Posts Tagged European Union

Ivan Yates vs Declan Ganley on the Lisbon Treaty Version 2

Tratado de Lisboa 2007
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This morning’s Breakfast show on NewsTalk 106, had promised to feature “No To Lisbon” campaigner Declan Ganley voice his opinion on the Lisbon Treaty version 2. It was hoped that he would also explain his reasons in detail, why he had to decided to run his “No To Lisbon” campaign again, even though he had said he wouldn’t.

Unfortunately, we never got to hear Ganley’s opinion, for the terrible interviewing techniques of Mr. Ivan Yates. Rather than allowing Ganley to get his point across, Yates took the opportunity to promote his reasons for a Yes vote across the airwaves. He hardly allowed Ganley to speak while he went on what can only be called a rant on how the No camp used lies to get their No vote in the last Lisbon. Yates refused to allow Ganley the time to explain why he felt the Government were peddling lies in this campaign.

There’s no denying that I am definitely on the “No to Lisbon” side – but I still want to hear the opposing opinions so that I make the proper choice. I’m a regular listener to NewsTalk and in most cases it gives a very balanced few on any topic it covers. In this case, it was like as if the airwaves were simply a soap box for Yates and the Yes vote to publicly humiliate the opposition. It was as if Yates knew that there was nothing he could do except attack Ganley before he ever got out of the starting blocks.

Shame on you Mr. Yates and NewsTalk for allowing this to happen.

I’ll try get audio for this interview and post it here when it becomes available.

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Why I’m voting No to Lisbon… Again…

Well here it is, we are all set to take to the polls again and tell the government that we are silly people and that we were wrong to reject the Lisbon Treaty on the last time of asking… That’s what they want us to say anyway… But I will yet again be standing firm on my no vote. The complete arrogance of this government makes me sick every time I turn on the radio, TV or read a newspaper it’s there to be seen in full view.

My reasons are quite similar to my last post for the election last time round – you can read them here >>

The nation spoke and the government didn’t listen – they seem to think that getting a few “legal guarantees” on the hot topics from the last vote is enough to change our minds. Maybe it is, but they obviously don’t think it is or else they wouldn’t be using scaremongering tactics to frighten people into voting yes this time round.

I’m absolutely appalled by their campaign this time round. “Vote Yes for Jobs”, “We’re Safer in Europe“, “Yes for the economy”, “Yes to Protect Jobs” or “Yes for my future”. I’m sorry but that just doesn’t cut it.

First and foremost for me is democracy. So far I have seen little guarentee’s of our democratic rights. We say No, the government thinks we really meant yes and here, we’ll get you to vote again and scaremonger you into a yes vote. What ample timing the recession was huh? Let’s harp on about how good Europe will be for jobs and security. Yet again the government fail to respect the Irish republic and just think we’re a bunch of eejits.

I am a fan of Ireland being part of Europe, but not at the sake of democracy. Fianna Fail are putting a lot of effort into letting people know about the guarantee of an Irish commissioner that will have a veto on any decision being made in the European parliament. We’ve already seen first hand how Europe treats a veto – yep, they get us to vote again on the exact same treaty and expect us to make it a yes this time.

If our government had made any attempt to get the guarantees put into the treaty instead of some silly “legal guarantee” then maybe I may have voted yes.

I’m sick of hearing that if we vote NO, we will look terrible to other countries in the European commission. How bad will it look to other member states if Ireland are thrown out of Europe? Will this be something other countries will want to be a part of?

Mr. Cowen, you are treating us like the stoopid Irish again – hopefully we’ll all give you a resounding NO again this time around. Let’s see what you can actually deliver for this country then, since you don’t seem to be doing anything to save our economy.

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Lisbon Treaty, here we go again…

Second round of the French presidential electi...
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So it looks like we’re off again, the Government looks set to ask us to go to the polls again and vote on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty.

What’s different you may ask? Well it hasn’t been officially announced yet, but so far it looks like it’s just going to containt a set of declarations but not actually change a single paragraph of the Treaty.

Surely no-one is going to be fooled by this move, are they???

According to recent polls, it looks like they will. It will be a sad day for democracy if this goes through. Obviously “no” means nothing to the Government this country elected…

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Shopping up North or abroad is unpatriotic?

As Christmas approaches I like many others I am sure, are out looking for the best bargains we can get when buying Christmas presents for our loved ones.

Unfortunately, the best prices available to us are not in my beloved country that is Rip Off Ireland. For too long all of us in this country have been fleeced with exorbitant prices that all our retailers have been happy to dish out during the good times.

Now as we venture further into one of the worst economic climates in decades, politicians (our government, the same government who want us to shop around for health insurance) and others are suggesting that it is our patriotic duty to shop in Ireland only.

Well I’m sorry, I just don’t agree.

Why should we continue to pay southern Irish retailers above the odds for the same product that we can get much cheaper up North. Why should we continue to pay more for products produced in southern Ireland than those who live up North? In some cases as much as 50% more!

The retailers usual excuse is that the costs of running a business up North is a lot cheaper than in the South. They fail to see however, that they were part of cause of this rip off culture. It’s been a viscious roundabout that they were happy to jump on when the times were good and take huge margins on the products they sold.

Remember, we are a member of the European Union, which lives and breathes on the ideology of free trade between member states. So if we as a democratic country voted to be part of Europe, they we are being patriotic by purchasing goods in our member states.

To rub salt in the wounds, a report in today’s Irish Times suggest there have been massive increases in the price of products being sold by the large supermarket chains in Ireland. Yet, they still complain about us shopping over the border.

I remember the days where you would visit your local supermarket and be greeted with huge “Buy Irish” signs. In those days, it was worth it to buy Irish, nowadays however, it’s not.

Retailers should have seen the signs on the wall ages ago and done something “outside the box” to be prepared for this, but no, they were happy to continue ripping us off.

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Why I’m voting No to Lisbon

BERLIN - MARCH 25:  The heads of state of the 27 European Union nations pose for a family photo around German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) Front row (L - R) European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Romania's President Traian Basescu, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, Poland's President Lech Kaczynski, French President Jacques Chirac, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Poettering, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Middle row (L - R) Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi , Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Slovenian Prime minister Janez Jansa, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Top row (L -R) Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico, Malta's Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Austrian chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, Finland's Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, in front of Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate, at the end of weekend celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which laid the foundation for the EU March 25, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. European Union heads of state are converging on the German capital to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, which laid the foundation for the current European Union.  (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

I promise that this will be my last post on the Lisbon Treaty before we take to the polls. I just need to get this out of my system!

Last night, whilst enjoying my dinner, my door bell rang and I said “that better not be some campaigner looking for my vote in the referendum”. Reluctantly I answered the door with the intention of taking their flyer and saying “thanks”.

However when I opened the door it wasn’t just a normal campaigner, it was our local Fianna Fail councillor Pat Vance. This was my golden opportunity to ask someone that should know what the treaty is all about some questions that might answer my lingering doubts.

In fairness to Pat, he seemed to have his story very straight. Although, he did do the usual politician tact of avoiding answering the tough questions. He seemed like a nice guy and he had his own reasons why he was voting yes, which I respected.

But I’m sad to say, that after nearly 20 minutes of conversation, I was still non-the-wiser why I should vote yes in the upcoming treaty referendum.

So I’ve decided to vote no and I guess it would be fair to say my reasons are solely based on principle. Here’s why:

  1. Democracy
    When a treaty which is more than 90% unchanged from an original treaty that was categorically turned down by countries with a combined population of over 80 million, there is something undemocratic about the way this treaty is being forced through.If it’s fair to use polls as a guide to what people are thinking, why when over 70% would have liked to have voted on the new Lisbon Treaty there was not a Europe wide vote? Is that not what democracy is?
  2. Reading the Small Print
    Our own EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy (who I have a lot of respect for by the way) reckons it would be insane for someone to read the Lisbon Treaty in it’s entirity. Well I’m sorry, I just don’t agree with this. We elect these people to handle our affairs, they should be looking at the “small print”. Would you buy a house before employing a solicitor to read the “fine print” and ensure that you are protected? I know I certainly wouldn’t. I know I wouldn’t even sign up for Broadband without reading the small print. So the pure arrogance of this statement is one that annoys me a lot.So what happens in the future when something pops up that the government overlooked because we would be insane to read the treaty in its entirity???
  3. Positives
    I have yet to see any positives from any side of the arguments on the treaty. Let’s face it, I do want Ireland to be part of the EU. I do believe it has been really good for our country and I do believe it would be bad not to be part of it.All I hear from the Yes voters is that it will “send out the wrong signal”, “make us look bad” etc etc. But no-one is telling me why I should vote yes. All I get is “It will streamline how the European Commission works”.So what??? Why should I vote Yes when two countries much larger than Ireland have already voted it down!!?
  4. Neutrality
    Ok a lot of people just think this is an idealistic dream. A country that says it’s neutral – ah bliss. But I’m sorry I am actually proud that we don’t get involved in other peoples fights. That’s the way I have been brought up and that’s the way I’d like it to stay.If someone wants to pick a fight with a small country like us, shame on them, but at least we would still have our pride. If someone wants to help us, we will be grateful. What do countries fight for at the end of the day? Greed, that’s all, pure greed!Pat Vance and I had a good conversation over this, but his attitude was “What’s neutrality, if someone wants to nuke the UK, we are effected”. Yes we are, but then we have to protect ourselves, that’s called “defending”, it doesn’t mean that we have to become allies.
  5. Ireland is a small country
    Another point Pat Vance had was that Ireland is a small country, we think we are bigger and more powerful than we actually are. Yes, maybe we do, but that doesn’t mean we should be the poor small Irish paddy’s sitting in the corner with no voice. If we are to be part of something, we need a voice not matter how small we are in the overall picture. Our voice in my opinion is being quitened with this new treaty.

The way the government are pushing this on us as a dooms day situation if we say no, in principle, is wrong. They should focus on what we are gaining. If they can also give us a balanced view of what we would be losing that would also help everyone understand what indications this will have for us. But if our own government can’t read the treaty – how can we trust them.

Libertas seem to be the only party that actually know anything about this treaty – but they are doom and gloom at the opposite side of the scale.

I don’t know enough to vote Yes to this treaty, I do want to be part of the EU. Government – if you fail on this one, you need to take a serious look at the reasons why!

EDIT: I just needed to add this to the debate as it’s quite ridiculous.
The recent results posted by the Irish Times/MRBI polls show that 36% of the people who have decided to vote yes, have so for the following reason and I quote from todays Irish Times (page 9) – “To keep Ireland fully involved in the EU/not to embarrass Ireland”.

What a ridiculous reason – “not to embarrass Ireland”…. OMG!

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