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The Lisbon Treaty and the Looney Left — 29 Comments

  1. I’m a ‘loo la’ and proud of it!

    “we will ruin ourselves and we’ll go under sea and that we’ll succeed in doing what St Patrick didn’t do by bringing the water all over Ireland, and every other nonsense”

    Sounds like he’s into Tír na nÓg, not grammar!

    Your site’s been down quite a while in Oz . .now that’s a horse of a different colour.

  2. I thought the nuclear disaster one was typical Irish it read like;
    Ah! sure won’t we be all right? The wind normally blows the other way and sure they’re all miles away!

    Lisbon? Not got a clue, I’ll read the literature the referendum commission send, as they tend to give both sides fairly…….. rather than the off the wall shit you get from the for and against camps.
    Way too serious an issue to be flippant about though

  3. Baino – That is a statement from our [thankfully ex] leader!!

    Sorry about the loss of service but it is down to individual PCs. If you have Windows XP, it stores the old address and will give an error for 24 hours or so. Dear old Microsoft!!

    Roy – I trust you are referring to Bertie being flippant, and not me? I am kinda worried about this, because I know the majority of Irish sheep are going to vote ‘yes’ purely and simply because the government says they should.

  4. loo-las and loony-left…

    Is that from an educational book for children: Bertie Discovers Alliterations?

    I have not read the treaty, I know I should and the prospect fills me with dread. I would rather peruse the new French children’s picture book: Sarko Meets the Queen.

  5. we should of kept the punt aswell… whats most shocking is most people will go along with this without any insight into what any of it is about…. sure none of us like making decisions anyway. or do we?

  6. I’m with you on this, I get the impression that it is all an exercise in misinformation and obfuscation. Oh. Wait. I can’t vote, I’m a brit. Shite.

    Oh I forgot to say, anything Bertie says in good for us is actually good for him and his mates. It’s only if you subscribe to trickle down, down, down economics that you believe that line. Fecker.

  7. So you only “tried” to read the document, but you even gathered that it is a constitution? What is a constitution to you? If you’re talking about the constitution of – let’s say – a tennis club:
    http://www.harlowtennisclub.org.uk/constitution.htm
    then that’s right. But if you’re talking about a state constitution, then you’re wrong.

    I’ve spent some time at this blog lately to try to explain a few things, because I liked how the blogger discussed the Treaty question:

    The day of the Eclipse

  8. EU Law – I am happy to accept a constitution as being

    The fundamental law of the state, containing the principles upon which the government is founded and regulating the divisions of the sovereign powers, directing to what persons each of these powers is to be confided and the manner it is to be exercised.

    While the treaty itself is not a constitution, it seeks to amend any existing constitution and is therefore entitled to be treated as a constitutional amendment.

    I said that I ‘tried’ to read the document. By that I meant I read it, but found it to be so utterly incomprehensible, that I cannot honestly say that I understand it. On that principle alone, I would reject it, as I will not put my name to any legally binding document that I do not fully understand. This is nicely covered in point five in the blog to which you refer.

  9. That is maybe one reason why it’s not a good idea to hold a referendum on a treaty of this kind. It is simply legal language. People who study Law learn how to handle the terms used. Of course, it’s still difficult for lawyers to understand the Treaty. But to understand this sort or treaty people like me study Law for four or more years. Now I do understand it and think it’s a way better document than the Nizza Treaty, but I’ll probably not be allowed to work with the Treaty as a lawyer, because someone simply rejects it just because he doesn’t understand it. Oh well. The Treaty is just not meant to be a Harry Potter book to be enjoyed by kids and grown-ups.

    I doubt you understand each word concerning Irish Contract Law – something you deal with every day -, still you wouldn’t request it to be removed from the system, because you know you could just go to a lawyer if you needed help.

  10. If there is any situation where an outside influence [in this case, the EU] is to make changes to the way this country is run, then I think we have a fundamental right to vote on it. The fact that the change is so wrapped up in legal jargon is a failing on the part of the EU, not on the people of Ireland.

    I am not suggesting that the treaty be rewritten by J.K. Rowling, but it should be at least presented to us in a form that a reasonably intelligent person can understand.

    I concede that if I am to sign a complex contract, on the purchase of a house for example, I will employ a conveyancing lawyer to study the contract for me, and I will take their word before signing. However, that is generally a case involving an individual.

    In this case, we have an entire nation presented with an incomprehensible document [to the average layman], where we are told, in effect “We know you won’t understand it, but just say ‘yes’. Trust us.”

    This treaty has been very contentious and has been years in the drafting, so it is obviously not as simple as our government would like us to believe. Our Glorious Leader, who is leaving office under a cloud after a tribunal exposed some very fishy dealings in his private finances, would like us to say ‘yes’, as this would be a nice addition to his C.V. I’m not saying that that is reason enough to vote ‘no’, but I am saying it is reason enough not to trust his word when he urges me to vote ‘yes’.

    Since I reached voting age [a very long time ago], I have voted in every election and referendum. I have always given considered thought before voting. This is the first case I have come across where the whole issue has been clouded in secrecy and misinformation and my gut instinct is to therefore reject it.

  11. I think the problem is we don’t trust those we elect, surely if we trust them to run the country in our best interests, we should trust them to know what’s best regarding this treaty?
    I don’t understand it therefore I’m voting against it, is too simplistic yet seems to be the main argument against.
    If the overall effect is a positive one i’ll accept the negative aspects

  12. Unfortunately, Roy, I don’t trust those who were elected. I wouldn’t buy a used car off them.

    I know the ignorance line is simplistic, but nevertheless, I think it a very valid one. This is presumably an important issue, and therefore we should be clear as to what we are voting for. I think if we are not clear, then we should reject.

  13. everybody better just vote NO one… take a deep breath and vote NO, see .. that did’nt hurt and we are doing just fine as we are. we can give it a year or two and see how the others get along and if we like what we see then maybe its good to vote yes who knows?? our politicians seem PRETTY quiet on this one. we get to see berties worn out dry cleaning reciepts and brian cowen is all fresh and needs time to get a grip so he’ll be taking no blame either. does the NO camp think its worthwhile to advertise the point of view? (who really gives a shit anyway) who can provide a worthy alternative to the dreaded neocon YES

  14. we could have a network of nuclear silo’s from fatima to bethlehem, lourdes to coiltemach. but scumbags would be obliged to do extra national service abroad which may not be a bad thing either? the choice ladies and gentlemen is YOURS !!!

  15. Grandad,

    The treaty brings with it direct political implications, whatever attempts are made to cloud it in legal language.

    Ireland will undertake to strengthen its military capability if the Treaty is accepted. This at a time when we are closing hospital wards and freezing teaching posts. For whose benefit will we increase military capability? Why should the large amounts that go every year from the pockets of working people to the Revenue Commissioners contribute to the EU playing at being a world power?

    Ireland seems to have become involved in some awful Faustian pact of which Lisbon is the latest instalment. The single currency meant there was no control over interest rates allowing the huge property bubble to develop. Now the bubble has burst and there is no possibility of adjusting rates to attempt to soften the fall. The single currency means we are tied to exchange rates that are driving jobs out of the country. Lisbon brings with it the prospect of tax harmonization, which would mean the last of our overseas investors packing up and leaving for somewhere not burdened with EU legislation.

  16. jakbqwic – One thing I doubt we’ll see in nuclear reactors in Mayo! [but there again….?]

    Ian – There is this impression of an out of control express train that is hurtling us into a very hazy future. At least in the past we could decide our own destiny, but that seems to be vanishing fast. Is it time to at least slow down the express?

    There again, the shower we have now will only make us keep voting until we vote ‘yes’, like they did the last time.

    Brianf – Good Evening to you, Sir.

  17. why is Brianf not saying something about the French?

    It makes me suspicious when he’s not making strident comments!

    (It’s almost as bad as Bock being polite)

  18. Just like it was said on the other page I linked before: Why would your politicians want you to vote YES on the Treaty if this Treaty was a decrease of their power in favor of Brussels. It would be schizophrenic if they wanted you to give their power away. Of course, they won’t give away your and their power.

    I could have taken part in two referenda in Saxony already twice, because in my federal state referenda are possible, while they are not possible in Germany as a whole. And I have to tell you, in both cases – one of them just recently – I also did not know for sure what the best decision was, because I did not have enough knowledge. In one of the cases I simply did not take part, because I thought people should take part who actually know what’s best. My vote is worthless if it’s an uninformed vote.

    I think if I did not know what to do I’d not vote at all. Nobody forces you to vote if you do not know what it is about.

    Apart from that there is enough material on the Treaty online. You just need to ask people questions if you want them to clarify parts of the Treaty and ask them to point out the Articles they are talking about. Why would you not believe it when you can see it for yourself? Why be so irresponsible and just sit back and pretend like it’s impossible to get the facts straight?

  19. Hmm, EUlaw, perhaps because the changes might produce the possibility of greater individual profitability? That’s the way OUR politicians have a tendency to think in any case: “Will this profit ME PERSONALLY regardless of the impact on the joe soaps of the country” sorry, we just don’t trust them. Seen any of the headlines on Bertie lately?

  20. Yes, I know about the Ahern-story. Though to be honest with you, I have yet to see proof that he has done something wrong. At this point it’s still speculation. It’s the best decision to step down in a moment like this after all if you do not have enough time to clarify the situation in court though, and I think that is exactly what he is doing. In case he is not guilty of what is blamed on him I think he made a great choice.

    On the other page I linked I already explained that I think not trusting your government is the major problem why it’s impossible for many to believe the truth politicians are telling. They could probably tell you every possible truth and still you wouldn’t believe them. Something definitely has gone wrong with governments in too many countries within the EU. In Germany it’s not any different at all.

    Though at least looking at it from a legal point of view I can tell that our politicians are telling the truth this time. People are just not looking at the documents to verify what they are told. I think it’s a mixture of distrusting your government and laziness in general.

    But I do not believe that voting against the progress of the European Union because your government has made too many mistakes is what a referendum should be about. The European Union is not the enemy in this case. I even consider the EU the one that balances out many problems caused by our governments in many cases. Due to the Lisbon Treaty, e.g., the EU wants to get more involved also in social standards, which it couldn’t so far, because the EU didn’t have a say. I believe the increasing involvement concerning social standards is one important factor why this Treaty should be ratified.

    Even in Germany – and I know many believe this country is doing so well – our government has not done enough to support the poorer people to help them get back on feet they can actually fully stand on all by themselves without the financial support of the government. Our unemployment rate is going down – woohoo -, but the truth is that many people still depend on financial support by the government, because they are partly forced into bad jobs! I believe one important thing that needs to happen is the introduction of social standards within the EU. This Treaty would allow the EU to have a say also concerning those standards our governments have not wanted to introduce for everyone so far.

  21. I’m inclined to think that people who study Law lose the ability to write anything in a comprehensible way. And furthermore, I’m inclined to think that people who study Law would get a far better result if they drafted their documents in plain, rigorous language.

    Unfortunately, people who study Law become so infatuated with their antiquated, and deliberately obscure language, that they eventually come to believe their own fallacy: such language is necessary for precision.

    It doesn’t work. That’s why people who study Law make such a fat living arguing over its ambiguities.

    People who study Law have a vested interest in promoting badly-drafted documents written in obscure and unnecessary jargon. They have no business telling the rest of us not to bother our uneducated little heads demanding plain words. People who study Law would be better employed drafting documents people can understand, if they were up to the job, which most of them are probably not.

    It isn’t impossible to do, you know. Just unusual.

  22. @ Bock the Robber

    Well, I study Law – thanks – and I can tell you, I do not make a fat living of it at all, maybe never really will, we’ll see. Not everyone who has a legal degree makes a fat living. I would be happy if that was a rule I could rely on though.

    I am currently one of the poorest people in Germany and probably within Europe. I get no support at all at this point, I am living on about 400 Euros at the moment – and I pay my rent, my health care, my food, for my entertainment and everything with the help of that little bit of money. I don’t know how much money you have all in all, but I have my strong doubts that you have less then 400 Euros. Most people have at least twice as much as I have, and that is sure still not a lot of money then. I mostly survive on rice like people in China. It’s beyond ridiculous sometimes, but I have decided to just try to survive for now, because there’s light at the end of the tunnel – at least I believe there is. People always tell me, in Germany there are no social traps you can fall into – I actually can tell there are traps, and you need to be tough sometimes to survive.

    But I agree with you on the need to make things more comprehensible. Already when I was at elementary school and we began to learn Latin words to replace German words we had learned before I said I did not know why I had to learn Latin words as long as I can express myself in German as well. Well, it is probably partly about an elitist way of thinking, on the other hand Latin sometimes helps to understand different languages. But I’ve always been against making things less comprehensible than they have to be. Though I know some academics do not like texts that sound comprehensible, because they seem unprofessional to them even though their content is not bad, too.

    Though when it comes to legal texts the goal is not really always precision, but it is mainly generalisation. You need to write a text that fits as many similar cases as possible. You have to think about all kinds of cases you want to regulate with one simple rule that is as short as possible. It’s not easy to write that sort of rules sometimes. You need to use certain legal keywords to shorten rules. During my Law studies I learn how to handle such keywords, I learn the way of thinking that is necessary to understand legal texts.

    I think the necessity of generalisation is the reason why people who do not have a legal background think those texts are vague. But the next step a legal expert would have to take is to qualify the borders of each rule – and each rule does have its borders within the system as a whole. But that systematic way of thinking, that’s simply something that needs to be learnt.

    An alternative to generalisations would be Case Law, but I think it’s a lot more difficult to get an idea of what you can and can’t do if you have to know all kinds of cases.

    I think the Lisbon Treaty could be “dumbed down” a little more, but you’d still have to deal with generalisations and probably still find it vague because of those generalisations if the Treaty was shorter and a bit more comprehensible. Though I even noticed that in some cases the Articles have become more comprehensible and make more sense than they do in the current Nizza Treaty.

  23. When I was studying mathematics, a simple proof was not considered “dumbed down”. It was considered elegant.

    It’s a challenge to write rigorously in plain language, but it needs to be done. Like Grandad, I won’t be voting in favour of something I can’t understand.

  24. Well, I call it “dumb down” now, because those are words many use to describe what they are looking for. “Elegant” sounds pretty elitist on the other hand, no? *lol*

  25. There’s nothing elitist about it. That’s the term used.

    Nobody is suggesting anything should be dumbed down. It seems to me that the present proposed document needs to be smartened up.

  26. That’s the term used, ah. Well, what you get in the Lisbon Treaty is simply what is used in terms of legal documents. It’s even less vague than our German constitution, and as far as I could see the Irish constitution is not much prettier, too. It’s only shorter, and you probably know about it, because you had to deal with it already.

  27. hi grandad u are right to vote no in this.
    the thing is i dont understand is , why are all the main partys supporting this???? i can understand bertie , but what has kenny and
    FG got to get out of this since they are the most prominent ‘yes ‘ promoters.
    kenny calls for honest debate when people are clearly dead against (see http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0421/breaking80.htm)

    but a couple of months ago he was was calling anyone who didnt vote yes a headbanger. a debater indeed!!!!
    checkit out…
    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/charming-chancellor-steers-clear-of-headbangers-1348153.html

    )

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