Friday, September 18, 2009

Will the Irish Capitulate to Blackmail?

You might be forgiven for not knowing this, but in only two weeks' time -on 2 October - Ireland goes to the polls to vote for the second time on the Lisbon Treaty. Bearing in mind how much coverage it got the first time around this side of the Irish sea, you might well ask why it has received scant coverage this time. Could it be because certain people think if it doesn't get hyped up the Irish will vote the "right way"?

Looking in from the outside it seems to me that the mainstream parties are trying to use the terrible economic circumstances to pressurise the people into voting yes, on the basis that if they don't the inward investment which provides to many jobs will not be forthcoming. I'd like to think the Irish people will be intelligent enough to see through this, but all the polls still point to a victory for the Yes campaign. Despite this, Andrew Hawkins from ComRes has just twittered that he expects a 'no' vote. I hope he's right, but as they say north of the border, I have me doots.

Logic should dictate that the Irish would stick to their guns. Nothing has materially changed since they voted 'no' the first time apart from the fact that the levels of threat from EU leaders as to the consequences of another 'no' vote have increased. Do the Irish want to get a reputation for raising a white flag to blackmail? I do hope not.

Slugger O'Toole has twelve essays on the Lisbon campaign, from both perspectives.
Nabidana (a Tory living in Dublin) has some decent posts on the campaign.

50 comments:

strapworld said...

Well, Iain, we shall certainly see the manner of the man Cameron, should the Irish vote Yes!

Brian E. said...

For years the Irish fought to be free of British rule, and as soon as they are, place themselves under even less democratic E.U. rule!
I just can't understand their thinking, and must say this is about the only subject on which I have ever agreed with Senn Fein.

Nabidana said...

I'm a Tory living in Dublin, and I can tell you that the campaign, and the media treatment it's receiving are nothing short of scandalous. A friend of mine, with very good credentials in the Public Affairs world here has shared with me the thought that this must be what it's like to live in a totalitarian state. EU is sending it's civil servants to Ireland to speak to children, the state broadcaster is loading weekend current affairs shows 4:1 with Yes supporters. I don't have a vote and I hate Libertas, but have seriously considered offering my services. British readers might find this difficult to believe, but the suppression of the No campaign here is real and obvious. I'm blogging it as well, on http://nabidana.com

Anonymous said...

A thoughtful article, but the reality is I do think it will be a Yes vote, the main parties are all saying vote YES. Not the hypocrisy of the Greens who in Ireland urge a Yes vote but in Europe are against the treaty. It is still two weeks to the vote and the unpopularity of taoiseach Cowen, mean a no vote. My guess is that the wealthy middle class normally yes vote will vote in numbers and the no vote will be more apathetic. I hope that the vote is No, but I do not expect it will be.

subrosa said...

A wee lesson in Scots Iain. We say "I hae ma doots".

Quite a few of us are campaigning hard for the No vote, including the Red Rag and Oldrightie blogs.

Ollie Cromwell said...

Iain, there are 30 blogs actively campaigning to ask the Irish to 'say no to Lisbon' The campaign widget is available here and their is a facebook campaign where people can show the Irish their support here.

But given all of that I could not agree with you more that the mainstream media coverage in the UK has been very light.

Anonymous said...

I find it bizarre to imagine that the Irish who have struggled for centuries to win their independence would hand it over meekly

Not a sheep said...

What difference will it make if Ireland votes "no"? The EU will just make them vote again, and again, and again until they give the right answer.

Anonymous said...

If the Irish realise that the EU cannot really do anything to them, then they should vote as before. I would be livied if asked to vote and then vote again because they did not like the answer.

Pete-s

Dick Puddlecote said...

Best price on a no vote is only 1/8. Says it all, unfortunately.

Cara said...

The reality is that the Irish have sucked all they can out of the EU over the years and squandered it. I lived there for 18 years and despite everything they still have probably the worst healthcare in Europe, high taxes, God knows how many tribunals into Government incompetency and corruption. Without the EU Ireland would be sunk and after an anti-Government but not anti-EU "No" vote, they realise that they need the EU if they have any hope of coming out of this relatively unscathed.

Anonymous said...

"nothing has materially changed since the last time..." Now, where does one start with a statement like that? Do you have even the most basic understanding of the state of the Irish banking system? Had it not been for the existence of the European Central Bank and indeed the euro, there would be nothing left of the Irish economy. Europe bailed Ireland out and if the Irish have the temerity to reject Lisbon, I do hope they are forced out of the EU for sheer stupidity if nothing else.

'Free state watcher said...

I cannot imagine anything worse for the "No" campaign in the Irish Free State than having somebody from the UK telling the Irish to vote NO.

As for quite why the Irish fought for years to get the British out, and then promptly and meekly give their hard won freedoms away beats me. The Irish question, 2009 style?

Certainly RTE radio is plugging the Yes vote, a bit like the BBC.

There is the possibility that the setting up of NAMAS will split the Greens from Cowan's coalition government, and this could cause all sorts of political mischief.

Anonymous said...

In the event of a 'yes' vote in Ireland, what will Cameron do about the Conservative Party promise of a referendum?

My personal position is clear. As a Conservative voter I will never again vote Conservative unless an incoming Conservative Government gives us the referendum.

From the tenor of your blog you seem to think the same. Why aren't you demanding that the Conservatives honour their promise on the referendum? After all you carry more weight than I do in this matter.

Daily Referendum said...

The French said NO

The Dutch said NO

The Irish said NO

When asked to respect those democratic decisions.....

The EU said NO.

They will have their Empire.

Ireland - Tell Them "NO means NO"

Rebel Saint said...

I also hope that there will be UN election monitors at every booth & counting station.

I suspect that they'll even do an Afghanistan to get the correct democratic outcome!

moorlandhunter said...

I thought the Irish had already voted NO to the Lisbon treaty, thus sinking the treaty. Because a few countries voted against it why are the EU still trying to bring it in?
Perhaps the EU gravy train causes them to be deaf to a ‘NO’ and they need to fill their boots with more of our cash.
Disgraceful, undemocratic, but that’s the EU gravy train for you. They make me spew.
But then again without the EU and all the money its given to Eire, the Irish Republic would still be a poor rural backwater and that is why some want a YES vote.

BTW if the Irish vote YES, could the NO voters ask for another vote, or does this type of democracy only work one way?
I still hope they vote NO again.

Penfold said...

I'm sure that the political elite in Brussels are recalling with fondness the words of Bertold Brecht, whilst anxiously funding a pro vote.
Clearly the Lisbon ConstuTreaty will do away with the need for referenda or democratic process for that matter.
It's the sort of bullying that Hitler specialised in, think of the poor old Czech PM.......

Newmania said...

I bet I know what David Cameron is hoping for

Chris said...

@Anonymous 10.24

"Had it not been for the existence of the European Central Bank and indeed the euro, there would be nothing left of the Irish economy."


What you fail to realise is that if the ECB and the Euro did not exist then instead of having interest rates at 2% in the middle of the huge asset boom going on then, Ireland would have had an interest rate of 6% plus. That would have stopped the lunacy in the first place. The ECB and the European Commission set rates and policy to suit the 150 million people in France and Germany. The only reason they pay ANY attention to Ireland is because of the constitutional requirement in that country to have a referendum on certain changes to their way of life. EU money has corrupted their political system by allowing their political class to gain influence by spending it.

As an Irish friend put it to me... "give us the money and we will vote yes". We are witnessing the bribery of an entire country by an unelected political elite. In the long run this is a recipe for an unmitigated disaster. But politics today never looks further than tomorrow.

Little Red Riding Hood said...

Iain

Fancy a wager that Cameron bottles it when his turn comes to 'do the decent thing' on the referendum?

Anonymous said...

"Nothing has materially changed since they voted 'no' the first time"

Are you joking? Have you been away for the last year?

Norton Folgate said...

The tories should be praying for a NO vote, if it a YES and Lisbon is ratified without us being allowed to have our say they are going to be in a very dodgy position in the run up to the election.

A referendum after ratification is useless unless they are brave enough to be prepared to withdraw us from the EU entirely.

There have been 3 no votes and we have been denied ours, if the Tories won't stand up to the anti democratic EU then they are not worth voting for.

golden_balls said...

Your a cynical bunch

The irish should vote yes if only because that would cause DC major problems.

ukipwebmaster said...

We are doing as much as we can to help the no vote:

http://www.westbournemouthukip.com/docs/Irish%20No%20Leaflet.pdf

http://www.euinfo.ie/

http://www.efdgroup.eu/


Meanwhile; away from the spotlights, the Tories support the re-election of the main man:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qMLVpTvROU

Kate. said...

I don't have a vote

Why not Nabidina?

What difference will it make if Ireland votes "no"? The EU will just make them vote again, and again, and again until they give the right answer.

I don't think so this time, the Irish govt is broke and bloody desperate, thats why they're resorting to these tatics. They're trying to force through NAMA, the country is in upheaval.


Families are finding it really difficult, one family on family focus last night are on a combined income of 50,000E per year and cannot afford a car. Electricity, gas, mortgages all hiked. Ordinary people are in a state of open revolt, SF were actually bounced out of the dail day before yesterday in the NAMA debate.

This also adds to peoples fear, and there is genuine fear of how people will cope if a no vote comes and it makes things worse. It won't make things worse, but scare tatics on a frightened people work. A no vote is very likely.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Nations have a right to self-determination so I am not going to tell the Irish what to do.

In fact, I am not bothered, it's their funeral.

What bothers me is that Labour went back on the promise of a referendum and Gordon Brown lied about it. What bothers me is that the EU has grasped power largely by stealth and largely by anti-democratic means. What they are conducting now is a massive attempt to pull the wool over peoples' eyes, using our money to secure a "Yes".

And what is worse, they will not take "no" for an answer - rape is rape.

David Boothroyd said...

The previous vote was a 53-47 vote against the treaty as it then stood; it's perfectly legitimate to say that it's been approved by 26 other member states, and to seek to assuage Irish concerns, and invite their opinions again.

Given that there had been a previous occasion when a treaty had been rejected in one referendum in Ireland and then accepted at a second after revision, Irish voters would have known that voting No was not necessarily the same as voting Never.

It's also an Irishman's prerogative to change his mind.

Frugal Dougal said...

The Eurocrats should look at British history to see what happens when you try to put pressure on the Irish.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Irish vote NO again to the so called Lisbon treaty/ Constitution.How much taxpayers money are the unelected elite in Brussels throwing at the yes campaign in Ireland it is outragious.The Irish people already said NO so did the Dutch and the French.Come on Ireland stand up to the lying elite from Brussels tell em NO.

Paddy Briggs said...

Iain

"I'd like to think the Irish people will be intelligent enough to see through this..."

You suggest, then, that those who vote "Yes" are unintelligent. This is offensive. That there are differences of opinion on Europe in Ireland, the UK and all over the continent is healthy. But intelligent people can come to different conclusions based on the same facts.

It is not stupid to vote "Yes" any more than it is stupid to vote "No". You have let your own views cloud your good taste on this one Mi Amigo!

Anonymous said...

If the Irish reject Lisbon and say NO Lisbon is dead coz it must be ratified by all 27 member states not 26
I live in hope that one day we the pepple will freed of this eussr
witch will NEVER have are heart's mind's and soul's in the uk

I will never bow to the EU
I will never fight for the eu

Long live the queen

JPT said...

Probably...

Jimmy said...

Sadly they don't let us exiles vote, but as general rule of thumb I think that if the British Conservative Party and Sinn Fein are agreed on something then it's almost certainly a really stupid idea.

Cjamesk said...

Old Holborn has some great videos of the EU debate in Dublin, really worth a look.

Sadly I think the vote will be Yes though.

Anonymous said...

William Dartmouth MEP slams the Tories over the re-election of Barroso:

http://www.williamdartmouth.com

enquiringmind said...

Boothroyd, even for an amoral sockpuppet like you those are weasel words - and even you must realise it.

Anonymous said...

Well done William Dartmouth MEP for telling the tories off over voting for that awful man Barroso,I can hardly believe they would be so daft.Voting for Barroso once is bad enough but twice to let this oily beaurocrat in again is plain stupid.Never mind he will be hot footing it to Dublin to tell the Irish to vote yes.

cassandra said...

If the Irish vote NO, they will be forced to vote again...and....again untill the EU gets what it wants, its the EU all over isnt it?
Bribe/bully/bulls**t/blather untill people give up and roll over.

The EU is actually trying to threaten the Irish with loss of EU aid? Just shows how important this "tidying up excersise" really is doesnt it?

The EU want this consititution because it lays the iron hard concrete foundations of the new longed for EUSSR, think of it as a slave harness, once in you are in, once the papers are signed the swift deconstruction of the nation state can begin, from the friendly smiley happy face the EU commissars are keen to show us now to the real face of the EU commissars.

You think its difficult to get the national regime to listen? Just wait untill the nation state leaders are mere 'order followers' and see what you get when you come up against the real EUSSR comrades!
A nation can vote untill they are purple in the face, in the new EUSSR it wont matter, we will be drawn into a nightmare servitude you cannot begin imagine,where do you think the 'streamlining' will end? Does anyone think that these commissars will just want a little streamlining?

tapestry said...

Feck the polls.

Paddy Power is offering only 5/4 on the NO vote.

Street talk wrote off the YES campaign two weeks ago.

Only the media is running with the pretence of a win for the YES side, to save their EUtopian little faces.

tapestry said...

Betting on NO. Yesterday PP was 11/2. Today 5/4. Tells the story really.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they know that if they don't say YES they'll just have to keep voting until the great EUROPEAN STATE is happy with the result.

neil craig said...

"bearing in mind how much coverage it got the first time"

Not that much - this is from ny blog 15 days before the last one because i was annoyed at how little coverage it was getting:

"Just a reminder, since you won't be seeing much of it in our media, that the Irish get a vote on the EU's Lisbon Treaty on 12th June...

Currently the polls show the Yes vote a bit ahead though the gap is closing. On that basis the EU should just get it but there is a possibility, with the Irish politicians & media so heavily supporting a Yes that people answering are tending to shy away from admitting a No preference (rather as people did with the Tories in John Major's first election.

What will happen if there is a No vote. Last time the politicians told the Irish they had got the wrong result & go away & try again. Perhaps they will do the same now. In theory the entire constitreaty should fall but somehow I don't see that happening...

The BBC regularly assure us that Russia isn't a democracy, even though its government got in because people voted for it (unlike here where only 20%) because their media generally supports their government line ...

Best result from Ireland's point of view would be a No vote followed by Ireland deciding/being forced into EFTA with the associate status Norway & Iceland have. This would get them out from under some of the £405 billions that EU regulation costs every year according to the organisation's own "enterprise" Commissioner"

Anonymous said...

This is a disgusting insult to democracy. But what more would you expect from the EU. Vote how you want, but you'll just have to keep on voting until you vote the way we want you too. It stinks, and reminds me why my contempt for the EU knows no limits. C'mon you No-ers! But you're right, there's a conspiracy of silence - say nowt, and the public will do what they're told. Have a debate and the public will realise why they voted no last time! It makes my blood boil!

Eduardo de Aston said...

Ireland will vote "Yes" and Cameron will not hold a referendum.

'Twas always thus.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Iain Dale (one at least who should be sophisticated enough to know better) and all the contributors above ought to (or should now have the guts to) read the first editorial in today's Irish Times.

To make it easy, click here:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0918/1224254794794.html

Little Englanders, of course, wouldn't give a damn. After all, wogs begin at Llandudno.

Jimmy said...

"The campaign widget is available here"

I've just noticed this. Let's see if I've got this right. The plan is to get British bloggers to woo Irish voters using a leprechaun widget and using the name Ollie Cromwell?


Outstanding!

Richard Keogh said...

Unfortunately it will be a yes vote. Goebbels would be proud of the misinformation and lies being spread by the yes camp. They even got the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland to ignore the rules of the McKenna judgement which required RTE to give equal time to Yes and No. The amount of money being spent by the EU not directly pushing yes but advertising how "great" the EU is over the past number of months has been scandalous and unfortunately the scaremongering by the government and media has most people so scared that they think the EU will dump Ireland into the middle of the Atlantic if there is a No. Even the Daily Mail had "Yes, Yes, Yes" plastered across the front of it's Irish edition today.

The only hope for democracy now is the Czech president who will hopefully be able to hold out long enough until the UK election. If that is the case the British electorate can show Brown what they think of his lies on a referendum and give the Eurocrats a black eye by electing David Cameron as PM.

JD said...

NO TO LISBON MEANS NO TO LISBON!
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38059363467&ref=mf

iain, ni said...

As the Tories wont say a word, given they voted the slimeball back into office, perhaps UKIP will raise the outrageous bribe of €14million EU funding which Barroso delivered today in the Republic of Ireland to help 're-train the ex-Dell employees' of Limerick after their jobs were transferred overseas.
What a scandalous bribe to help bolster the potential 'yes' vote.

Is this legal?