The folly of Lisbon becomes clear

Off the fence
The folly of Lisbon becomes clear

Michael ComminsMichael Commins

DO you remember the Lisbon Treaty of some months ago? And all those thousands of posters from Fine Gael and Fianna Fail proclaiming vote Yes to Jobs, Yes to Recovery, all coded in simple messages to swing the voters. You could not but escape the way they changed the focus from the first referendum, which was soundly rejected by the voters. This time, the focus was on Jobs and Recovery ….and the bunkum of “Keep Ireland at the heart of Europe.”
Sadly, a lot of folks fell for the lies and deceit. Lisbon, of course, had nothing at all to do with jobs. But Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour and big business and the “elites” decided that we did not “understand” the treaty first time around. Democracy how are you. And then they wonder why people are losing all respect for authority.
The haemorrhaging of jobs has continued apace in the aftermath of voting Yes to Lisbon. Week after week the jobless figures increase, rapidly heading towards 450,000…and not a word at all now from Brian Cowan, Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore about “Vote Yes for Jobs, Yes for Recovery”, a campaign based on a big lie.
When I interviewed “No” campaign stalwart Declan Ganley at his home a few miles from Tuam some days before the second vote, he had this to say about “Lisbon 2”. “The biggest core message of this dishonest Yes campaign is that this Treaty will somehow be good for this country. The Lisbon Treaty will not create one job… the only job it will preserve is that of Brian Cowen.
“It will end up in resulting in job losses in this country because it moves us into the heart of the agenda of economic harmonisation across the European Union. We will be forgotten about. This will be one of the greatest acts of self marginalisation in Irish history if we vote Yes.”
I think it is fair to say that Ganley was right, and the “establishment” who have landed this country in the mess we are in, were wrong again. Could you imagine the ridicule the “Yes” side would try and heap on the “No” campaigners had they triumphed again and the spate of job losses had continued unabated? Well, those of us who voted “No” (twice) can look on and say … “We told ye so”. The great lie behind the Fine Gael and Fianna Fail Lisbon Treaty campaign was the way they switched the focus to the economy and jobs. They managed to frighten people into believing that this was a Treaty about the economy and that, if we voted “No” again, Ireland would be treated as a virtual outcast in the EU.
Strange how they omitted the case of Spain. While the French and the Danish voted “No” when given the opportunity, the “good” Spaniards voted “Yes”. And where did that put Spain? At the “heart” of Europe? Today, Spain has an unemployment rate sitting on 20%, the highest in the EU. Shame on the Irish politicians who refused to accept the result of the first Treaty and managed to get the Treaty passed on an entirely false premise second time around.