Friday, June 13, 2008


Early indications suggest that the Lisbon Treaty has been rejected by the people of Ireland. It appears that Sinn Féin have got a huge pro-NO vote out in working class areas. It also appears that despite the about turn by the IFA the rural areas have gone towards the NO vote too. The middle class urban areas are more evenly divided, but there are very few suggestions that where there is a YES that it is enough to counteract the overwhelming tide towards NO. Undoubtedly the unique pincer movement of a strong Sinn Féin campaign, and a strong Libertas campaign picking uip support for a NO vote from the right leaning middle classes. This is a great result for Ireland and for all of Europe, it is killing dead with a huge democratic vote the anti-democratic notions of the EU bureaucrats, whose plans for a European army, a pro-privatisation agenda, and the increasing trend towards greater centralisation is being rejected by the people of Ireland. It begs the question, as to why this democratic process was denied to the rest of the people of the EU member states, where the decision to commit to the Lisbon Treaty has been taken from the people and handed instead to the elites represented by their various national parliaments. Sinn Féin started preparations for this Treaty back in January with a huge effort being put into creating a solid cadre of members who were absolutely up to speed on the reasons why this Treaty was inimical to the interests of ordinary working people, that forward planning and effort towards the education of its members has paid off in swinging this vote.
The significance of this outcome should not be underestimated, the NO side in Ireland were pitted against ALL the other parties in the Dáil, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, and the Greens all called for a YES vote, as well as that the Irish media were overwhelmingly pro the YES campaign, and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the employers confederation IBEC also called for a 'Yes' vote. This outcome just shows that sometimes the people just know whats in their best interests, when they are fully informed by a committed and informed campaigning alliance of Sinn Féin, Libertas, and the other 'NO' campaigners...Its enough to give you hope.


luis said...

Many thanks to the Irish for being the voice of millions of EU citizens who voices were shut down!

Luis Sarmento
Porto, Portugal

Anonymous said...

hey gabriel hello!!
i am french and me too i vote NO!!!

héhé thanx to Irish NO in France we think the same thing.
Could you tell me name of the movie you take the picture the man with the gun tanx! mitch

Anonymous said...

Mitch....thanks for the comment...we were mindful of the fact that our French brothers and sisters had already voted down the Constitution which is 95% the same as Lisbon...The guy in the picture is the chilling killer in 'No Country for Old Men'..I cant recollect film stars names, but I think he got an oscar for his part..Great Film..

Anonymous said...

Lets be totally honest about the NO vote. It was a mix of disenchanted groups from farmers, fishermen, anti government, frustrated middle class, republican militarists and right wing vested interests. As an Irishman who struggled with making our decision I finally came to the decision by reading fairly straigtforward documentation from our referendum commission. The information was available but I am afraid we have become a lazy electorate. We preferred to listen to the claims and internalise them into our own problems. We deserve to face the consequences of our actions. We pride ourselves on being educated but I believe we showed our ignorance. Confusion won the day because we allowed ourselves to be directed. I believe we deserve to bear the consequences of our inability to grasp fairly straight forward arguments and allowed ourselves to be confused by the NO campaign. Unfortunately the consequence of our action may not be apparent for our own generation but our children will rue this vote. Europe won't be wagged by the Irish tail. Rightly so. We deserve to be left on the sidelines and we will be - eventually. The NO voters will abdicate responsibility when the consequences unfold. But history will be the final judge.

Anonymous said...

GABRIEL REPLIES...Anonymous fellow Irish citizen you, couldnt in my opinion be any more wrong, the people of the EU member states have not been consulted at all about Lisbon, when they were about the EU constitution, the French and Dutch turned out in huge numbers and voted it down. Then the Commission had a little think, tweaked it a bit, and returned with 95% the same document, except that this time they made damn sure that it was not going to be put to another vote again by popular plebiscite. No the elites would nod it through the various parliaments. Only in Ireland, thanks to the Crotty judgement all alterations to the Constitution require a referendum, but that would be ok, because the Irish would have it sold to them by the silver tongued Bertie Ahern, and anyway were'nt they now so filthy rich that they would be sure to agree to anything, so contented were they. But Bertie was'nt there, and because the Irish have an annoying little penchant for democracy, they took this wretched document very seriously indeed. The political elites and the media elites did their best to sell it, but heroic Irish individuals spent a lot of time and energy picking through what this Treaty was really about, privatisation, increased centralisation, lack of democratic accountability, an unelected EU President, the list is too long to rehearse yet again here. Heroic and serious people from differing political backgrounds came to the same conclusions, namely that this Treaty, was in fact a dangerous pig in a poke, opening the doors to many changes that were inimical to the interests of the people of Ireland and indeed all of the people of Europe. Individuals like Mary Lou Macdonald of Sinn Féin, Declan Ganley of Libertas,Patricia McKenna a principled Green, Businessman Ulick McAvaddy, Senator Shane Ross, journalist and sports specialist Eamon Dunphy all showed courage, suffered excoriation and contempt from the media and the serried ranks of the Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, 'Labour', Green, ICTU, IBEC and IFA yes men and women...And the people listened to these people of principle, because inconvenient though it was going to be this Treaty was not good enough.
We on the NO side got out and spent day in day out in lengthy efforts to engage with the Irish people, while the YES side just hired people to stick up posters, most of which just showed a grinning mug shot of a man in a suit with a big 'YES' next to it. The people of Ireland's decision to vote down this Treaty is one of the proudest moments in the events of Irish public life in the 21st Century. We were given the right to vote, UNLIKE ALL THE OTHER CITIZRNS OF THE EU MEMBER STATES...I am proud that we refused to ratify the Lisbon Treaty and instead reiterated the concerns previously expressed by our brothers and sisters in France and the Netherlands...Long Live Democracy...and if you consider yourself a democrat, which you probably do, then please RESPECT what democracy means...that is decisions taken by the people for the people, not unelected bureaucrats and the lobby fodder of the national parliaments of the other 26 member states...

Anonymous said...

Well done to the Irish people and most of all to Gabriel & his many colleagues who worked very hard for this magnificent No vote.

Sinn Fein in particular fought an excellent campaign. It seems that the party is recovering well from its disappointment in the general election and is able to voice the concerns of the people, especially the working class, about the way that your country- & the EU as a whole- is heading: towards neo-liberalism and, as the developments of the last week have revealed, towards militarism.

Millions of other people in Europe have similar concerns, and are very pleased at the referendum result.

Now, I want to add this. Thanks to the constitution of the Republic of Ireland, and to the efforts of the late great Raymond Crotty, the people of the 26 Counties were in the privileged position of having the choice to accept or reject the Lisbon Treaty. Having decided to reject, you have elected yourselves into an even more important position, that of potentially being key players in determining what happens next.

Sinn Fein, I believe, is taking absolutely the correct stance in arguing that Ireland should seize the initiative and propose lines of renegotiation towards an acceptable EU treaty, one that will safeguard Ireland's voice in Europe, protect its neutrality, and allow the advance of workers' rights and public services.

The French & German governments are currently plotting to sideline Ireland and circumvent its democratic decision of June 12th. Gordon Brown has his own problems and the UK is unlikely to be able to take a lead. The Irish government appears to be in a shell-shocked shambles and does not know what to do.

I'm a foreigner, though a fellow EU citizen, and it's not for me to tell the Irish what to do. But, for what it's worth, my advice would be this: build on the June 12th victory, prove that it was a constructive statement about the direction of Europe and not an act of vandalism or UK-style euroskepticism, and support Sinn Fein in striving for a better deal- not just IN Europe, but FOR Europe.

Best wishes,


Leveller on the Liffey said...

It's amazing how one poster (June 14) says that the 'No' vote won because we are "confused".
Obviously, anyone who said 'Yes' totally understood the intricacies and could see the issues far more clearly than us misguided fools.
Patronising git!

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