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Lisbon: A Final Word

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EU FlagThis Friday the people of Ireland will go to the polls and at this moment in time I have no doubt that the Lisbon Treaty will be approved by a majority YES vote.

Yes, I advocate the NO vote but so too am I realistic with respect to the current state of play. Without offence to any individual, the YES side is made up of people whose jobs would not exist if they were not needlessly paid by somebody to be there and die hard Euro fanatics who would question their own mother before questioning the European Parliament, e.g. die hard trade unionists, politicians, minority businessmen whose business depends on EU subsidies, etc. The NO side is made up of people who are independent, self-starters who didn’t inherit a business to run, and minority political forces who will never become career politicians of any magnitude.

So why am I so convinced that the treaty will be carried? Well it’s simple really. The Irish are easily scared, rarely exhibit backbone, and are too ignorant to actually read anything they ever vote on. In addition to this, so-called independent bodies have done nothing but publish guides on how to vote YES, debates on national TV have always portrayed a majority leaning towards YES, the only credible NO campaigner is the victim of a slur campaign by our government and also was brought onto the main evening news to be ripped apart while no YES campaigner has ever received a similar treatment nor stern questioning of the value in voting YES. Finally, effecting the Lisbon Treaty will have consequence as simply put, consequence is the result of implementing any change, and no act of sublime lunacy is without consequence.

So a provisional congratulations to the self-interest groups and career politicians who successfully ran a campaign of, well actually it debases all my beliefs to call it a campaign given that not a single fact was used by the pro-YES vote side. Equally annoyed I am at the pro-NO side for using equal amounts of scaremongering and fallacious rubbish before anyone says anything about them. Anyway, congratulations on making it an iron clad fact that the voice of the Irish people will never be listened to within their own country nor within the EU. Congratulations on securing an opinion poll majority from people who believe that Lisbon will effect economic recovery. Congratulations on reaffirming your unquestionable stance in society whereby democracy is always wrong unless it’s the answer you want. Well done – you should be very proud of yourselves.

For anyone as of yet undecided, for those who have not bought the claptrap that a YES will bring economic recovery, keep us in Europe, send out waves of positivity to foreign investors, and pave the streets with gold – fair play to you for not yet being sucked in. For those who are die hard that the EU has treated us so well, that being part of the EU is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that life can’t exist without the EU as it stands, I have the following question: Why on earth are you voting in a treaty that guarantees changes to the EU and doesn’t preserve it in the way that it currently exists and has been good to us? The only consequence as a result of Friday’s vote will be if the treaty is passed – any other outcome changes nothing about the operation of the EU nor Ireland’s role within.

I’m not a Euro sceptic nor do I have any paranoid delusions of the EU being out to get us. I simply don’t ever accept YES as a default action and I despise change for the sake of change; change that serves little other purpose than justifying huge amounts of expenditure by some group of bureaucratic pen pushers. Let’s put it this way, if the Public Service in Ireland was campaigning for the opportunity to give itself more power and waste extraordinary amounts of public money on rejigging documents that have little to no effect on the running of the country, would you vote YES to their campaign?

Anyway, “que sera, sera”. Frankly I am both ashamed to be an Irish citizen and also ashamed to be a European who is currently frowned upon for not letting petulant, power-hungry, politicians get their way. Post-Lisbon Ireland will bear little difference to pre-Lisbon Ireland – only the passage of time will have any effect on the landscape. Twice in recent history we stuck our heads out and said something to the EU and twice we were slapped on the wrists – I wonder will Lisbon change the respect that Ireland gets for talking? Will effectively becoming a spineless jellyfish who swallows pride and forgets beliefs, win us the respect that we clearly do not yet have from Europe? Only time will tell…

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