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A Great Day for Europe

05 Oct

All the newspapers today (well, yesterday, when I started writing this) are spouting off about the Lisbon treaty, about the “landslide” YES vote in Ireland. And about the “great day” for Europe.

Well it isn’t a “great day” for anything; in fact it was a tragic day that demonstrates the staggering failure of democracy in Europe.

Irish voteDo you non-Irish know what the Lisbon treaty is about? Probably not, because your government took away your option to vote on it, and simply voted for you instead.

I don’t know what it was about either, and I even read some of the election pamphlets in Ireland a few weeks ago. But I still don’t know very much.

You can see that nobody had an idea what is involved when both the Yes and No sides presented almost identical arguements as to why we should vote for them. And the reasons that weren’t identical were innane – “we will be left outside Europe” and so on.

The biggest scare tactic used was the threat of removal of aid for the Irish economy and Irish banks. Basically – “Vote Yes or risk your country going under”. Nice.

To promote the passage of the treaty, the Irish were given some “guarantees” – or, if you prefer, bribes – to convince them to go ahead and vote yes. Among these was the provision for the Irish state to continue pissing all over women’s rights and continue the Catholic Church backed ban on abortion.

dsc_0110

So now, with this Yes vote, the Irish have a legal guarantee that Europe will not interfere in the question of allowing Irish women the right to choose what to do with their own bodies.

So in what way is this a “great day” for anything? Simply throwing a referendum at the people again and again until you get the answer you want, calling it “final” and then never bringing it up again?

The actualy turnover was 57% and 67% or so of them voted yes, meaning that about 40% of the Irish electorate said “Yes”, hardly a landslide, as the press are saying.

If the Irish had said “Yes” on the first attempt, would there have been another vote in case they had changed their minds and now wanted to vote “No”? You bet you arse there wouldn’t.

And if Ireland was truly was a democracy, then there would be one referendum more, and they would take the best out of the 3 results. And that ain’t going to happen, is it?

So don’t worry, nothing actually changed on October 3rd – the power in Europe still rests with the same people, and they will continue to get what they want in the same ways as before, despite their record of being very very wrong, so many times.

Yes, a great day for Europe indeed.

/ paddy

 
8 Comments

Posted by on October 5, 2009 in Ireland, Society

 

8 responses to “A Great Day for Europe

  1. Glen Gordon

    October 6, 2009 at 12:17 am

    This reminds me of a MadTV skit involving a mock bipartisan political debate showing how political choice can so easily be an illusion (click here). That pretty much sums up the new global ‘dumb-ocracy’. (I certainly support the system of democracy; it just hasn’t been invented yet, nor was it truly employed as an egalitarian system even by the Ancient Greeks who are said to have developed it.)

     
    • paddyK

      October 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm

      I would vote for a dumbocrat. Where are they?

       
  2. csrster

    October 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Somebody on the BBC said that it’s now 1-1 and they have to settle it with a penalty shoot-out.

     
    • paddyK

      October 6, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      Yes! I love it.

       
  3. Rachael

    October 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    also tried hard to find out what it was all about, but fell asleep a few times in my attempts – found lots of ‘don’t do it Ireland’ comments though on various newspaper blog sites – it made me wonder why? Why do we need wooly eyes? anyway, Love your post and can totally ex-paddy relate

     
  4. OR Melling

    October 14, 2009 at 10:35 am

    One of the things the Lisbon Treaty establishes is a European Defence policy linked directly to the arms industry. There is a clause insisting that all states must update and improve their armies. There will also be a more powerful President – Tony Blair the war mongerer is pegged to be the first – and a Foreign Rights minister. This is a major step towards a United States of Europe and not a single state voted on it besides Ireland. The bottom line? The Lisbon Treaty is the new European constitution – voted down by France and the Netherlands – re-jigged so they could call it a ‘treaty’ and by-pass all the countries’ referendum requirements – except Ireland’s, of course. The continual chatter about ‘streamlining the institutions and administration’ – parroted by most of the European press – is another one of those newspeak terms like “collateral damage.” In this case “streamlining the institutions and administration” means garnering more power at the centre, in Brussels, and away from the individual states where citizens have some chance of keeping an eye on the ball. A sad day indeed.

     
    • paddyK

      October 14, 2009 at 10:56 am

      Now THAT’S the kind of summary we should have been reading the last month, and not just listening to the politicos with their “just the next step” bullshit!

      What with all this money pouring to the arms industry and the huge waste of cash that is the CAP, and the massive bank bailouts, I think it’s about time these bolloxes “in charge” are held responsible for something.

      Still waiting for the penalty shoot-out…

       
  5. OR Melling

    October 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I’m retiring to a monastery.

     

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