Thursday, 19 June 2008

Ireland on the menu

As the EU and Europe's governing elite enjoy a sumptuous dinner at our expense in Brussels this evening, the only thing that could prove a little hard to swallow may be what Irish PM Brian Cowen has to say about his country's recent 'No' vote.

According to Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, the EU is expecting the Irish government to pronounce on whether the vote was "definitive or not".

Apparently there remains some doubt about this in the EU's democratically-challenged upper echelons, despite a significant majority for the 'No' side and a healthy turnout.

Where's the confusion, exactly?

Yet, in an interview yesterday with Le Figaro, Mr Sikorski said "If Dublin does not decide to organise another referendum, it will be difficult to find a solution. We are waiting for the Irish government to tell us whether this decision is definitive or not."

But the bad news for Mr Sikorski and others is that, according to an Irish Independent report, Cowen plans to keep it vague, apparently intending to stress that it's "far too early" to draw conclusions from the referendum result and that the Government would require time to take stock of the outcome.

Testing out his line, Cowen reportedly told the Irish Parliament earlier this week that the referendum result meant “there is a serious political and legal situation that has to be examined”, and that he did not believe a solution would present itself “this week, next week or the week after”.

However, as we reported earlier this week, all around Cowen leading Irish politicians and 'Yes' campaigners already seem to have made up their minds that a second vote is not possible.

Reinforcing the point, Ireland's EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy is reported in the Irish Independent pointing out that the turnout for the referendum had been very high; the people had spoken; and the treaty as planned could not go ahead.

He told Irish radio, quite rightly, "I somehow suspect that if many other member states of the EU had to put it before their people, the result would be the same", putting to shame the line being rehearsed ad nauseam by Britain's most disingenuous superstate-fanatics such as Denis MacShane MP and Richard Corbett MEP that the 'Irish one can't be allowed to rule the EU many'.

It apparently hasn't crossed the anti-democratic minds of these two and others that the key statistic is not that Ireland's population represents 1% of the EU's but rather 100% of those allowed to vote on the Lisbon treaty, with polls showing people in many other countries would have delivered the same verdict on the treaty, given the chance.

As Commissioner McCreevy later said to the EUobserver news website, "We should remember that Ireland is not alone in being unable to secure a popular endorsement of a European Treaty. As politicians this is something we need to learn from."

On its own initiative, the EU has been quick of the mark to scour the ground for signs that a second referendum would be winnable.

Imagine if our government refused to accept the outcome of an election that went against it, and decided to pick the opposition vote to pieces to find what sections it could buy off with slightly 'clarified' policies before calling a second election.

Welcome to the sad state of democracy today, under our growing new government in Brussels.

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