Friday, 2 October 2009

What's the Hurry Over Lisbon?

Today Irish voters are being hustled back to the polls to alter their decision on accepting the Lisbon Treaty. The reasons why they rejected it last time remain outstanding.

Interference with Ireland's tax affairs and, particularly, their ability to use tax rates to attract companies and businesses to set up or remain in Ireland.

Interference on their social and cultural practices and beliefs, in particular interference on deliberately induced miscarriage.

A reduction in Ireland's level of representation on the European Union Commission by making it possible to have a commissioner only 10 years out of every 15.

The imposition of a Union wide military policy that offends Ireland's constitutional neutrality.

The weakening of Ireland's borders to immigration from economically and/or culturally inappropriate member states.

Interference with wage bargaining and conditions of work.

To which list can be added: alteration of the terms on which Germany has agreed to ratify the Treaty so that the Treaty is always subject to rulings of the German Constitutional court in its application to and effects upon German citizens. This last reservation is now being sought for the Czech Republic's citizens as well. The German reservations are embedded in Germany's Constitution, as those of the Czech Republic will be in their own constitution if the appeal to their Constitutional court succeeds. The Irish people have merely assurances from the European Union that their concerns will be met in a later Treaty, possibly tacked onto the end of the Croation Accession Treaty in a couple of years, if there is one, Croatia having a number of difficulties over its entry into the EU.

Will the Irish people be foolish to the point of conceding all of the above with only 'assurances', and some of those from a Scottish Presbyterian liar desperate to prevent reopening of any part of the Treaty?

There is a precedent for unseemly hurry among the protagonists of New Labour's post democratic progressive governance cabal: when John Smith died on 12 May 1994 Margaret Beckett took over the Leadership of the Party (as the Rule book required on the permanent unavailability of the Leader while the Party is in Opposition). Most of the Labour party were in favour of elections for the leadership at the Conference in the Autumn so that proper consultations could be undertaken throughout the various constituencies of the Party as a whole. The NEC forced elections as early as 21 July to get Blair in before other candidatures, or the Beckett leadership, could establish themselves.

Looking at the Times headlines this morning the same pattern seems to be there. Get Blair in by establishing he is The One before the Treaty has even passed. The Irish people need to weigh the chances that any of the assurances they are being touted will be honoured under such a presidency. The EU needs to reconsider Lisbon under all the changes that are required by some of the member states, and in keeping with the dramatic shift in political stance being expressed electorally in so many of them.

1 comment:

constant gina said...

The EU requires a birth certificate