Last October the Irish people went to the polling booth to have their say on the Lisbon Treaty – the result was a definite NO. The path is now being paved for a second vote on the treaty; So, what’s changed?
Before the first Lisbon vote, many people had a great number of concerns about the Lisbon Treaty’s content. Unusually despite this, every single, major political party supported the YES vote. The public were subjected to the opinions of ministers who openly admitted never reading the treaty document yet were convinced that YES was the only way to vote. After the NO vote won out, the government played out on the back foot for a while; the occasional snipe at the public and various fallacious comments such as how they made the recession worse by voting NO.
In recent times we have heard about the legal agreements sought by the government of Ireland, that would protect the points of concern, as expressed by the public. Concerns that you will remember, did not exist before the last vote as they were supposedly non-issues. However, the government now seems to agree that these are actually issues and has spent a great deal of public monies on legal council and drafting these so-called guarantees. So, the NO vote was right all along, we actually had genuine concerns?
So, the parties’ line is now that these agreements are in place and protect the genuine concerns of the Irish people so we can all be good little EU subordinates and vote YES because they want us to. Every major broadcaster and printed media has conveyed this message to the people and many lobby groups have convinced pockets of voters that YES is now the only option because these guarantees are in place. Very clever PR and electioneering; I take my hat off to the powers that be for conceiving and executing such an incredibly intricate and conniving plan.
What we haven’t heard anything about in the Irish media is how not a single word of the Lisbon Treaty document has been changed. We have also not been told how these guarantees are standalone documents that do not form an appendix to the treaty and that these guarantees are effected now, prior to the impending second vote on the treaty. What we are not being told is that voting YES to this treaty will supercede these guarantees, give power to the EU commission on all future decisions (a commission on which Ireland is still not guaranteed a seat) and allow the EU commission to govern with a treaty that remains unchanged from the original NO vote, still carrying all the concerns of the Irish public (confirmed recently by the Irish government’s actions as being genuine concerns). So essentially, Lisbon II will see the Irish government persuade the Irish citizens to return to the polls and despite ratifying all original fears and concerns, ignore their better judgement and vote YES anyway. This request will be made despite not a single word of the original treaty being changed and our only guarantees of comfort being standalone documents that will be superceded by the treaty coming into effect, rendering them null and void.
While not being one for holding back on what I believe in nor what I think about things, I really am lost for words that the Irish government truly believes that the Irish people are that stupid. I’m further confounded that somehow, lobby groups are managing to persuade certain groups that these hard times are linked to the last NO vote. I’ve always said that the Irish state verged on being Orwellian but am I truly gobsmacked at the blatant, stone-faced, audacity with which this deception is being performed.
Last time I voted NO because of concerns that the Irish government now says are genuine. Nothing has changed and the Irish people are being hoodwinked by clever political manoeuvres and fallacious scaremongering – this time I will be voting NO again, regardless of what anyone says. We’re still at square one.