarchy) still have huge influence over how voters in the Republic of Ireland will vote on October 2nd 2009: and that it's votes that count -- because it's Republic of Ireland votes ALONE that will decide this hugely important issue -- for our 4.5 million or so people, and ALSO for the 500 million or so Europeans living outside the Republic of Ireland.

author by Demographerpublication date Tue Sep 22, 2009 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In fact this generation is much more conservative than any previous generation in Ireland ( if we leave religion out of the equation) .over the past forty years .

This generation are in fact rampant Tories when compared to the generation of the Sixties !

author by Surrendered to Lisbonpublication date Tue Sep 22, 2009 14:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Yes Vote has now hit critical mass, the Catholic Hierarchy statement in favour of Lisbon last night was the Coup De Grace - it broke Coir's back .

I was speaking to Members of Coir afterwards, they were like dead men and women, stunned .

Nobody ever expected the Bishops to come out so firmly in favour of Lisbon, they have crushed us. Bishops anywhere will vote first and foremost with the Church in mind, not the people, not the country - never forget that they take their orders from Rome !

( That's why Elizabeth the Great crushed the Irish, to stop the Spanish Catholic Empire giving Rome a backdoor into England via Ireland, we are always the Authors of our own Misery chained to Rome ) .

Nerxt Saturday and Sunday a few nice and reassuring words in favour of voting Yes for Lisbon will be spoken softly from every altar and pulpit in Ireland .

There was still a fighting chance up to yesterday - the Catholic Bishops statement put an end to that, backed by statements for a Yes vote from the three major Proterstant churches .

It's all over bar the shouting, sorry about that .

author by Analyst - -publication date Tue Sep 22, 2009 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The best card the NO side have in the pack is Workers Rights,. Abortion/Neutrality now hardly figure in the campaign at all .

And the best Spokesperson - by a mile - in the NO Campaign is Joe Higgins, who has really matured into a Statesman-like figure in this campaign.

In contrast, Ganley looked a shadow of himself last night !

author by Analystpublication date Tue Sep 22, 2009 16:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The strong Statement of the Irish Catholic Bishops yesterday, Monday 21/09/2009 , in favour of the Lisbon Treaty , is seen as Church payback time for Brian Cowan & Fianna Fail for offering and agreeing to pay the lion's share of the massive comnpensation to the victims of child clerical abuse .

This Yes Campaign gets more sickening every day .

author by Mike hoganpublication date Tue Sep 22, 2009 17:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It would be extremely naive for any person to trust the present corrupt government, which constantly relies upon the bluff that emanates out of it's leaders mouths on a daily basis.

The fact is that they have lost the plot and are no longer worthy of the positions that they hold.

We simply cannot rely on those who are pushing for a yes vote.

By voting No to the Lisbon Treaty is not voting no to europe, of course they the Dail understands this, but in order to protect their salaries, pensions and expenses they the only weapon they have left is to use bluff coupled with blatant arrogance.

The message to send to the EU by voting NO is that the Lisbon Treaty is dead in the water, go back to the drawing board and come back with a sensible treaty and then we will meet your terms.

author by Howpublication date Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Although I fully intend to vote "NO" to the Lisbon Treaty on October 2nd, it is certainly not the case that I'm somehow "against Europe" either.

I'm against tyranny, and I believe the Lisbon Treaty -- if it ever become law -- will do much more to promote tyranny than it will to promote democracy.

I'm for a democratic Europe, and a Constitution of Europe which has democracy firmly embedded at its core in a way that is plain for all to see.

I too believe that the European Union needs to have a completely new Constitution drafted; and, I further believe that if it is truly democratic in nature, the vast majority of the people of Europe will readily embrace it, and do so by standard democratic means: i.e. the ballot box.

So, when I vote "NO" on October 2nd, I'll be 100% clear in my own mind that I'm voting "NO" to tyranny: as opposed to voting "NO" to Europe.

author by Jack Ravennopublication date Tue Sep 29, 2009 20:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ireland needs Europe ??

No !

Europe needs IRELAND.

We need your voice because THEY "Government of EU" are thieves
and we haven't any chance to say it personally.

Please say / vote NO

simply for freedom, simply for Europe


author by Alan Davis - International Bolshevik Tendencypublication date Wed Sep 30, 2009 15:49author email alan at bolshevik dot orgauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The majority of Europe's capitalists favour a 'Yes' vote. However, a significant minority of the bourgeoisie across Europe advocate 'No', represented in Ireland by Sinn Fein, the likes of Declan Ganley, and recently the UK Independence Party, which spent €180,000 on posting a 'No' vote leaflet to every household in Ireland. A 'No' vote in these circumstances buys into the petty nationalism represented by Sinn Fein and the trade-union bureaucracy.

Socialists must seek to develop a strategy, and the associated tactics, to enable the working class to defeat the capitalists' attempts to offload the costs of their economic crisis. Victorious defensive struggles by workers can help create conditions for going over to the offensive and ultimately launching a struggle to overturn the whole rotten capitalist system.

In this referendum the International Bolshevik Tendency is calling for working people to spoil their ballots. This tactic allows workers to reject bourgeois-nationalist demagogy while also registering opposition to capitalist squabbles over re-jigging the EU.

Related Link: http://www.bolshevik.org/letters/OpenLetterToSPOnLisbon.html
author by DontBeConnedpublication date Wed Sep 30, 2009 16:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The YES side realise that more NO than YES voters read indymedia
accordingly, if they can infiltrate sites like this and encourage mass vote spoiling on some daft premise like alans, then the YES side benefits

don't be fooled by this kind of "spoil your vote" ruse. The NO side needs all the votes it can get as it's neck and neck here.


author by apublication date Sat Oct 03, 2009 00:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So by this time tommorrow we will see if its yes or no, heres just a little round up of some sources, what they are saying and a few interesting NO images from SKY news site. Also on politics.ie they had a virtual vote which had NO coming out the winner, will the real thing be the same?? hope so.

RTE - Voting closes in Lisbon Referendum

IRISH TIMES: Cowen rules out possibility of third Lisbon Treaty vote

SKY; Ireland Prepares For Second Lisbon Vote (with some excellent photos)

EURONEWS: Irish referendum: “Yes” likely, “No” no surprise (with vid)

Stephen Collins, Political Editor, Irish Times:
“There is a feeling around that the “No” side has gained ground in the final days of the campaign and there is certainly a lot of nervousness around on the side of the government and the main opposition parties who are all campaigning hard for a “Yes” vote, so I still think a “Yes” vote is probably likely but it will not be a huge shock if there is a “No” vote. It’s still a possibility. After all we did vote “No” not only to the first Lisbon treaty but to the first Nice treaty.”

Some of the threads and comments on P.IE:

It's going to be a NO

Myself and my colleagues have been in and around P-stations all evening in Dublin South west.I predict a percentile increase in the NO vote in fact, if our improptu exit polls are anything to go by.One Lad phoned regarding a Poll station we expected a poor turn out for.It was mobbed at 8pm tonight and everyone he asked said they had voted NO. Everyone!

NO vote surging ahead in 12 constituencies

12 constituencies across Ireland were polled between 6pm-7pm with a respondant level averaging around 300 per constituency. Contituencies were;
Cork North Central
Cork South Central
Dublin North Central
Dublin North East
Dublin South East
Galway West
Kerry South
Sligo- North Leitrim
Tipp North
preliminary results indicate a No vote victory in the region of 55%.
Full results to be announced within the hour on;

Did the bookies get it right - YES 1/25 : NO 1/8
Did the bookies get it right - YES 1/25 : NO 1/8

The fat fool wants us to vote yes - and if its a no, will he walk the plank?
The fat fool wants us to vote yes - and if its a no, will he walk the plank?

politics.ie poll result is NO: yes 49.9 - no 50.1
politics.ie poll result is NO: yes 49.9 - no 50.1

author by apublication date Sat Oct 03, 2009 00:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

2 little tunes both encouraging NO

Easy Come, So Easy Go, by Liam Tiernan

A long-time song writer who has a string of household Irish tunes to his name - the Men Behind the Wire, the Boys of the Old Brigade etc.

He is happy for this song to get around.

Ireland is the only country allowed vote on the Lisbon Treaty aka EU Constitution. Half a billion people in Europe are counting on us to save democracy for them.


elvis no 2 lisbon

The Video that Everyone has been talking about, Emerald Elvis Mark Leen Says NO to The Lisbon Treaty in his own inimitable style.

From today.fm in the lead up to last years lisbon vote; Jim Corr on The Lisbon Treaty & The New World Order. (plenty of controversial conspiracy theory stuff thrown in, but makes some strong points about Europe)

Caption: Video Id: JPrJ4SXQA7w Type: Youtube Video
Easy Come, So Easy Go, by Liam Tiernan

Caption: Video Id: yLMfcoSCY08 Type: Youtube Video
Emerald Elvis Mark Leen Says NO to The Lisbon Treaty

author by apublication date Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From a quick flick around on the interactive ireland map, it looks like, at this stage, that it is more NO than yes in the country at this early stages of counting. Id say from a quick overview, its about 80% of counties, by this map, that have returned no so far. keep your eyes posted here

The site will carry up-to-the-minute results from all 41 counts on its interactive constituency map, along with comparative data from the 2008 vote. The site will also provide in-depth news, reaction and analysis from home and abroad. Irish Times political editor Stephen Collins will assess the voting trends as they emerge, while European correspondent Jamie Smyth will consider what the result means for Ireland’s position on the global stage.

Further commentry on p.ie: Irish Times Live Lisbon Results

Early reports in via irish times map = @ 80 of island is so far NO- Galway Mayo; 61.7% NO
Early reports in via irish times map = @ 80 of island is so far NO- Galway Mayo; 61.7% NO

author by carrotjuice anamoly - "never comes in cartons only in bottles"publication date Sat Oct 03, 2009 14:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The longer ballot boxes are left unemptied and uncounted the easier it is to tamper with any result. When one is used to a low turn-out, a few thousand extra votes one or the other way will not be noticed. Throwing a referendum in Ireland would be a relatively simple matter of merely adding a few thousand ballot papers across the system. Every other EU state counts its votes for referenda and all types of elections ranging from municipal to presidential with general in between on the same night as the polls close. Not only do this mean the next day's newspapers can publish their waffle on the basis of near completed counts, it heightens the sense of transparency and allays most doubts of rigging.

author by Fred Johnston (who voted 'No')publication date Sat Oct 03, 2009 18:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brian Cowering and his Green-sleeves might crow about their 'victory' in the Yes vote, but FF are still stuck with a Tánaiste who thinks Einstein wrote the Theory of Evolution, and said so to (you couldn't MAKE it up!) an IDA conference. Up Donegal!

Fianna Fáil will no doubt wish they could crawl back into the ocean when the next general election comes round. The 'Yes' verdict was achieved by what amounted to a coup financially engineered from Brussels and none of us has said a word about it. The EU's interference was illegal. The media, dutifully, kept their mouths shut about this in the run-up to the vote. But, dutifully, someone on radio hit Declan Ganley about where Libertas got its funding from!

Is anyone going to challenge the legality of Brussels funding a campaign in another state in order to influence the democratic system in that country? Is anyone even going to bring the subject up? Presumably this sort of subverting of Irish democracy is what Fianna Fáil believe to be political evolution. Now we know.

author by LizardScumpublication date Sat Oct 03, 2009 18:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Once fianna fail get Lisbon and nama and the other cash injections to their banking friends through, It's clear that they don't really care what happens after that because their futures are assured.

author by Patrickpublication date Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are reports appearing today that David Cameron (UK Opposition Leader) is determined to hold a national referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if he becomes the next UK Prime Minister -- as he is widely tipped to do.

It appears he has clearly stated that he will try to "scupper" the Lisbon Treaty despite the Republic of Ireland's acceptance of it yesterday: provided he "wins a general election and it (Lisbon Treaty) has not yet been ratified across Europe" by that time.

Much more on this subject is likely to follow later this week, because the Annual Conservative Party Conference begins tomorrow in Manchester.

Related Link: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5inAI...vDurA

author by Pierce Farrell - CAEUC (Personal Capacity)publication date Mon Oct 05, 2009 17:00author email Pierce.Farrell at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

So the results are in; http://electionsireland.org/results/referendum/refresul...2009R and you can compare and contrast the figures from this year and last on the same website. One thing to note is that the No voters were down by 268,000 which makes total sense seeing as that's approximately the same number of people who have become unemployed since the recession began in Q2 2008: http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1018015...shtml

First and foremost we on the No side must admit that we failed to provide reassurances on the issue of jobs - primarily because the treaty mentions nothing about jobs!
What the Yes side did was clever politics, clever in its simplicity. They identified the key issue in the minds of the electorate then tied that as much as possible to a virtually unreadable treaty that even in its consolidated version (published only in May 2008) was difficult to read. We must now accept the charge that has been laid against all left-wing groups, that we are so caught up in the ideological battle we often leave behind the immediate material concerns of the people we hope to win over to our arguement.

And on the issue of material we all know that the Yes side used a wall, indeed a tsunami of money to hammer their scare-tactics home. They undoubtedly used this ocean of finance to carry out their unpublished research and identify those issues which would demoralise those who turned up to vote No in 2008 and motivate potential Yes voters to show up in 2009. Coir obviously did their homework and put on the Shinner-clothing with the 'They died for your freedom' poster and devoloped their €1:84 poster straight from the findings of the UCD Geary Insitute: http://www.dfa.ie/uploads/documents/ucd%20geary%20insti...t.pdf But how relevant is the arguement over pay and conditions when you've received a paycut, are unemployed or being constantly reminded that your livelihood could simply disappear? Instead of voting against low-wages and long hours people were told that they had the chance to vote for the opportunity work and earn (or to simply keep working) and that if they didn't take the chance now it might never come again. One reason why our reaction against this arguement was slow and patchy was because we were unprepared and I for one will constantly hammer home the necessity of preparation! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEuuyVPmdhg (Watch as far a 1:09 and ignore the backround 'bleeps') We tried to lay siege to the Yes side's arguements of June 2008 while behind us their exploitation of the fears over a changed economic environment enveloped any other points we tried to raise.

So Coir are going to try and do what O'Leary accused Ganley of trying to do, win Dana's seat in Donegal and if they keep their efforts focused to a few constituencies they might!

Everyone present at the Teacher's Club on Saturday 3rd knows that the real battle is against 'Growth and Stability Pact' induced cuts, redundancies including over 6,000 last month( http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1018041...shtml ) and at all possible points in these sub-sets of the battle we must hammer home how EU policies are not working, not assisting the ordinary people. This will be tough as a the word 'Growth' is associated with job creation while 'Stability' is associated with low inflation. We also have to provide leadership so that the impact of the first factory to close down and move to eastern Europe is directed at the corporate high-flyers and not ordinary immigrants.

One feature of Saturday's event that did strike me was the level of unity in the room. A quote attributed to both Kissinger and Woodrow Wilson goes along the lines that the the bitterest fights are over the smallest stakes and I could tell from Saturday night that the SP, SWP and various anarchists are fully aware that the fight in Ireland is no longer about 'poaching' good activists from each other. Our ideas have real traction amoung a lot of working and unemployed people and we need to develop this. While autonomous worker's action is brilliantly positive a memeber of the Community & Workers Action Group was correct in saying we also need to provide leadership and try gain ground. Another person said the 'official leadership' of Ireland's left gave away this victory. Therefore I argue that the best course of action for us is to change the official leadership - turn on, tune in, TAKE OVER! It is through unity that this leadership can best be channelled to reach a demoralised and intimidated working and unemployed population. Most importantly we have to focus our efforts on where they will make the greatest impact.

So let us prepare.

Let us prepare (now!) to challenge the offical leaders of the Trade Unions when elections to these positions are being held.

Let us prepare to adopt the tactic of accepting no more than a ordinary working person's wage if elected to these positions. (Blair Horan is meant to be on 6 figures!)

Let us prepare to divide constituencies so that all of the political parites maximise their efforts and prevent unnecessary duplication.

Let us prepare to build solidarity here in Ireland, solidarity that has the aim of achieving a pro-human agenda at all levels of society.

And if any of you think this is unnecessary then I'll remind you of ths:http://www.lilliputpress.ie/listbook.html?isbn=978%201%...8%201
If they had a book published in August that means they had their campaign formulated and ready to launch in June.
And if they were ready to launch in June then they had it finalised by April!!
All of us have to adopt the same mentality.

Related Link: http://www.sayno.ie
author by arty eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepublication date Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

full RTE pat kenny show from magee in donegal on now, looking at why the county voted no and related issues


Next Thursday, 15 October, RTÉ Radio 1's Today with Pat Kenny will broadcast live from Magee's of Donegal shop window on The Diamond. Members of the public are invited to come along to watch and take part in the broadcast. Well known broadcaster Pat Kenny will be in the shop and out on the street asking members of the public their views and opinions on the Lisbon Treaty.

An invited panel of guests will discuss why Donegal voted No to Lisbon. Guests will include Fianna Fáil's Jim McDaid and Niall Blaney, Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty and Padraig McLoughlin, Donegal Democrat Editor Michael Daly, RTÉ's news' Eileen Magner, Joe Mulholland of the Magill Summer School, Richard Carruthers of IMPAC trade union, Charlie Collins of Highland Radio, Lynn Temple of Magee's, Roberta Dillon of Simple Simon Foods and local mná tí (Mairead MacFadden and Anne McCafferty) and Eamonn Mac Niallais.

Pat will be asking guests and the public why the two Donegal Constituencies were the only ones in the 26 counties to vote no in the recent Lisbon Referendum? Was it because Sinn Féin and the Catholic Right have such strong influence or vote-getting prowess in the county, or is it something deeper? Does Donegal feel isolated and ignored by an overly centralized state? Cut-off by lack of efficient public transport? The fishing industry sold down the Atlantic by the early negotiators of EU entry? Or is Donegal influenced and under cut by the proximity to the North? What is it and is there any fixing?

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