Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yes mistakes, No lies

Tomorrow, June 12 2008, Ireland votes on a new European Union Treaty, the Lisbon Treaty.
Right now, it's impossible to forecast the result.
It should have been straight forward.
Europe has been good for Ireland.
Europe has given us €68 billion over the years. It has built hundreds of kilometres of our roads. It has built our schools and hospitals. It has given us access to one of the biggest markets in the world and certainly one of the wealthiest.
And yet, we might say no.
Well, firstly because the "Yes' Campaign, such as it was, was utterly inept.
This wasn't entirely the fault of the government. It's hard to sell something as abstract as the Lisbon Treaty. It doesn't offer anything tangible. It's largely to do with administration, efficiency, streamlining and the smooth running of a vast organisation. Dull.

But politicians can be blamed for a poster campaign which seemed to be more about personalities than policy. Why did our TDs, Councillor and MEPs find it necessary to blight our streets with posters featuring large photographs of themselves above small urgings for us to vote 'Yes?' Do they not realise that we think they're all useless?
They have been condescending and patronising. They have allowed themselves to be associated with European politicians who have been even more condescending and patronising.
They have, in two words, been utterly useless.
Meanwhile, the "No' side has been permitted to get away with blatant lies, duplicity, secrecy and an almost unbelievable arrogance.
Take Declan Ganley's extremely dodgy 'Libertas' group. Nice name. Probably cost him a fortune to some PR company to come up with it.
Ganley prattles on about how we will end up with an unelected EU president. I admire the man's nerve. You would swear, wouldn't you, that he'd been elected to something. But no. He's self apppointed, self imporant and plain selfish.
Ganley supplies the American military. Whether he supplies them with nasty, lethal stuff or toilet roll is immaterial. He is inextricably linked to the US war machine. As is Ulick McEvaddy, another on the 'No' side.
Ganley has been telling blatant lies. He says our veto is at risk and it's not. He says our corporation tax rate is at risk and it's not.
He says we can negotiate a new treaty. And that's unlikely. Even if it happens, it doesn't mean we can negotiate a better deal. If the other 26 gang up on us, it could well we a worse deal. But Declan won't admit that.
Nor will he tell us where the money for his campaign is coming from. Nor will he tell us how a "No' vote would afffect his lucrative business. Maybe someday that other charlatan, Dan Brown, will write a book called The Libertas Code.
The Shinners maintain the treaty will lead to 'increased militarism.' Funny, isn't it? The organisation which had the biggest collection of guns and bombs in Ireland, turns out to be against militarism. They're good on guns and bombs, the Shinners. Not so hot on the economy, though.
COIR is the fascist Catholic organisation which is giving the Church a bad name. Its spokesmen and women have been lying through their teeth since this campaign began. They tell us abortion is on the way. And it's not. They tell us our corporation tax will be raised. And it won't. Their posters are scaremongering, dishonest, disgusting.
Right through the 'No' campaign, their are lies, distortions, myths and dishonesty.
And yet, right now, it might have worked for them.
This much is sure.
If the vote turns out to be "No', it is not Declan Ganley or Libertas or Ulick McEvaddy or Coir or the Shinners who will have to pick up the pieces.
It is our elected politicians.
The ones urging us to vote Yes.
The ones who, although we don't trust them - thanks these days to the corrupt Bertie Ahern - ran the lousy campaign.
The ones we're stuck with.

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