❍A poster, bullying people into not being bullied
Bearing in mind that the Shinners/Provos were against the Lisbon Treaty, it seems apt to describe the result, as the Irish people shooting themselves in the foot.
During the utterly dishonest campaign waged on the 'No' side, we had devout Catholics lying through their teeth, men and women who backed an illegal army for a generation, railing against militarism, directors of companies which supply the US military, warning about an EU Army, and a raggle-taggle army of commentators, many supported by Rupert Murdoch's media empire, urging us all to vote no.
So why did the Irish people vote against the advice of the three main political parties in the country and against the EU which has handed over something like €68billion in aid over the past thirty years?
They did so because they believed the lies they were told.
Despite absolute assurances, right up to the last minute, voters expressed their fears that the Treaty would result in the legalisation of abortion in Ireland. It won't.
They said they were worried that it would force the Irish people to permit stem-cell research. It won't.
They said they believed it would lead to a loss of our neutrality*. It won't.
(Why are we so proud of our neutrality? Was there something honourable about telling Hitler that, as far as we were concerned, he could invade anywhere he wished and murder as many Jews, Romas and homosexuals as he pleased?)
They said they had been told that Europe would harmonise taxes* and therefore force us to raise our low Corporation Tax which attracts foreign investment. It won't.
(*Isn't it odd, that many of the people who have spent years calling for a harmonisation of taxes so that we would have lower VAT, cheaper cars and a more benign indirect tax system, suddenly raise the 'spectre' of tax harmonisation?)
There were even some who believed that children could be snatched from their homes, that military conscription was just around the corner and, I don't know, that we'd all have to turn Protestant or something equally dastardly.
But there were others who voted 'No' too.
Businessmen - and we know who they are - who have a vested interest in keeping manners on Europe as they see it.
There were ordinary people who are happy that there are 26 other countries for us in which to sell our goods - but which should really keep their own people at home instead of sending them here to take jobs from decent Irish people.
There are those who will tell you that there are too many politicians and civil servants getting too much money our of Europe. But who want 27 Commissioners - and their enormous cabinets and staffs and what not - instead of 15.
It's a long time since I have been embarrassed by my nationality.
I was such when I lived in England in the '70s and the IRA was blowing up my neighbours. I was when the IRA gave two fingers to the Pope. I was when someone decided that the bank robbers, smugglers, thugs and murderers were sufficiently reformed to be considered respectable.
And I am again.
Sure, give our politicians a few bloody noses. (Metaphorically. I'm a pacifist.) I'd be first in the queue for that.
They are indeed, aloof, out of touch, over paid, under-worked and a self-perpetuating elite that needs taking down a peg or two.
But in this instance, we have shot ourselves in the foot. cut off our nose to spite our face.
Made fools of ourselves.
And who will solve the problem?
Declan Ganley and Libertas? Richard Green and his devout thugs in COIR? The Shinners? Vincent Browne? Shane Ross? Eamon Dunphy? Richard Boyd Barrett? Joe Higgins? (Two socialists voting against the Charter of Fundamental Rights) Patricia McKenna? (A 'Green" voting against environmental protection.) Gay Byrne? Ulick McEvaddy and his friends in the US Air Force?
No. They'll crawl back under their stones believing they have completed a job well done.
The job of solving the problem will be left to those who we elected to run the country.
Aloof and out of touch they may be.
But thank God it's them in charge.
And not those who, throughout the campaign and beyond, deliberately misrepresented the Lisbon Treaty, peddled lies, scaremongered and deceived.