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Why Ireland voted NO to the Lisbon Treaty

Sean Clinton | 20.06.2008 08:15 | Palestine | Terror War

Letter from the The Lisbon Campaign for Middle East Justice and Peace to the sh Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., the Minster for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Michael Martin T.D., leading European Officials and all Irish MEP's conveying our reasons for campaigning for a NO vote in the Treaty of Lisbon referendum.

Despite the fact that Israel killed 58 Palestinian children since the start of 2008 (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights) EU foreign ministers on Wednesday agreed to strengthen ties with Israel. The EU policy of rewarding Israel, the aggressor, has caused the Irish electorate to loose confidence in the EU's competence to espouse a foreign policy which represents the views of most Irish people, especially in regard to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Israeli Embassy in Dublin
Israeli Embassy in Dublin

An Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D.
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merion Street,
Dublin 2.

c.c. Mr. Michael Martin T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Mr. Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy
Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, President of EU Commission
Mr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament
All Irish MEP’s and all media.

Re: Treaty of Lisbon

Dear Taoiseach,

We are writing to you today in order to ensure that you are fully aware of the reason why we campaigned against the Treaty of Lisbon.

We did so because of our deep concern at proposals within the Treaty regarding EU FOREIGN POLICY. The Treaty of Lisbon allows for the creation of an EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy. The Treaty would end Ireland’s Sovereign Right thereafter to espouse an independent foreign policy. This threatened both our neutrality and our sovereignty.

One issue, above all others, is a source of outrage to large sections of the Irish Electorate - EU support for Israel, which breaches the Geneva Convention and countless UN Resolutions. In what appears to be complicity with US Policy on the Middle East, the EU has negated all principles of democracy and human rights. The EU rewards Israel - the illegal Occupier, while punishing the Occupied – the Palestinian People. This is manifestly obvious from the EU-Israel Association Agreement for Israel and sanctions for the Palestinian People. The failure of the EU to penalise Israel for repeated breaches of the Agreement, shows that it operates a double standard and ignores the terms of binding Agreements.

Article 2 of the Agreement makes it conditional upon Israel respecting human rights. In the face of blatant disregard for Article 2, the EU is preparing to strengthen ties with Israel. This double standard represents a real danger to democracy, the rule of law and respect for humanity in the world today.

We, the ‘Lisbon Campaign for Middle East Justice and Peace’, have little faith in the direction of EU foreign policy and even less in EU rhetoric on democracy and on human rights. The EU must enforce the terms of binding Agreements. Ireland must retain the sovereign right to formulate and espouse its own foreign policy.

Yours Sincerely

Sean Clinton,
Lisbon Campaign for Middle East Justice and Peace

Sean Clinton


Hide the following 2 comments

justice will prevail

23.06.2008 10:13

I raise my hat to you. Justice will ultimately prevail as long as there are honest and courageous people like you who are ready to fight against oppressors, double standards, hypocrisy and those who have sold themselves to the devil- the world police- US administration and its pampered spoiled child in the Middle East- Israel.
I do not know why the EU is rushing behind the Bush Administration in its adventurist policies that are a threat to world peace. The EU parliament should be the real representative of the European people and their interests. The US-Israeli blackmailing and hegemony must stop, and in Europe in particular. The time has come to leave the US imperialism sink deep in the quick sands of Afganistan and Iraq especially when everything it is doing in this world is based on greed, lies and mockery.
Why should Europe sacrfice its soldiers, sovereignity, the well-being of its people and friendship with the Arab and Third World people by always yielding to the US dictation and Israeli intimidation.

Dawood Sulaiman
mail e-mail: Sulaiman, Daoud@UNRWA.Org

The Papacy, Lisbon and the Irish Vote

28.06.2008 23:01

This is not the full story. I prefer the following, which is much nearer the truth:

Seamus Breathnach // June 28, 2008 at 2:31 p.m.

The Papacy,
Lisbon and The Irish Vote

Today Saturday 28 June, 2008, in the centre of O'Connell Street , Dublin, there was great rejoicing coming from a shop that was obviously religious. The shop (broadcasting hymns and exhibiting chalk statutes etc.) exhibited a large poster in the front window to demonstrate that a Novena offered up by the Church to enlighten the people of Ireland to vote ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty had been answered. What has been most suspect in the recent Lisbon election is the hidden number of the Novena-faithful.

But first, perhaps, some relevant facts about THE IRISH:

1. Since the Middle Ages a Papal crowd calling themselves Catholics and forming ‘a middle nation’ took over Ireland and have governed it vi pulsa and ‘by the grace of God’ (of the Caesarean variety) ever since.

2. Through the Papacy the Parish Priest took over in the new parishes from the secular native pagan Chieftains. These dioceses and parishes have always formed the most conservat- ive and at times reactionary mind in Europe;

3. Accordingly, in the Lisbon Vote, we witness the Irish (middle nation) turning its collective back -- or ‘apparently’ turning its back -- on its own leaders, and notwithstanding net receipts of some 32b euros, without which the Irish would still be swinging out of a Castle-Cathedral culture, the pack voted a resounding ‘No’ to Europe: the Irish , for the second time, took the money and ran. What tune were they listening to such that could ‘apparently’ divorce themselves from their entire leadership?

4. Sinn Fein/IRA , straight from the very limited and horrifically reactionary streets of Belfast, is the first of such voices, and is the only elected voice. For those who do not understand Sinn Fein/IRA , it would be fair to say that, despite their oft-quoted guff about ‘Marx’, dating from the time when they were underdogs fightingthe RIC from the strongholds of Belfast, they really enjoy the same relation with the Church/State as , perhaps, the Franco regime did back in the ‘30s, their only claim to an ‘educated’ or an informed political consciousness being dependent upon the Catholic priests who have shunted them from barricadeto Parliament. Indeed, there are some who believe that theirreal fight, though dressed up in the rhetoric of some South American countries is not about the ‘working classstruggle’, but was never anything more that a battle for outdated ‘Catholic Emancipation’. Nevertheless, Sinn Fein/IRA, however anxious to distinguish themselves in the Republic of Ireland, would carry little persuasion on their own. So, with whom were they allied?5.The only real ally Sinn Fein/IRA had in Ireland was the Church. But rather peculiarly, they joined with a total outsider -- a chap called Declan Ganley, (whom no one had ever heard of before Lisbon.) Ganley is an impressive performer. For all the world he has a stride not dissimilar to that of Oswald Mosley. He was the declared leader of a group interestingly called ‘Libertas’, and if little or nothing was known about him or his kinfolk, he was quick to disarm the Irish by assuring one and all of how much of a ‘good catholic’ he is. On the face of it, Sinn Fein and Mr Ganley (who quite assuredly never spoke a word of the Gaelic language that Gerry Adams is so keen to have Northern Protestants speak, or , for that matter, ever played hurling for Oughterard) , plotted from a most opaque if conservative location of the Christian spectrum.

5. Again one got whiffs of the Franco regime when each debate started. ‘One’s children had to be protected’, was the spiel; ‘democracy (sorry ‘greater democracy’) was at stake’, and Europe’s democracy had to be protected by the ever so democratic Irish. Having spent monies in large quantities, Declan Ganley (the ‘Business-man’ -cum- ‘Good Catholic’) garnered the ‘No’ vote at a time when, by any standards, the government canvassed as if they couldn’t care less -- an attitude that was picked up by most journalists, including Bruce Arnold of the Irish Independent, who rightly excoriated them on this very point. The point is: the government were so lacklustre in their business that one went so far as to wonder why they were so ill-organised.

Ostensibly ,then, the ‘No’ campaign concerned itself with negative fears, while the govern- ment ostensibly did very little that was either meaningful, impressive or, indeed, had the stamp of authenticity about it. So, what, one might ask , were all these fears? There was the amplified fear of Ireland being dragged into war on Europe’s behalf, even though the US, flying out of Galway, had beenengaged in an illegal war for years -- a fact which people temporarily forgot. Then there was the sexual promiscuity - fear , even though no one dared mention ‘clerical pedophilia’, the damages arising from which the Irish taxpayer rejoiced in paying. But this also was never mentioned due to a temporary loss of memory. And there was also a set of assorted ragtag sources of distemper, some legitimate, like the fishermen's griveance and , to a lesser extent, the farmers.

6. Behind all this was an ongoing daily saga for months and years respecting the utter squalor of Irish public life. The squalor was shared incestuously and jointly by the RCC and the so-called secular Republic. This debilitating squalor-fest counterponted the Lisbon Vote and finished withthe 'No'to Lisbon and when Premier Bertie Ahern left office.5. But neither Sinn Fein/IRA nor the ‘dark horse’ Declan Ganley -- or both together -- could have delivered the ‘No’ vote. Something else was needed. And Opus Dei, who are expert at calculating ‘who’ should be in office as well as ‘how’ to keep them in office, also knew this. After all, Opus Dei has kept power in church-laden hands ever since 1922, the only enigma being how De Valera managed to win office from Cumann Na nGaedhael after a decade of faithfully serving the Church’s needs. Some will tell you that it was the 1937 Constitution and the Special Position given to the Catholic church, others will mention the Eucharistic Congress and how the State managed the Church’s needs, while others still will reflect upon the censorship laws and the the raft of repressive Catholic legislation that kept the religious in power in every nook and cranny of the so-called Republic. For our purposes , it really doesn’t matter; for everyone knows who, when, how and why, all elections are won by the Church of Rome and its legion of 'good Catholics'.

7. The relevant question for the moment is not so much WHETHER Opus Dei tapped into all the Church's liege parties that were ‘ostensibly’ for the Lisbon treaty, but in respect of which all their followers found just cause to abandon them entirely -- but rather ‘HOW’ did Opus Dei do it without sending out a religious alarm . The answer to this question lies in the most peculiar allignment between the Catholic Church, its episcopacy and the leaders of all the political parties. It is as if they were knowingly caught in a bind and the best way , not to be outflanked by the super-catholic Sinn Fein/IRA for permanent Church favour, what panned out was the best compromise for all concerned.

8. Regarding this ambivalence of the political party leaders, practically every commentator will tell you frankly that the government ran a shambles of a campaign. (The press is also part of the religious culture that obtains throughout the warp and weft of Irish life. They , too , indulge in theatre, by prying, but not prying deeply or relentless enough. In this respect, if it had not been for members of the British media, Catholic pedophelia in Ireland would never have been revealed!) The parties openly went through the theatre of criticizing each other for not being in earnest about returning a ‘Yes’ vote. Notoriously, some of them even broadcast the fact that they had not read the Treaty. Put it all together and you get Holy Roman Irish theatre - and on reflection, it all weighs in the balance. The Government and the ‘opposition’ parties threw the election to allow the Vatican to pronounce its veto on the European Community. Barusso probably was the safeguard to allow the theatre to have full effect and, at the same time, secure a second bite at the cherry for the Catholic Irish.

9. What all these things taken individually point to is a rather impoverished cultural and intellectual society, a society not at all informed in the proper areas and sadly if curiously lacking in the hard questions when it comes to the nub of secular politics. Who, for example, is Declan Ganley? What are his American interests? Why should being a ‘good Catholic’ require mention if not to cover a trail that might open up greater questions? And why spend over a million Euros on saying ‘No’?

10. Taken together, however, they offer us the true contours of a much more sinister reason for the ‘No’ to Lisbon vote. After the election the triumph of the most reactionary religious and conservative cabals in Britain and throughout the Roman Catholic world is not insignificant. Neither is it insignificant with what lack of conviction all the Irish parties portrayed their alleged desire for a ‘Yes’ vote. On reflection, it can well be argued that the whole Irish campaign was a Holy Roman stratagem, designed to allow the government to appear to be secular and in favour of secular Europe, but which in effect had compromised the election, prefering to obey its Roman masters while relying upon the secular authorities in Europe to reward them further. What the Irish really want, is what the Pope -- now victorious on his own terms -- is quick to tell us; the Pope now wants a unified Europe, but one unified in Christianity. We are back with Charlemagne and the vicious Papal plots against the secular powers of Europe. Of course the Irish want what the Pope of the day wants; to think otherwise would be outside the ken of either Irish or Polish realpolitik.7. Which brings us to the Pope’s eulogy for the Irish in Europe, as the softener for having controlled the Irish vote through Opus Dei , the Jesuits and the Redemptorists.

The Pope needed a ‘No’ vote in order to tell Europe that Catholic Europe is still in contention and that he is the head -- the pro-active and conspiratorial head of that Church. Coupled with the Poles’ fervently praying for a ‘No Vote’ and congratulating the Irish, the Novena in O'Connell Street echoes the truth of what had happened. The Irish government, ever ready to do theatre, did what the Pope and Opus Dei wanted. There was nothing senseless about the Irish vote, no more than there was anything senseless about the notice asserting the triumph of the Novena in O'Connell Street.

11. In his speech concerning Ireland’s contribution to spreading the Roman message (the Irish love such assurances), the Pope unfortunately omits some salient facts. He doesn’t mention, for example, that the triumph of the “Irish’ (for which read the Anglici Norman colony in Ireland) Church occasioned the burning to death of native Gaelic Chieftains for saying that there never was a Jesus -- for saying no more, in effect, than what modern-day scholars of the calibre of Francesco Carotta (War Jesus Caesar?) or Joseph Atwill (Caesar’s Messiah) are saying. Secondly, it is in this context that Ireland’s so-called Golden Age of Christianity consisted no more than of really trying to re-sell to Europe that which Europe had already in its wisdom discarded (Christianity). And thirdly, if the Irish played such a Christian role in Europe as the Pope conveniently imagines, or if they had been so ‘Saintly and Scholarly’ rather than an unquestioning colony of liege lackeys of the Papacy, why did Benedict XVI’s predecessors draft Laudabiliter,a Papal Bull that delivered Gaelic Ireland bound hand-and-foot to Henry the 11 to Christianize?

12. Finally, what the Lisbon ‘No’ Vote demonstrates is that Ireland is as impressionable as it is manipulable by the RC Church. Over the decades and centuries it has developed little by way of distinct colonial cultural roots conducive of an enduring or intellectual environment, or , indeed, an environment independent of the Vaticanal or Jesuitical control. Perhaps, after 1,500 years of uninterrupted and unquestioned priestcraft, one should not expect too much from a significantly insecure community and one that is totally lacking in secular and political innovation.

Some people joined Europe — not so much to reform it — but to be reformed by it. I am one of these!But if this cannot be achieved, then Europe might well conceive of moving ahead without a Papal veto on every secular step taken to improve communal life. As James Joyce, Dave Allen, Dermot Morgan and thousands of ordinary Irish people have demonstrated in the past, confronted with such religious intransigence moving out of Catholic Ireland is not always an undesirable option.

Seamus Breathnach

Seamus Breathnach
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