Friday, July 03, 2009

Red Herrins for Dinner


......and every other day from now until October!


Biffo Cowen came back from Luxemburg last Friday week with a fish dinner for the Irish people: the greatest load of Red Herrings since his party’s election promises of 2007. The Summit of EU Government leaders agreed to provide cover for Cowen’s ignoring of the people’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in 2008 by concocting a pseudo-legal packet of “guarantees” and “assurances” allegedly in response to the Irish rejection and to provide political justification for a second referendum now to be held in early October 2009.

But, before Cowen had arrived back in Dublin with his fishbox, opponents of the Lisbon Treaty had set up a midday Press Conference in a hotel near Dáil Éireann which was attended by all the media, since the Government had failed to set up its own media event in advance of Cowen getting back to the city. Thus, the news value of Cowen’s announcements later in the day was severely reduced and the NO campaigners had already denounced the so-called “guarantees” as worthless spin.
People’s Movement reps Patricia McKenna and Frank Keoghan, Peace and Neutrality Alliance executive committee members, Pádraig Mannion and Séamas Ratigan and newly elected Socialist Party Euro-MEP, Joe Higgins (who had managed to return to Dublin from Brussels hours ahead of Cowen) tore into the list of so-called “guarantees” and “assurances” and denounced them as the utter tripe they are and worth no more than election promises from a discredited and failed Government on its uppers from the financial crisis of its own making.

The plain fact is that Cowen got nothing from the European Summit except statements from the other leaders that amount to no more than a hill of beans. Despite the spin that these statements will be registered as an agreement at the United Nations they have no affect on the Lisbon Treaty itself which remains unchanged and un-amended since its rejection by the Irish people at last year’s referendum. Even the grandiose declaration that Cowen’s fishbox would be turned into a protocol in the next accession Treaty for new membership, likely to be Croatia, amounts to zero as the Croatian accession is at least three years away and possibly more and if the people voted to accept Lisbon, it would have been EU law for those years and no protocol could be validly retrospective to that de-facto situation in law. Thus another deception is being put forward in an effort to get the people to accept this damnable Treaty.

Coinciding with Cowen’s announcements a new lobby groupIreland for Europe” was set up in Dublin as a propaganda front supposedly representing “civil society” and non-partisan figures “in favour of Europe”. This bland canard, which is endlessly repeated by the “Yes” side, arrogantly assumes that only those prepared to vote Yes are “in favour of Europe” thus negating the basic tenet of democratic decision making; the right to say NO!

Ireland for Europe”, an undefined fetish for a geographical concept without overt political content makes a nonsense of the “Yes” side’s claims to want a serious debate on the content of the Treaty this time. Apart from the fact that leading members of this lobby are retired and well-heeled politicians such as Garret Fitzgerald, former Fine Gael Taoiseach, and Pat Cox, former member of the, now defunct, Progressive Democrat Party, none of their leading spokespeople has made any attempt to discuss the actual content of the Treaty and what they claim are the advantages to Ireland of accepting it. They are off again with the same platitudes mixed with desperate scaremongering on the economic crisis that they were peddling last year, and they lost.

Even Bridget Laffan, UCD academic and one of the leaders of this group, fell foul of her own supporters in the audience of RTÉ’s “Questions & Answers” current affairs TV show where she was heavily criticised for failing to make a positive case for this Treaty after her waffling platitudes were demolished by panelist Joe Higgins, newly elected Socialist Party MEP. Laffan, a long time stooge for imperialist interests in Ireland, was shredded by Joe Higgins' forensic ripostes.
All-in-all, a good week for the NO campaign and an extremely weak and faltering start for the Yes side, which, if this is the best they can offer at this early stage, suggests they are on a hiding to nothing AGAIN!

FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 03 Iuil/July 2009.

No comments: