Thanks, but no thanks — 40 Comments

  1. We are all of us on the path to a world corporate government that won’t give a fuck about what you or I think. We will be long gone, though.

  2. @tt: Beat me to it.
    @GD: no such thing as mere economics, this is exactly what it is all about. The corporatist agenda is far better served by having a single entity with Democracy-lite (2.0) installed than a fragmented and contentious group of countries with a history of leftist policies.

  3. TT – Sad, but true. I worry for my grandchildren and the kind of world they will have to face.

    Thrifty – Is Democracy-Lite available on TuCows?

  4. Not sure, but you could get the torrent off isohunt. I belive it was ripped in China?

  5. > In the next week, we are going to be bombarded with scare tactics and false promises.

    If they’re gonna be relying on fearmongering and bully tactics, they might want to have a look in here first. Learn from the experts, you know?

  6. Great rant Grandad! Expressed all of my own feelings about the Treaty so well. I will vote No, but still a few things bother me:
    1. Why is IBEC looking for a Yes vote if the 12% corporation tax will be under threat after the treaty?
    2. I was bothered by the fact that our politicians wanted a Yes vote until I heard they hadn’t read it ..
    3. I think Spain and Portugal ratified the original treaty. Who’s national interests coincide more with ours? The Spanish or the French? I don’t know TBH.

    And more, but lunch is ready, I’m hungry. Stumbled this post 🙂

  7. the lisbon treaty may be fine and dandy and work well for Ireland but the fact remains that within this treaty they have the power to change it at a whim without putting the changes to a vote…
    now i have a serious problem with that.

  8. Deborah – I read that, and I have seen other posts on a similar vein. There is a hell of a lot of suspicion and doubt out there!

    Emordino – Does your link refer to the site? I’m not trying to scare anyone. I’m just stating things as a humble confused Grandad sees them.

    Donncha – Thanks! I don’t know the reason behind the IBEC stance. It is this type of anomaly that makes me think there is a hidden agenda somewhere. I also feel that our politicians are more interested in their personal perception in Europe than they are in Ireland’s interests. Your third point is another point of principle for me – I would be much happier if all the other countries were given a chance to vote. Again, I fear that the Powers That Be know damn well that it would be rejected if all Europe had a say.

    Thanks for the Stumble! Would you believe – I still haven’t recovered from your one last October? I’m still getting loads of hits from it. 🙂

    Johnie – This is my biggest fear… We could be cutting off the branch we are sitting on?

  9. Sending a turkey to the Eurovision, and now most likely a No to the Lisbon Treaty, I fear we’re reverting back to our insular past. (Perhaps an automatic right to a place in the Eurovision final, would help us regain our love of Europe!)

    I’m pro-Europe, as in pro-Treaty-of-Rome, pro-Maastricht, pro-Euro, and yet, like Granddad, my gut tells me to vote No this time. What really freaks me is that every party I would consider voting for, seems not to harbour a single doubter, a single rebel, to the Yes consensus.

    What do they know, that’s so difficult to put in words that they can’t explain it to normal mortals? Is it a threat, a bribe or perhaps it’s the 3rd Secret of Fatima!

    The one thing about the treaty that I find reassuring is the formal recognition that a country may leave the Union. A ‘nuclear option’ perhaps, but it might be enought to bring me back to the Yes side.

    A long week ahead!


  10. Speaking of concern for grandchildren, yesterday was World Environment Day which seemed to pass unnoticed, at least here in the US.

  11. Hi GD,

    I’ve read up on the treaty and listened to the radio shows and looked at the posters so I’d say I’m reasonably well informed.

    I’ve no fears on what a yes vote will mean to our neutrality, sovereignty or most importantly our 12.5% corporate tax.

    I’m disappointed about the “Ah sure don’t worry about it, just vote yes” approach the government has adopted. I’m also curious as to why the main Green Party message is a fence-sitting “inform yourself and then go and vote either way”.

    However, I’m still not compelled enough to go out and vote either way, so I’ll take the third option.

  12. Tom – I am pro-Europe, but within limits. I am all for cooperation and fair trade and all that. I have voted yes in most of the referenda going back to the 70s. However, in 1973 we joined the European Economic Community. This has now [by stealth] become the European Union, which is now meddling in our laws, and other matters which have nothing whatsoever to do with economics. I see Lisbon as yet another step towards eroding our independence and self determination.

    I’m for Europe, but not that much!

    TT – Was it? If I had known, I would have lit a bonfire to celebrate.

  13. Excellent post Grandad.
    With all of the smoke the government have been blowing about the place recently I’d started becoming a little confused myself about the whole thing.
    It was really nice to look at it through a fresh pair of eyes.
    Like Tom, I’m pro-europe but my gut tells me that this has got to be a firm NO.
    We can still be part of the EU while maintaining control over our basic social issues and our taxation and I amn’t inclined to vote for a treaty that can later be amended.

  14. Isitjustme – Thanks! I think there is a distinct hardening of attitudes. Apparently Liveline just held a poll – 15,000 votes in 15 minutes, and the result? 57% No and 43% Yes. That’s a 14% gap compared to the Irish Times’ 5% gap.

  15. Lar – Sorry! You got stuck in moderation [but, being a wine taster, you’d know about that?]. I have a feeling that there is going to be a pretty low turnout in this voting. A lot of people aren’t going to vote because they haven’t a clue what’s going on, and a lot are simply going to wash their hands of the whole damned business. I don’t blame ’em.

  16. I am mighty proud of you, sir! I got a bit of a mixed review on the Treaty when I was there. You know us Americans will talk to anyone on the street. 🙂

    From what I understand, your voting power would drop by more than half while Germany and the UK’s voting power would increase. That’s a bunch of bunk! The general consensus from what I gather is that it’ll take power away from Ireland and other countries and further militarise the EU. It’s all about money and power!

    Let me also say that we are facing a similar fiasco here, but we are not being publicly warned about it nor are we being asked if we want it! NAU North American Union!!!

  17. Blimey grandad….! That was great! All I can say is when in doubt say ‘NO’ – unless of course you’re sinking in a bog and someone is offering you a plank.
    Shame they’re not letting us Dutchies have a say in anything anymore – but I did enjoy saying ‘No’ to the last command from Brussels. Brussels is literally right next door to us and gets right up my nose!

  18. It’s not my business but I’d be voting no. Surrendering sovereignty in all sorts of matters that you can’t even understand due to the obfuscatory nature of the treaty’s language should not be done merely as a gesture of thanks to the EU. There is no reason why a treaty of this nature should be unreadable to the common man in the street. If the language is vague or incomprehensible, it’s worth asking why.

    A loose economic federation is enough for Europe. That was the original idea and Brussels needs no more power. European nations are too disparate and have too much old, ugly history between them to ever function like the states of the more homogenous USA.

    In the US difficult cases abound trying to figure out the boundaries between state and federal law in diferent instances, and among the world’s federtions the US has among – if not the – most historically clear laws on the books in this regard. It would be a choking legal hairball trying to determine the boundaries between European federal and national laws. It would be a mess.

  19. JD – Proud? Why? It appears that Ireland’s inflence in the EU would be heavily diluted under the new treaty. In fact, Ireland would have about as much influence in Europe, as I have in Ireland!!

    Geri – I have been searching the Interweb looking for others countries’ attitudes to the treaty, and strangely have drawn a virtual blank. I found some stuff from the UK [Anti, I might add] and the US [Anti, but for different reasons]. Have any opinion polls been taken in other countries, or are they too scared?

    Sam – Unfortunately, most of the Yes camp seem to be voting out of some misplaced gratitude for the past. [I heard one bloke today say that he’d be voting yes because the EU has somehow helped his salmon farm!]
    Herself summed that up very succinctly today when she muttered “Jayzus! They think because the sex was great during the courtship that the marriage will be fine“. She has a way with words!
    I am not in favour of centralisation. It tends to lead to dominance over minorities. I fear that there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.

    Tom – I came across that document in the course of my travels. It is brilliant [especially the illustrations]. I’m sticking to my guns though! [Or can I? I think the treaty has something to say about that?]

    Shoo – I’m glad you can understand it. I can’t!!

  20. Fair play to you Grandad. I agree completely, other than that the Treaty rejected by the French and Dutch was the EU Constitution, that Lisbon is 95% the same as (not the Nice Treaty). I implore the Irish people not to fall for the scaremongering of the yes side and the unelected, unaccountable, well-heeled bureaucrats in Brussels. The French and Dutch people bravely stood up against similar threats by voting no. People of Ireland, do no agree to this Treaty because it:

    Halves the Irish vote on the Council of Ministers while doubling that of Germany, France, the UK and Italy. 4 Big States wll be able to block everything while 11 small countries won’t.

    We lose our Commissioner. While Cowen says everyone does, it’s more important for small states, as having a Commissioner is a counterbalance to the dominance of the Big States in the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. With EU Tax Commissioner Laslo Kovacs pushing for a CCCTB (Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base) which would force Irish-based exporters to pay their taxes proportionately to their export-destination governments, and with 90% of what we produce being exported meaning CCCTB would lose the Irish govt billions in tax-revenues if this goes through, I want us to have someone on the Commission to stand up for us.

    Article 48 ends our automatic right to a referendum on changes in the EU treaties, as the ‘simplified revision process’ can be used to give up vetoes including taxation without a referendum.

    Vote no.

  21. Seems like we’re all living in “Interesting Times” these days (loved that novel). We, being our different countries, just flavor it with our own unique seasonings. From what I’ve researched I have to agree with you folks who are voting no. It’s never a good idea to give up your sovereignty (independence?) out of gratitude or because the government tells you too.

    However, although there may indeed be stupid people, the people are rarely stupid nor should the government expect them to be although (thankfully) they always seem to underestimate the very people they govern thereby allowing the people to step in and say “Hey! What the hell is this?” The people own the government in our cases, not the other way around and “we the people” (or “you the people” as the case may be) should be keeping a close watch on what it tries to do. It’s only when the people fail to realize this that they end up losing their freedom, usually little by little so that they don’t realize it until it’s too late. Americans are facing the same type of problems except that our freedoms are being slowly taken away by our own government without giving them up to an outsider while their at it. Hopefully we’ll wake up to it before it’s too late.

    Here’s to a good outcome for you folks (raises a glass).

  22. Being on the stupid side of the pond, and not at all aware (my own fault) of the EC shift…. if you have a moment, would you send me links (directed readings), so I can get up to speed (a bit) as to what is going on….

    I’m really feeling stupid

  23. FutureTaoiseach – It’s that Article 48 thing that has me worried. We are signing away too much, and gaining little.

    Kirk M – I must admit to being surprised. I thought that when all the main political parties endorsed the treaty, that the result would be a foregone conclusion. I am delighted and thrilled that the Plain People of Ireland aren’t just following like sheep. I see that some politicians within the parties are now begining to break ranks. I’m just hoping that people aren’t fooled by the scaremongering that is bound to happen over the next week.

    Medstudentwife – Good Grief!! I have been through dozens of sites!! I would suggest you Google “Lisbon Treaty Ireland”, or if you want to know what Irish bloggers have to say … try

    JD – 😆

  24. Look what that fucker Trichet of the ECB said yesterday, expext the interest rates to go up again next month!!! Clearly the man is smoking crack. The EU are holding countries like us to ransom, yes they were good to us in the past but they are screwing us now. And, if thats what they are like now can you imagine what the future holds by giving them more power over us. Hell no folks vote YES and when you here of people losing their homes rest assured your vote supported it. The Germans are coming folks,
    VOTE NO!!!!

  25. Because by voting yes, I will be placing European law above the Irish Constitution. I will be signing away any rights I have as an individual


  26. Roosta – I may have slightly misworded that, but are we not voting away our rights as a people to have any further say in Europe? I won’t type out the whole thing as “Inane Ramblings” has the whole thing.

    Nonny – I see the paper today is full of impassioned pleas, that Europe has been so good to us in the past, so we must vote yes. Are we a country of Yes Men? Do we accept anything because of the past, and not the future?

  27. Honest to goodness, I think a yes vote would be dreadful. This Treaty was formally know as the EU Constitution was it not? The one, which the people of France and Holland rejected. Some minor adjustments were made, largely ceremonial I might add and the Treaty was given and nice new name, the Lisbon Treaty was then passed in Holland and France without referendum. Do people not think this odd? Do the want to lose their right to vote? Do the want to sell out on BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN. Our beloved constitution which despite it’s many failing had served the people our Ireland with fairness and equality that some of our EU brothers and sister states have never had the privilege off. In my heart of hearts I would like to honour the men and women of Ireland who gave their lives for our freedom. I am not going to sell out on them and hand our country over to the mercy of Europe. But the biggest responsibility a person has is probably to their children and indeed peers and I for one will not be supporting a Treaty were the lives of my friends and family will suffer. Were small countries like ours will become insignifigant. They will not care that unemployment rises, that higher interest rates means their inflation stays low but Irish people will struggle to get a home and even if they do manage they will not be able to afford repayments. They will have the final say on domestic rule, they will have the final say on the tax incentives Ireland needs to create to encourage foreign investment. Ask yourselves this, what in the name of God is in it for Germany or France by helping us? Whatever hope we have of making a difference now, we will have no hope when the likes of Germany have twice as many votes as us. VOTE NO!!

  28. All you need know about the Lisbon Treaty is that as a treaty it supercedes the Irish Constiutution.

    A treaty is the “supreme law of the land.”

    Same as in the US, which is why the US is shy about joining certain treaties such as the Kyoto one.

    Interestingly, there has yet to be a treaty amonmg the countries involved ending World War II. Part of the legalistic problem is the legality of the present German government, but that’s another matter.

  29. There’s a new poll out in the Sunday Business Post from Red C tomorrow showing the result on a knife-edge:

    Yes 42% (+1)
    No 39% (+6)

    (Those certain to vote i.e. 50%)

    YEs 46%
    No 37%
    DK 17%

    Clearly the DKs will decide it. But one word of caution for the yes people – 6/7s of the DKs who have decided since last time have gone to the no’s. If that trend continues it will be 51-49 no.

    And remember, the last poll before Nice one had a bigger yes lead of 45-28. 😉

  30. Just to let you know, after a day and a half of reflection and research and in no small part due to the comments on this blog, I’ve come to my decision; I’m voting Yes, a resounding Yes.

    No, I’m not stupid, nor are those of you who will vote No; if I’d had been too tired or lazy or on holidays this weekend, I too might have followed my gut and voted No (but more likely, just not voted at all) instead I’m following my head (and my wallet) and voting YES.

    I know the original Treaty of Rome we signed up to when we joined in the 70s was sold as purely economic; but the reality was that “Europe” was always a political journey and we most definitely signed up to the journey with Maastricht and the single currency.

    Remember we’re not like a North Dakota, we can leave this Union if we wish (as Greenland did in the 80s) and restore ourselves to what ever level of complete sovereignty we can enforce or afford.


  31. I can’t vote because of where I am at the moment. It seems to me that people should vote Yes or No according to their impression of the Lisbon Treaty and the way they feel that the EU is going, not according to what they think of Brian Cowen and his government.
    Whether the result is Yes or No, many citizens in other EU states will agree or disagree with the result: the external response won’t be one-sided. Good luck to all those Irish punters who get out and vote on the day!

  32. Tom – Of course I respect your decision, but I am a bit confused? You say that the comments here helped in making your decision? I’m just intrigued as to which comments decided you.

    I know we have the opt out clause, but I think you’ll agree that the chances of that happening are remote to zero.

    Gerry – I agree completely. The one advantage of having all the parties [bar SF] calling for a yes vote is that party politics is excluded from the debate. While I have no trust at all in the government, that is not why I came to my current position. I am came here through the thought processes I set out above. When I talk of mistrust, I mean mistrust in Europe and the powers in Brussels. I refer to my post a couple of weeks ago

  33. Point taken. I hope many citizens like you have bothered to think about the issues. Sadly there seems to be mental laziness among many Irish voters, who just want to think about tv soaps and weekend sporting events. So again I say good on all you voters who have sat down and used the grey matter in your heads and are going out to vote. Many exiles like myself and many citizens in Europe are interested in how you vote. (Ha ha, I haven’t told you how I’d like to vote myself, have I?)

  34. Hi Grandad. Loved this post. Absolutely. I was speaking my mind about EU whilst in Ireland and some people told me I had EU-phobia. Uhm… Who wouldn’t be afraid, when creation of an “UBER” EU is the ultimate goal for the bigguns.
    There is another reason why Ireland should not vote No… Because otherwise she won’t be allowed to EVER enter the wonderful European Song Contest. EVER. Can’t be having that now can we?

    I am keeping my fingers crossed, that a NO will come out of this, that Ireland will speak up for herself, and for those others whose rights to speak up for themselves have been robbed of them.


    PS: Don’t mind my rant though, I am just jealous cuz Turkey isn’t (and will never be) part of the UBER EU.

  35. Sir,

    I’m a portuguese and I will not be asked about the constitutional treaty. The prime-minister of my country did not keep his promise, that he would make a referendum. So, I decided to take this action:

    I ask you only to disseminate this blog among your friends, readers and fellow-bloggers.
    I’m not anti-europeist, but I believe Europe must be built with the agrrement and the cooperation of their citizens.
    Thank you for you time and attention,

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