Lisbon: Are the Irish People too Stupid to Vote?

Europe is reeling at Ireland for not being able to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon; the Irish People said in a referendum that they didn’t want to approve the Bill that would amend the Constitution to allow the Irish Parliament to ratify the Treaty. No other countries in Europe had to have a referendum to ratify so why did Ireland? This is a very interesting point, Ireland’s Constitution makes it’s Parliament the sole lawmaker for the State–it and it alone can make law. This means that when EU law claims to be enforceable in Irish Courts and when EU law claims to be higher than Irish law even the Irish Constitution there is a conflict. In order to address this a provision was added to the Constitution by the 3rd Amendment which makes Article 29.4.10° state:

No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State which are necessitated by the obligations of membership of the European Union or of the Communities, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the European Union or by the Communities or by institutions thereof, or by bodies competent under the Treaties establishing the Communities, from having the force of law in the State.

This means that EU law takes precedence over the provisions of Irish Law. The Irish Courts siad after this Amendment was passed that there was an expectation that the Union would develop and change. However, where the change was serious and ground-breaking then the changes effected by that Treaty would not be afforded that exemptions from Constitutional compliance in Article 29.4.10° (above) and that in order for them to be given that exemption they could have to be approved by a referendum to amend the Constitution to allow that State to ratify the Treaty. However, the Courts did say only serious ground-breaking changes needed to be put to a referendum there is an argument to say that the Irish government are being too cautious in what they regard as serious and ground-breaking. The Treaty of Maastricht was clearly ground-breaking and thus needed a referendum but, Amsterdam and Nice were less so and may not have needed one. I don’t know how the Courts would regard the Lisbon Treaty in terms of its effect on EU law–would it be ground-breaking enough to require a referendum?

So you see why the Irish people got to vote on Lisbon whereas all the other member States were denied this vote. I think this is a democratic deficit in the way the EU works; surly all major amending treaties should as part of there terms require approval by the People; I am not sure what form this should take–nation by nation, pan-Europe or some other form I don’t know yet but, it is important for democracy that people are consulted more directly.

This takes us to the argument that People aren’t smart enough to vote on Treaties like Lisbon–they are huge complicated documents that work on such varied topics that they can’t be fully understood by regular people. Looking at the Treaty of Lisbon it is a complicated document that needs a lot of work to understand the meaning of some parts of it because it is now an amending treaty so it has to be read with all the other treaties of Europe in order to be able to decide what it means. This is not an argument for not allowing the People to vote on it though it just means that for those of us that don’t understand the treaty for whatever reason it must be explained to us and debate must be allowed for people to form a view on it.

Europe is for the People of Europe; it is their Union and they deserve to be heard and when politicians say that we aren’t clever enough to decide for ourselves how we want to see our Union develop it is an indictment on their fitness to lead us.

As a matter of clarification I voted ‘Yes’ to the treaty but, I respect the vote of the Irish People as a democratic decision that was denied to the rest of Europe.

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Filed under europe, ireland, politics

10 responses to “Lisbon: Are the Irish People too Stupid to Vote?

  1. Seamus Breathnach // June 29, 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. What is confusing is how so many of the faithful could vote ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty so definitely, while their leader, Pope Benedict XVI, could be so circumspectly in favour of a United Europe. It might be remembered that the Pope’s guarded idea of unity comes ‘after’ rather than before the Irish vote! How can such ambivalence and apparent contradiction be explained?

    Perhaps some relevant facts about THE IRISH might not be out of place :

    1. Since the Middle Ages a Papal colony calling themselves Catholics and forming ‘a middle nation’ (i.e. Between native pagans and ‘real’ Norman English) took over Ireland. These colonists , in contrast to the repressed Gaels, consttute the modern ‘Irish’, and on behalf of the Papacy have governed Ireland vi pulsa and ‘by the grace of God’ (of the Caesarean variety) ever since.

    2. Through the Papacy the diocesan Bishops and Parish Priests sperad their control over the island and dislodged the secular native pagan Chieftains. These dioceses and parishes have always formed the most conservative and at times reactionary collective mind in Europe; for it is a mind that has been totally indebted to the Papacy for its very existence and has , in return, submitted to becoming the most perfect instrument of imperial Christian propaganda world-wide.

    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 Europe’s money on the pretext of having a shared affection and appreciation for it , but once the money spent, like women of an unflattering varitey, they ran to the proteciton of their more enduring master. 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 to sing ‘No’ to Lisbon, 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? 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 counterpointed by the anger of the Irish people and the managerial effortery of their leaders. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was, at one stage, preaching a hand-in-glove crusade with Premier Bertie Ahern against Irish crime. It all cadenced when Premier Bertie Ahern ignominiously left office and when the people voted a decisive ‘No’ to Lisbon. One might be forgiven for thinking that it was a kind of ‘curse-on-both-your-houses’ kind of vote.

    Nevertheless, it is hardly conceiveable that Sinn Fein/IRA, on their own, or coupled with the ‘dark horse’ Declan Ganley — from whom they are not as ideologically dissimilar as their representations would lead one to believe — could have delivered the ‘No’ vote. Something else was needed. And that something else was Opus Dei, the good and pious souls who shunt incessantly between Premier’s Office and Archbishop’s tent. These men (and women), a lot of them living high off the civil service hog of the ‘Yes-Minister’ variety, are never to be underestimated; they are , in effect, experts at calculating ‘who’ should be in office as well as ‘who’ shall remain in office. Such matters are their raison d’etre. They knew what was possible , what was achieveable and what was desirable. They also knew how to achieve it. After all, Opus Dei has kept power in church-laden hands ever since 1922, the only conceiveable ripple in their seamless success being the enigma as to how De Valera managed to dislodge Cumann Na nGaedhael after a decade of faithful Church-service. Some will tell you that it was the 1937 Constitution and the Special Position given by Dev to the Catholic church, or alternatively, perhaps it was due to the special position given by the Pope to Dev in return for drafting the Constitution in accord with Papal principles. Others , of course, will mention the Eucharistic Congress and how the State put the Church’s needs first, a bit like the O’Briens of old giving the only decent castle they had in Cashel to the Pope’s legate ; others still will recall the new Constitution’s ban on secular divorce and the Vatican’s concern to gear Irish fertility towards the American market ; others will recall the gradual monopoly of the hospitals and the schools secured under Fianna Fail hegemony, while others still will reflect upon the censorship laws and a raft of repressive Catholic legislation that kept writers in the doghouse and the religious in powerful positions extending to every nook and cranny of the so-called Republic. For our purposes , it really doesn’t matter; what matters is that everyone in the Republic of Ireland knows as a matter of fact that all elections are won by the Church of Rome and its legion of ‘good Catholics’. And , indeed, if Frianna Fail didn’t cowtow to the Roman Church, there were ample brethern among the rank and file of all the other parties, including the Labour Party, who are championing at the bit to emulate Fianna Fail in serving the Church and, in consequence, manage Ireland soley towards that covetted if powerful end.

    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 — where Islam and the Turks are demonised and he crowns Europe as the home of Christianity. 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. 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

  2. mark

    u fuckin wankers get a fuckin life will yas?

  3. I am often searching for recent infos in the world wide web about this matter. Thx.

  4. Eddie Staunton

    Are you to stupid to write a proper blog?

  5. Sadhbh


  6. Sadhbh

    YOU FREAKS ARE WASTING YOUR WORTHLESS TIME BEING SO RUDE AND F*C*I*G ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!! P.S. You better not write another “blog” about us swearing alot because if we wrote an article about your country being stuipid, I bet you’d swear too!!!

  7. Sadhbh

    do u mean 2 say u search the web 2 c if the irish are stuipid (no offence)?!?!?!!?!?!?!!?!?!?!!?

  8. Damien Antaria

    lol at Seamus Breathnach’s obvious TL;DR comment.

  9. Karl

    For years now people have made jokes about the stupid Irish,and lets face it,they must have been stupid to vote yes to the Lisbon treaty,it’s kind of like shooting yourself in the foot,but that’s the thick irish for you now because of their own stupidity they are well in the shit,but have only themselves to blame.

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