The Lisbon Treaty is once again being put before the Irish people in a referendum. I say “again” as they rejected it the first time, much to the consternation of the Irish Government and their partners in Brussels. The Treaty represents a major change in how the European Union is run and simplifies decision-making. Now with 27 members states, the EU can no longer run smoothly on rules put together when it had half that many members.
The Irish Constitution requires a referendum on the Treaty (whereas other EU states passed the legislation in their respective parliaments) which means the continent’s attention has been focused on Ireland for the past few months.
Determined not to lose another referendum, the Irish Government has upped its game and set forth clearly the benefits of approving the Treaty – in stark contrast to their lethargic, laissez-faire attitude last time around. Opponents to the Treaty look like a veritable rogue’s gallery of Irish politics. They include Sinn Fein (terrorists), Cóir (head-case anti-abortion mentalists) and a selection of bizarrely paired far-right and far-left extremists. All mainstream parties and organisations are behind the Treaty and many have done their best to translate its tortuous language into something the average voter can understand.
The plot has recently thickened with the intrusion of UK-based UKIP into Irish affairs. Nigel Farage… (I’m sorry, a little bit of vomit just flew into my mouth) has spent his time, not unlike a character from the Irish RM, explaining to the simple locals why they should believe him when he instructs them to vote no. The irony of Farage being on the same side of anything with Sinn Fein has not been lost on most observers. (There’s nothing like a bossy Englishman with a Home Counties accent to make an Irishman bristle).
Just this morning, the Guardian reported on some dirty tricks on the part of the “No” Campaign:
Hmm. “Hibernian Magazine”. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that. Do tell me more:
The magazine was founded and edited by Gerry McGeough, a Provisional IRA veteran once described by the FBI as a “dedicated terrorist”.
Ah. There’s yet another Sinn Fein connection.
I sincerely hope the Treaty is approved. I don’t have a vote as I don’t live in Ireland anymore. But if only to remove the smirk from the collective faces of Farage and Gerry Adams, not to ignore the potential to upset the many toe-rags in Coir, I hope Irish voters can see beyond the hate, the misinformation and the undiluted bullshit that these characters have been spewing these past few months. I hope also that voters don’t use the referendum as an opportunity to give Brian Cowen and his government the severe kicking they deserve.
Hold your noses, vote “yes” and then take them down at the next election.