Thursday, April 03, 2008

Wednesday morning, 2nd Aibreán/April 2008, An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, announced he would resign his office next 6th Bealtaine/May 2008, following his visit to the USA and making a speech to the U.S. Congress. The pressure on him to clarify his position regarding his finances being investigated by the Mahon Tribunal and the contradictory evidence provided by him at his various appearances at the Tribunal had made his position publicly untenable.

All Mr Ahern’s troubles are of his own making. His infamous television interview on RTÉ in September 2006 where explanations made by him were later contradicted by himself, and by contrary documentary evidence which emerged piece by piece, fatally undermined his credibility and by consequence, that of his government. Behind all this, rampant fear stalked the corridors of Leinster House, especially in government ranks, that the “Bertie Factor” was having an increasingly negative affect on the Government’s campaign in support of the forthcoming Lisbon Treaty referendum. No doubt, Mr Ahern was acutely aware of this and defeat in the referendum in which his personal integrity was at stake would undermine his prospects of getting a sinecure job in the EU bureaucracy later on, therefore the pompous assertions of “going for the good of the country” have to be taken with a large grain of salt. Going for the good of Bertie and Fianna Fáil electoral prospects would be the more accurate statement.


The arrogant claims of various government ministers and media hacks on the airwaves today that politics should be set aside in this situation and Mr Ahern allowed depart without further criticism of him, and by implication, the failures of his government’s policies, should not deflect us one iota from what is necessary to defeat this government on the question of the forthcoming Lisbon Treaty referendum. The departure of Mr Ahern is a defeat for the YES campaign as he was the leader of that campaign. We now have to consolidate the position which arises and redouble our efforts to bring the truth about the manipulations of the Lisbon Treaty supporters before the Irish people.

The lies, distortions and threats will continue right up to referendum day. The same old gang of tired reactionaries from Fianna Fáil will emerge under whomever they elect as leader to continue to propose the surrender of more of the Irish people’s sovereign rights of having their own independent government to the Brussels Bureaucrats Club.

The saccherine expressions of tribute which burst on the media after the resignation statement are total hypocrisy and obscure the reactionary aspects of Ahern's policies; the asset stripping of the public services under the malign influence of Piss-pot Harney and her neo-fascist party, the subservience to Washington's warmongering foreign policies and the shameful use of Shannon Airport for transit of US military and material to illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The outrageous 'blind eye' attitude to transfer of illegal prisoners to torture camps in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. It is indicative of the decline in political morality at the highest level in Irish politics, as represented by Ahern, that these outrages are ignored by the media and a majority of elected representatives in Dáil Éireann.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 03 Aibreán/April 2008.


The recent Red C opinion poll (Sunday Business Post, February 2008) shows the number of Irish voters saying they will vote NO to the so-called “Lisbon Treaty”, the EU Constitution under a different name, has increased from 13% before Christmas to 23% today.

This shows that the more people are beginning to examine the content of the Treaty and find out more about it they are turning to opposition from a “Don’t Know” position. The 46% support declaring for the YES side in that particular poll represents the core party support for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael combined and will probably remain close to that figure as the referendum campaign gets into full swing.

Since the YES side are more likely to accept that the whole thing is a foregone conclusion, as they did with the first Nice Treaty referendum in 2003, their voter turnout will not match the poll figure of 46% support and the likelihood that the momentum in this campaign seems to be currently going to the NO side there is every chance now of inflicting another humiliating defeat on the Irish political elite and their cronies, the Brussels Bureacrats Club.

The line-up on the YES side includes Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, PD’s and the Labour Party combined with organised business interests such as IBEC and the farmer’s IFA. The only Dáil party to oppose the Treaty is Sinn Féin. The Trade Unions, ICTU, have yet to declare a public policy on the issue. Labour’s position is an unconvincing acceptance, without analysis, of what has been spewing out of the Brussels Commission for the past year or more. It amounts to a denial of truth for the sake of being pragmatic. It is also an abandonment of Labour Leader Éamonn Gilmore’s stated intention of forging a new identity for the Party in the Irish political sphere. How can Labour be distinctive in the pro-Treaty line up of all the most conservative and reactionary forces in Irish politics? An opportunity has been missed to position the Party as a distinctive Left Force in a referendum campaign that would be a useful exercise in giving the Party a new public image. Only a few weeks ago, in the EU Parliament, the Labour Party’s leading campaigner for a YES vote, Prionnsias De Rossa, MEP, voted against an amendment to a resolution before the Parliament which declared that the Parliament should accept the decision of the Irish people in the Referendum. How can the Labour Party leadership honestly ask canvassers and supporters to ask people to vote YES when they have already discounted the validity of the people’s democratic decision in advance? More on this in a following article on this blog – LABOUR’S LOST OPPORTUNITIES.

On 6th Márta/March the Government finally published the Referendum Bill for the required constitutional amendments to be put to the people but, failed to set a specific date for the poll, attracting widespread criticism. Failing to set a date prevents organisations setting up legal requirements for recording donations to campaigns as provided in the electoral acts and is a sleazy attempt by this Government to hamper opposition campaigning.

The 28th Amendment itself is, at its core, an unintelligible farrago of bureaucratic gobbledegook which no ordinary citizen could hope to understand without a wheelbarrow full of all the previous Treaties of the EU and about six months out of their lives to study it all and still not be able to make sense of it. No doubt this is a deliberate ploy to attempt to confuse the electorate and make it easier to propagandise the falsehoods and deceptions which the Government and the pro-Treaty supporters have engaged in since the terms of the Treaty were agreed at the Lisbon summit of Heads of Government.

For a succinct view of what the pro-Treaty Campaign is attempting to do it is only necessary to quote former Taoiseach, Dr.Garret Fitzgerald, who was honest enough to publicly admit last year that the Treaty was a fake:

As for the changes now proposed to be made to the constitutional treaty,
most are presentational changes that have no practical effect. They have
simply been designed to enable certain heads of government to sell to their people the idea of ratification by parliamentary action rather than by referendum.’

Dr Garret FitzGerald, former Taoiseach, “Irish Times”, 30 June 2007

No one, without a clear understanding of what it means, should vote in favour of this Treaty. To vote, like sheep, for what Blank-Cheque Bertie and the CockRoche say it means would be a mockery of rational thought and a perversion of democracy unworthy of the Irish people’s long struggle and massive sacrifice for the right to govern ourselves in freedom and independence.

The dishonesty of the Government’s campaign is illustrated by the inclusion of a section on common defence (Sec. 15):

“The State shall not adopt a decision taken by the European council to establish a common defence pursuant to (i) Article 1.2 of the Treaty referred to in subsection 7 of this section, or, (ii) Article 1,49 of the Treaty referred to in subsection 10 of this section, where that common defence would include the State”.

While this is being falsely presented as “putting neutrality into the Constitution “ it is clear enough, despite the bureaucratic language, that it is no such thing; as Neutrality, which is a legal status defined in the Geneva Conventions, is not mentioned and while an EU common defence is ruled out, joining NATO is not. So, again, deception is the tactic of this Government, who are prima facie war criminals since they have continued to allow the U.S. military to use Shannon Airport for transporting troops and materiel to Iraq for their illegal war and occupation in that country and the further use of the Airport for illegal transfer of prisoners to torture camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and elsewhere.


On Wednesday, Márta/March 26th, a statement by the four Fianna Fail MEPs continued with the lying propaganda of the YES side in claiming that a NO vote would have “serious consequences for jobs and investment in Ireland”. This statement was published, unchallenged, by the Irish media without a shred of evidence to back up the unjustified claims being made. The facts are; the Irish people have a democratic right to vote against this Treaty and if they do, this particular Treaty fails. There are no conditions or provisions for any economic sanctions against Ireland if the people vote against it. It is a TOTAL LIE to suggest or imply otherwise. Our membership and rights within the EU will remain EXACTLY THE SAME as they are now before any vote is taken. The conditions which attract businesses to come to Ireland at present CANNOT BE CHANGED BY A NO VOTE, it is a TOTAL LIE to suggest or imply otherwise.

The YES campaign is showing all the signs of desperation, even at this early stage. The CockRoche, Bertie’s Minister for European Affairs, was badly miffed last week when he went on radio to complain about billboards which had been put up by the Libertas group of conservative businessmen highlighting quotations from statements by various YES supporters in recent times. Once described in the Dáil by Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, as “the nastiest piece of work in the government”, the CockRoche didn’t like it one bit when he found himself on the receiving end of negative campaigning, his own favourite tactic in every election. If anyone deserves a roasting, it is this guttersnipe politician, who signed the order for the M3 motorway to desecrate the ancient sites at TARA before he left the Department of Environment, and we on this blog look forward to the opportunities provided in this referendum campaign to add to his discomfort as much as we possibly can.

On TG4, last week, Alan Dukes, the former leader of Fine Gael, debating against Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party, was desperate to separate people’s dissatisfaction with Blank-Cheque Bertie and his ramshackle government from the vote on the Lisbon Treaty. The Bertie factor has been causing increasing dismay in the YES camp as more and more shocking revelations emerge at the Mahon Tribunal of the bizarre goings on with Bertie’s finances when he was Minister for Finance in the 1990’s. The YES camp were shit-scared that the voters would take revenge on Bertie and the Government by voting NO, especially with the economy doing a nose-dive and the Health Service falling apart. Now that Bertie has removed himself from from the argument by announcing his resignation for next May, only weeks before the referendum is held, they might think they have cleared a hurdle but, it won’t be like that. The issues attached to this treaty transcend the difficulties of one politician. The crisis in the economy and the health service is still there in all its negative consequences for the lives of the people.

In continental Europe, there is growing demand in several countries for a referendum there too. In Poland, the conservative President, Kaczynski, is using his office to demand that the newly elected Government proceed to a referendum before ratifying the Treaty. Although Poland is showing majority YES in current polls, the Government is still afraid to hold a referendum for fear that an active NO campaign would reverse the position.
Movements in Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Germany are also demanding a democratic poll. With an election due in Germany next year the situation is volatile and the Conservative Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is trying to avoid a referendum which might presage defeat for her party in the general election to follow. Merkel is also being pressured by Washington to send more German troops to Afghanistan but, fears adverse affects on her Party’s vote if she agrees. In France, right-wing President Sarkynoze’s UMP party was trounced by the Socialists in city and county elections in February. Sarkynoze has complied with Washington’s demands to send more troops to Afghanistan. In Spain the Socialists were re-elected with increased mandates despite newspaper predictions of a Conservative win. In Cyprus, Communist Party (AKEL) leader, Christofias, won the presidential election, so the trend in Europe is a definite swing to the Left by the voters. Even though many Social Democratic leaderships, like Irish Labour, are supporting YES votes, experience has shown that their electorate is much further to the left in its thinking and is not afraid to take radical decisions on issues like the Treaty.

We believe all this is encouraging for the NO campaign in Ireland and we might again achieve an historic upset for the plans of the Brussels Bureaucrats Club;

Demand Democratic Vote for ALL peoples of Europe on this Treaty!!

VOTE NO to 4th REICH Modern Fascism!!

Abolish Warmongering NATO military alliance with Washington!!

FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 03 Aibreán/April 2008.