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Monday, 28 September 2009

When Irish Ayes?

In case anyone has taken their eye off this particular ball, here’s a reminder: the Irish are voting this coming Friday (for the second time) on the Lisbon Treaty. There is occasional media coverage, but – given the ability of the outcome to make or break the treaty for good – not much. And those in the press and the blogosphere who have complained about this haven’t exactly been banging on about it themselves.

Which is a pity, because it matters – not merely the vote, but some decent analysis of the campaign and the issues as well. I previously noted that Michael O’Leary, the combative CEO of Ryanair, the Millwall of air carriers (everybody hates us and we don’t care), was prepared to put half a million Euro into the Yes campaign, and rightly so, as without the EU opening up the air travel market, he wouldn’t have had his opportunity.

Others have weighed in on the No side, including UKIP, who don’t seem too fussed with involving themselves in another country’s business, and find themselves on the same side of the argument as Sinn Féin. And there have been some dubious polls doing the rounds as a result. Why? Because it matters for the Irish – and it should matter for us, too.

In reality, the Irish have gained assurances on three areas which matter to them: abortion, neutrality and taxation. They have used their leverage to negotiate concessions. Those in the anti-EU corner will keep saying that the Irish are just being told to keep voting until they say yes. But if you can use the exercise to move things in your favour, that’s not being bullied, but boxing clever.

And why not? Successive UK Governments have done the same. It’s what constructive engagement is all about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pleace vote for democracy and against the treaty of lisbon

Dear irish people!

Pleace stop the treaty of lisbon! Is is antidemocartic, militaristic, antisocial. The disadvantages are much bigger, than the advantages. The EU can live with its actuell laws. They should only be changed into a democratic direction. With the treaty of lisbon, the european council is able to change this treaty in great parts without asking the parliament. This is nearly the same law, which mades the nationl- rassistic- party of Germany so powerfull in our country in the year 1933. Our basic law (the german constitution) and all other european constitutions should not be replaced by the treaty of lisbon. But the new treaty tries to bring all right- sytstems in a lower level than the new european right. Here is my informationpage: http://sites.google.com/site/euradevormwald/english . When you have some more english information, pleace send me a link or text or write it into the visitors book of my page. And pleace spread this text all over Ireland.

In the hope in your activities for a better Europe, Felix Staratschek, Freiligrathstr. 2, D- 42477 Radevormwald (Germany)