Friday, December 12, 2008

European Politics Explained

If the Americans have no press and no cars, how are they going to drive down to the store and pick up a paper to read about the latest fascinating developments in European politics? Speaking as a Europhilephobe, I think I can help. Basically, guys, Euro-pols are currently kicking the Irish until they give the right answer which is, 'Yes, yes, dammit, stop kicking me!'. The Germans, meanwhile, think Gordon Brown is wrong about everything and this makes Ed Balls cross.  The Czechs are upsetting David Cameron, but I don't understand this, and, meanwhile, the Poles want to burn lots of polluting brown coal because it gets cold in Poland and they quite like the idea of global warming. Oh and we don't want to invade the Congo and a move to set the Barclay brothers on Mugabe may well prove a tough sell with the French. All clear? Jaw-jaw, as Churchill said, is better than war-war, but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.


  1. It's not quite so simplistic as a bunch of 'Euro-pols' kicking a country of people into saying yes. The majority of educated free thinking people in ireland would sometimes like to kick our fellow citizens, many of whom have picked up outrageously erroneous assertions about the LT from the no-campaigners, into saying yes.

  2. So, the Krauts crossed Ed's balls, damned cheek, one country without debt accusing another country awash with it of being stupid. Never fear the spankers are in charge and the Krauts may yet run Eurostar. It's a pity they don't run our country.

  3. Michael

    Aren't you afraid that you might come over as a tad de haut en bas?

    I'm sure it helps you to believe that you vote for only the best, free-thinking - whatever the hell that means - reasons and the others are mere cattle, but it does sound just slightly arrogant and deserving of another kicking at the polls.

  4. Why didnt you just say condescending?!

    No i don't think so, I firmly believe that education paves the way for free-thinking, and free-thinking paves the way for making an educated and rounded decision in situations like this. The fact that some people openly said they were voting no because the EU were going to limit family size proves that some people just accept what they hear, especially if it induces fear or mistrust, without thinking about it. I dont see why you dont understand what free thinking means, maybe it helps you to believe in your criticism of my comment..

    And also regardless of how you took the brief and literary representation of my opinion, it is not so simplistic as to think that yes voters are free thinkers and no voters are cattle. There exists both on both sides. However it is my opinion that the fear mongering tactics used by the no-campaigners lead to a lot of mis-guided voting, which leads me to believe that there was more free-thinking and education on the yes side. Get it?!

  5. Hmmm. I can see what you are getting at Bryan but their is a problem here.

    We, are turning democracy into an empty vessel, at some point some people are going to start shooting at other people, an outrageous claim?

    We we had (the British state) had best part of 30 years off a localised civil war, one of the main causes (republicans would argue) was that the British state marginalised them and persecuted them, and did not listen to them.

    Growing up I went to Ireland every summer in the troubles and I sat and heard this, time and time again from my Catholic relatives and looking at the events in Greece this week and the Neo Fascistic treatment of Irish democracy, i am hearing it again and this time it is not just Ireland and the Irish.

    At the moment the democratic process is still open, but they will come a point when the citizen of a state (or in Eu terms a neo state) has the right to bear arms against that state, we are getting uncomfortably close for what is supposed to be a developed part of the world.

    Looking at the EUs demographics and its current political projectory, Europe's future could well be as bloody as its past.

    Remember just over 10 years ago a murderous civil war and ethnic cleansing happened just over 1000 miles from these shore, resulting from the breakup of a multi ethnic, artificial state.

  6. Michael could be on to something. A cabal of 'free thinkers' should analyse each and every plebiscite, and if they judge that the results are not sufficiently 'informed', then the vote should be regarded as invalid. There's obviously no need to stop with referendums, but the same process should be applied to general elections where the mob often gets carried away by irrational passions. The aforementioned cabal of free thinkers, these guardians of right thinking must analyse all election results and ask: was there fear mongering? Was the electorate sufficiently informed about the issues? If not, then the vote should be held again and again until the correct, educated, enlightened choice is made.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Well, if you even have to ask that question then it is clear you are unenlightened. And in that case, you need only know that there is nothing to worry about, little man, nothing at all. The clever ones will figure it all out for you.

  7. as a matter of fact vernon i'm far from suggesting that my vote counts for more. Each country gets the government it deserves and if we suffer negative consequences from our no vote then we deserve them.

  8. The fact is that the proposed Treaty is a deliberate attack on democracy across the EU.

    In Ireland, our Constitution requires any constitutional change to be put before the people in a referendum. This is a critical element of the separation of powers in our state, and is a fundamental protection of our democracy.

    It is important, because it removes constitutional issues from the pressures of day to day politics.

    The amendment proposed to the Irish Constitution in order to ratify this Treaty includes a measure negating this requirement for a referendum on EU matters that effect our constitution.

    No matter what measure is conceived at the EU, and no matter how fundamentally that measure will change our constitution, the people will not have sovereignty to approve or reject it.

    Instead, the measure will be for the government of the day to approve. This is a specific negation of a fundamental democratic protection in our state.

    Furthermore, the ability of any given government to reject a proposed EU measure will be reduced by this Treaty.

    Ultimately, this Treaty hands over the remnants of Irish Independence to the EU. It fundamentally usurps the sovereignty of the Irish people, and it is being done in an underhand and duplicitous manner.

    Irish politicians who are advocating ratification in the next referendum should review their obligations under the Constitution to protect that document, and the penalties under the Treason clause for those who conspire to alienate sovereignty and to undermine the constitution.

    The problem in the debate is that the anti-Treaty group are either:

    1. Actually unfamiliar with the actual threat to our constitution, and are instead focussed on less critical elements.

    2. The pro-Treaty group are engaged in a great deal of fallacy-peddling, instead of engaging in debate. They are muddying the waters, throwing out red-herrings, and flinging ad-hominems all around.

    3. The pro-Treaty group have a short-term view, and aren't focussed on the long term impact to our economy of giving up our sovereignty and current level of influence. (We are a small country of 4 million, and our voice will be utterly drowned in the post-Treaty EU).

    4. The pro-Treaty group seem completely unaware of the fact that the Treaty involves the undermining of Constitutional protections.

    We need a real debate, with real thought and political leadership. Something that is sadly lacking in this era.