Saturday, 20 June 2009
When No means Yes
October. That's what... four months from now. Four months for the political parties in the south and the massed forces of the southern media to make sure that Lisbon 2 isn't a re-run of Lisbon 1. In one sense it is or will be, of course. Even though the Lisbon Treaty was supposed to be something that all the EU member states signed up to or else it fell, the EU big boys and the Irish government have cheerfully...OK, not cheerfully, nervously - nervously brought back the original treaty with something called 'guarantees'. The treaty is the same as first time but now there are guarantees about abortion, military conscription and a few other things not IN the treaty but kind of, you know, hanging onto it. Like the tail of a kite. So it's important for the Irish people to show they understand the treaty this time by voting Yes. The fact that they voted No last time showed they didn't understand it...God preserve us all - did you ever hear such condescending, anti-democratic claptrap? If they'd even come out and say 'Right, we DID say that all the member states would have to approve Lisbon, and we did say that if one gave it a thumbs-down, that'd be that, no treaty, but look, we've changed our minds, all right we lied, but it's really really important to get this through, so would you do the vote again? Pleeeease?' If they even came clean like that, you'd have some little grain-of-sand respect for them. But they don't. Instead they try, in true '1984' style, to argue that black is white and lies are truth. There's only one thing more depressing than the pressure the EU big boys and the Irish government are putting on the Irish people in the twenty-six counties to go back on their national word and make it Yes, and that worse thing is that the Irish people, financially broke and demoralised by the response to their last No, will this time almost certainly vote Yes. The EU brings a lot of good things but it brings some very very bad things as well. Like forcing the people of small states to sign something that's still incomprehensible to 98% of them. Sometimes, like the central character at the end of Orwell's '1984', you'd be tempted to just give up and let the bastards win.