Brussels wants to shove Lisbon treaty down Irish throats

This video says about itself:

Our last chance. Ireland, Say NO to Lisbon Treaty.

From London daily The Morning Star:

Do better this time

(Thursday 11 December 2008)

THE Irish government’s readiness to comply with pressure from other EU member states to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon so-called reform treaty emphasises its failure to champion its own citizens’ referendum decision.

Ever since the Irish people trounced the entire political establishment by rejecting the treaty, which they saw correctly as the repackaged EU constitution that had already been rejected by both Dutch and French voters, Dublin has sought ways to undermine them.

Its shame-faced embarrassment has been matched by the degree of contempt for Irish democracy voiced by its so-called partners.

Refusing to accept that the Irish people have a right to reject the document drawn up by the unelected and unaccountable EU commission, eurocrats and their allies in member governments have portrayed the clear referendum majority as a problem for the Irish government alone.

They have confirmed the view consistently reiterated by opponents of an EU superstate, namely that advocates of a centralised EU have contempt for national democracy and popular sovereignty.

Their philosophy was applied in previous instances of individual states voting against certain treaties.

You have to keep on voting until you get it right. Only votes that welcome the trend to continent-wide centralisation are valid.

Both the commission and the EU council of ministers will bend over backwards to give the impression that they are willing to grapple with the issues on which Ireland rejected the treaty.

They will pay lip service to certain issues until the ink of Ireland’s signature is dry on the treaty and will then push on to break new ground and reverse previous concessions, opt-outs and protocols.

They will “guarantee” Irish neutrality at the same time as pushing ahead with military integration and expanded capability to fight the resource wars of the 21st century.

They will do the same for workers’ rights, even though the harsh reality of EU neoliberal economics and the blatantly political European Court of Justice (ECJ) leaves the Brussels spin doctors and tricksters with less room for manoeuvre.

When EU commission president Jacques Delors came to the British TUC in 1988, in the darkest days of Thatcherism, he succeeded in winning TUC leaders into believing that not only was the EU a haven for workers’ rights but that becoming “good Europeans” was the best way to achieve similar rights here.

And yet every reference to workers’ rights in EU treaties and directives since then has carried the rider that rights must be in accordance with “national laws and practices.”

The ECJ rulings on the Laval, Rüffert and Viking cases did not occur by chance.

They were part of an EU-wide project of driving down pay, undermining collective agreements and eroding democratic control over public contracts through the “country of origin” principle which allows the worst practice of some countries to be smuggled into others with higher standards.

Refusal by the EU elite to shift ground on these issues should give pause to Irish trade unionists who may be tempted to fall for a “do better this time” second referendum.

And it should open the eyes of many in this country to the reality of workers’ rights in the EU.

See also here.

16 thoughts on “Brussels wants to shove Lisbon treaty down Irish throats


    A second referendum to ratify the Lisbon Treaty will be held in the 26
    Counties before October 31st of next year, according to the conclusions
    of a European Union summit this week.

    The Lisbon treaty, which seeks to militarise, federalise and centralise
    power within the European Union, was rejected by the 26 County
    electorate in June by a decisive margin.

    Now EU leaders have agreed “necessary legal guarantees” which promise
    to allow each member state to retain a member of the ruling European
    Commission and soothe Irish concerns on taxation policy, family and
    social issues, and neutrality.

    EU leaders reached the deal today [Friday] in Brussels at the end of a
    summit held to decide a roadmap on how to progress the European
    project, despite the Irish rejection of the treaty.

    The conclusions were agreed today by French and current EU president
    Nicolas Sarkozy “with a view to enabling the treaty to enter into force
    by the end of 2009”. Irish voters are to be required to back the Lisbon
    Treaty before the term of the current European Commission ends on
    October 31st, 2009.

    The conclusions contain an annex of remarks, platitudes, assurances and
    “guarantees” directed to Irish voters.

    The conclusions state that EU leaders have agreed to offer the
    “necessary legal guarantees” on the continuation of Ireland’s
    officially-stated policy of neutrality within the European military
    project; the recognition of the Irish constitution’s position on the
    right to life; and the absence of new tax-raising powers in the Lisbon


    It remains unclear how the so-called guarantees are to be given legal
    effect, or whether they have meaningful and binding content.

    They also stand in contradiction to the body of the treaty, as well as
    new policies agreed at this week’s summit. One outlines a range of new
    initiatives to strengthen the European Union’s military powers with the
    goal of achieving readiness for a potential intercontinental conflict.
    Immediate goals are for the EU are to be able to deploy 60,000 soldiers
    within 60 days and thousands of civilian personnel — on at least a
    dozen simultaneous missions — as part of a “strategic partnership
    between the EU and NATO”.

    And following British objections, the summit conclusions had to be
    amended to remove a statement offering a guarantee on Irish workers’
    issues. Instead, the conclusions contain language that now only offers
    vague assurances on workers’ rights.

    The conclusions state that the EU attaches high importance to social
    progress and the protection of workers’ rights; public services; the
    responsibility of member states for the delivery of education and
    health services; and the essential role of local government in
    providing non-economic services of general interest.

    After weeks of back-room dealing, Taoiseach Brian Cowen finally
    confirmed this lunchtime he is going to hold a second referendum on the
    Lisbon treaty.

    Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Mr Cowen said: “On the
    basis of today’s agreement … I am prepared to go back to the Irish
    people next year.”

    Asked about the negotiations at the summit, British Prime Minister
    Gordon Brown said he believed people would be satisfied by the
    agreement of EU leaders.

    “I believe (it is) a successful attempt to ensure that the Irish
    concerns are taken note of but not disrupting the progress we made in
    Europe on the Lisbon treaty,” he said.

    Mr Cowen was strongly criticised by the Irish opposition parties this
    week for carrying on the talks ‘behind the backs’ of the electorate.

    “It is quite astounding that EU leaders, officials, ambassadors all now
    know the Irish government’s plan [for a second referendum on the Lisbon
    Treaty] but the electorate has yet to be told,” said Sinn Fein
    President Gerry Adams.

    “They have not sought to have the Treaty re-negotiated but have spent
    the last six months trying to find a way around it.”

    Speaking at a conference for Ogra Shinn Fein, his party’s youth wing,
    Mr Adams said that any guarantees which may be included in a future
    treaty, are “totally unacceptable”.

    “The Lisbon Treaty was rejected by the Irish people because it is a bad
    deal for Ireland. It needs to be re-negotiated to definitively address
    issues like neutrality, sovereignty over taxation, public services and
    workers rights,” he said.

    “It needs be about maintaining Ireland’s political strength in the EU.
    How the Irish government and EU leaders deal with this issue will be
    watched carefully by tens of millions of people across the EU who has
    deep concerns about the direction that an elite within EU institutions
    are trying to take.”

    Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny also said he had “very little confidence”
    in Mr Cowen’s ability to steer the country towards a solution. Although
    his party supported the first Lisbon Treaty, Mr Kenny said his party
    had not given the coalition government a ‘blank cheque’ on the issue.

    “I am astonished at the Taoiseach’s utter failure to build any
    bipartisan support for a solution, something he desperately needs.

    “My party, which has been consistently and strongly supportive of all
    EU treaties to date, has not been consulted in any way about the
    Government’s plans regarding the Lisbon Treaty.”

    Sinn Fein Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald described the Lisbon re-run deal
    as “an exercise in smoke and mirrors.”

    Meanwhile, prominent anti-Lisbon campaigner Declan Ganley is launching
    his Libertas lobbying group as a pan-Europe political party to compete
    in next June’s European Parliament elections.

    At a lunch for European journalists in Brussels today, Mr Ganley
    outlined ambitious plans to campaign against the Lisbon Treaty and
    build a new political movement.

    An invitation to the lunch and press conference described Libertas as a
    “new European political movement dedicated to campaigning for greater
    democracy, accountability and transparency within the EU.”


  2. Provocative speech by Tory leader

    The leader of the British Conservative party, David Cameron, has
    reversed two decades of Tory policy on Ireland by telling the annual
    conference of the Ulster Unionist Party that the he, like the United
    Kingdom, has a “selfish and strategic interest” in the north of Ireland.

    The Tory party leader also said the region had made great strides
    forward over the past 15 years and he wanted a move away from old
    politic rhetoric.

    His address to the UUP’s annual conference on Saturday underlined the
    renewal of unionism’s traditional ‘Orange Card’ alliance with the
    Conservative Party.

    In a chest-beating speech, he told gathered delegates, without irony:
    “its time for Northern Ireland to be brought back into the mainstream
    of British politics.”

    Cameron mixed traditional Tory imperialism with Blairite zeal and spin
    in an address which cheered the Ulster Unionists, desperate for a
    revival following a series of devastating election losses.

    And in a clear reference to the Thatcher-backed Anglo-Irish Agreement
    which divided the Tories and UUP in 1985, he said the Tories had
    regrets for the pact, which allowed the 26 Counties a direct influence
    on northern matters.

    He claimed the Irish “bring strengths to the mix” of English, Welsh and

    Explicitly, Mr Cameron went on to reverse the words of former British
    Direct Ruler Peter Brooke, who in 1985 proclaimed his party had no
    selfish, strategic or economic interest in being in the North, a
    statement considered fundamental to the subsequent peace process.

    He provocatively declared that having the Six Counties firmly
    controlled by the United Kingdom was “in the interests of Northern
    Ireland” and “in the interests of the United Kingdom”.

    And he added, as a nationalistic Briton, “It’s in my own selfish
    interests too”.

    It was a pivotal moment in the speech, on what could prove to be a
    pivotal day for Mr Cameron.

    It was also confirmed that he UUP and Conservative Party will cooperate
    at next year’s European Union election and the next election to the
    London parliament.

    A decision has yet to be made as to whether the arrangement will be
    expanded to a future assembly election.


    Meanwhile, a ‘forum’ of the 26-County Fianna Fail party has been set up
    across the border in the Crossmaglen/South Armagh area. The initiative
    may eventually lead to the party developing a political base in the Six

    This move is different from speculation in earlier months of some kind
    of political link up with the SDLP, now seen as unlikely.

    It is understood that at this stage the initiative is considered as a
    step in terms of organising branches, or cumainn, in the Six Counties.
    There are no plans at present to field Fianna Fail candidates in
    northern elections.


  3. British Army in ‘draw down’

    The British Army is to change its official status in Ireland in a move
    to highlight the demilitarisation and so-called “normalisation” in the

    For the first time in 30 years the British Army will have no general
    officer commanding (GOC) to head its military operation in Ireland.
    Instead a brigadier will be put in charge.

    The downgrading in status is an extension of last year’s withdrawal of
    troops from the north which marked the end of Operation Banner, the
    British Army’s name for its part in the conflict.

    In practical terms it only means around 30 military personal leaving
    army headquarters at Thiepval barracks in Lisburn, County Antrim.

    Five thousand troops will still be “permanently” based on Irish soil.
    Many of these are currently engaged in other active occupations in the
    Middle East.

    With British forces still engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
    Ireland is now low on their list of military priorities.

    The departing GOC General Brown said this week there was no longer a
    need for “public order support”.

    “We still provide bomb disposal, as has been seen in recent days and
    weeks, and that will continue.

    “The PSNI have neither the desire nor the capability to provide their
    own bomb disposal.”

    Brown suggested that street violence surrounding the Whiterock Orange
    parade in west Belfast in 2005 delayed the announcement.

    Management of the highly contentious Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) march
    through Belfast in November was seen as the final test of the
    normalisation process.

    Brown said the British Army parade through Belfast city centre
    demonstrated how normal the North had become.

    “We had fewer people arrested on November 2nd than are arrested at an
    average fourth division football match,” he boasted.

    With British troops on standby, the parade was policed entirely by the
    PSNI at a cost of almost half a million pounds.

    A spokesperson for Republican Sinn Fein said that despite the
    appearance of movement, the status quo would remain indefinitely.

    “Recent admissions by Hugh Orde that his force is unable to patrol the
    streets as they please because of the ever resurgent military
    opposition to English rule shows that the military situation in Ireland
    is far from ‘normal’.”

    “The only normal number of British soldiers in our country is none.
    Brown admits that ‘this is not a withdrawal’, but a full British
    withdrawal remains the Republican demand.”


    >>>>>> Loyalists target former INLA man

    A former republican PoW last night blamed loyalists for a pipe-bomb
    attack on his west Belfast home.

    Gerard Foster, now a spokesman for the Irish Republican Socialist
    Party, said that he returned to his flat on Lenadoon Avenue on Monday
    night to find that a kitchen window had been smashed and a pipe-bomb
    thrown inside.

    “I arrived home shortly before 8pm to find a pipe bomb lying between
    the kitchen and living room,” he said.

    “A friend called the PSNI and the British army bomb squad took more
    than eight hours to defuse it.

    “The CID detectives told me that it was a viable device and that they
    are treating it as attempted murder.”

    Mr Foster, who had previously been warned by police on four occasions
    that his life was under threat from loyalist paramilitaries, said: “The
    cross-community work that I am involved in means that I regularly work
    with former UVF and UDA prisoners and even former RUC and British army

    “I am someone who is working to bring the two communities together but
    because of that work someone is trying to kill me and my family.

    “My 11-year-old daughter regularly sits in that room to do her homework
    and could easily have been killed if it had gone off.”

    Mr Foster claimed that police had failed to publicise the bomb attack
    on his home properly and had given the impression that the bomb had
    been found on the road.

    “I am angry that this attack is not being reported properly and that
    people are trying to down-play it and put it across as some kind of
    INLA stunt,” he said.

    “It was a deliberate attempt to kill me and my family.”

    IRSP spokesman Paul Little said his party would meet loyalist
    representatives to determine whether the UVF or UDA had been involved
    in the attack.

    “We will be asking these groups to condemn this attempted murder
    outright and to disassociate themselves from it. Gerard Foster is a
    well respected community worker in west Belfast and had helped set up
    the local residents’ association,” he said.


    >>>>>> United Ireland referendum soon – SF

    A referendum on a united Ireland could be held before 2016, Sinn Fein’s
    Conor Murphy has said.

    At a public briefing, An Ireland of Equals — the Peace Process and
    Beyond, held in the House of Commons, Mr Murphy said that reunification
    was not a spectator sport.

    “We were accused of setting 2016 as the date for the hundred-year
    anniversary. It may take longer,” he said.

    “But I actually think it could happen sooner than that in reality if we
    keep the momentum going when the economic realities and the political
    realities hit.

    “We have received an awful lot of attention over the last 10 years with
    American presidents and other nations dropping in but that will start
    to wane.

    “Then we will start to realise we are a small island, we have quite a
    lot going for us.

    “All these small signs show we will ultimately have to take charge of
    ourselves in the end,” he added.

    In a separate development, the 2007 annual population reports, released
    this week, showed an increase in the birth rate in the Six Counties,
    from 13.4 births per thousand of population to 13.9.

    Some commentators believe the traditionally higher birth rate among
    Catholics could ultimately lead to a nationalist majority.

    There was an overall 1% increase in the population of North, to an
    estimated 1,759,000.

    With the population of the 26 Counties now at 4,422,100 it means the
    total population of the island is higher than at any time since the

    However, the latest figures also show the population of Dublin will
    fall in the coming decades for the first time since the Famine if
    immigrants stop coming to Ireland, as is expected.


    >>>>>> Feature: The Sinn Fein election

    Donal Kennedy looks at the electoral facts surrounding Sinn Fein’s
    historic victory at the 1918 General Election, ninety years ago this
    week, and takes issue with those academics, journalists and politicians
    who seek to undermine its democratic legitimacy.

    On 28 January 1919, exactly one week after the first meeting of Dail
    Eireann, a young man remarked in his diary –

    “Just one thing occurs to me to mention before I put this diary away:
    an example of how our claim for self-determination of small nations
    -championed by Britain in the name of the Czechs – is misrepresented by
    politicians and newspapers there. In quoting statistics for last year’s
    general election they give the total votes cast for and against Sinn
    Fein only in contested elections, completely ignoring the 25
    constituencies where Sinn Fein candidates were returned unopposed, thus
    presenting an entirely misleading picture.”

    Ninety years on Irish politicians, newspapers and academics have
    adopted the disingenuous begrudgery of the British commentators
    remarked on by Edward MacLysaght, who lived from 1887 to 1986, whose
    character may well be remembered by some readers.

    Professor Richard English of Queen’s University, Belfast, in his study
    of Ernie O’Malley, remarks that Sinn Fein polled “only 47 per cent” of
    the votes cast in Ireland. Ex-taoiseach and chancellor of the National
    University of Ireland, Garret Fitzgerald, I’m advised, has also made
    the same claim, in the Irish Times.

    The party Fitzgerald led, and its predecessor, Cumann na Gael, would
    have been so lucky to get 47 per cent of votes cast, ever! For they
    never won the hearts of the Irish people. Abstentionist republicans
    allowed Cumann na Gael to rule from 1923 to 1932, and Fitzgerald would
    never have formed his first government if an IRA prisoner and an INLA
    prisoner hadn’t been elected to the Dail in 1981.

    One Stephen King, writing in the Irish Examiner (3 December 2008)
    acknowledges the 25 uncontested seats but would have us believe that
    the Irish Parliamentary Party, some of whose members, and tens of
    thousands of whose supporters, had faced German artillery and machine
    guns for four years in France, was intimidated by a virtually totally
    unarmed republican movement, many of whose candidates and key workers,
    including Desmond Fitzgerald, Garret’s father, had meekly allowed
    themselves to be arrested, deported and jailed by the British.

    The fact is uncontested constituencies were quite common in Ireland and
    Britain in 1918, as indeed they were prior to 1918.

    In 1906 unionists got more than 50 per cent of the votes cast in
    Ireland but nationalists took the lion’s share of the seats, 84 of
    which were uncontested.

    In 1886 unionists got more than 50 per cent of the votes cast, but
    nationalists got the lion’s share of the seats, 66 of which were

    Did the unionists complain, whining like Terry Molloy in On The
    Waterfront – “I coulda had class, I coulda been a contender, coulda
    been somebody, not just a bum” ?

    Did they, heck! Elections were of secondary interest to conservatives
    and unionists. Votes, Irish or British could be overruled. In 1906 the
    Conservative Party was reduced to about 25 per cent of the seats in the
    House of Commons, and Arthur Balfour,who had been the prime minister,
    lost his seat. Unfazed, he addressed his followers saying that the
    party, in office or out, should control the affairs of “this Great
    Empire.” As the Lords, with a Conservative/unionist majority could veto
    Bills passed by the Commons, it was no idle boast.

    When the veto was removed the Conservatives and unionists took to the
    para-military to complement the parliamentary road. ” A rifle in one
    hand and a ballot in the other” one might say.

    Anyway, to dispose of the bum analysis peddled by the enemies of
    democracy, Sinn Fein in 1918 took 73 seats, nationalists 6 and
    unionists 26.

    All the Unionists, except two for Dublin University (Trinity College)
    and one for Rathmines, then a Borough on the edge of Dublin, were in
    Ulster. Every other seat save Waterford in the provinces of Leinster,
    Connacht and Munster, went to Sinn Fein.

    In those three provinces wherever Sinn Fein and the Nationalists
    slugged it out toe-to-toe Sinn took over 50 per cent of the votes cast
    in every constituency except Waterford. Five of the Nationalist seats
    were retained in Ulster, some of them because of an understanding with
    Sinn Fein aimed at keeping the Unionists out.

    I believe that the Sinn Fein victory of 1918 was a popular one
    unequalled in these islands since. In the 12 UK general elections since
    1964, where all, save the Speaker’s seat, have been contested, only
    once did the party which won power equal the 47 per cent of the votes
    cast,which Sinn Fein won in 1918 when there were so many uncontested
    seats. By way of contrast, the current UK government took about 32 per
    cent of the votes cast in 2005.


    >>>>>> Analysis: Vilifying the dead

    O what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

    The stench arising from the current British enquiry into the murder of
    the Lurgan solicitor, Rosemary Nelson must surely assail the nostrils
    of those at the front line in the defence of human rights around the

    The murders of the defence lawyers Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane
    shocked even those of us who were used to the dirty war being waged on
    our streets. The murders also shocked people in the United Nations, and
    the European Parliament and perhaps for the first time, the extent of
    British violations of human rights in the North of Ireland dirty war
    became a focus for international human right organisations throughout
    the world. Who would believe that a country claiming to be the mother
    of Parliamentary democracy would preside over a system, nay even be
    part of a system that murders lawyers? That only happens in Latin
    American dictatorships or so they tell us. Yet under British democracy,
    death squads, official and unofficial, have operated in the 6 Counties
    for the past forty years.

    Rosemary Nelson was a victim of the death squads. The Mother of four
    children was blown to bits by a bomb placed beneath her car on a cold
    day in March, 1999. Long before the death squads finished her off, this
    small woman, a lawyer and champion of human rights, had been subjected
    to years of threats from RUC officers and Unionist paramilitary
    organisations in the Lurgan area of the North.

    In September 1998 a year before she was murdered, she testified before
    a United States Congressional hearing during which she stated that
    because she represented suspects detained for questioning about
    politically motivated offences, she had began to experience
    difficulties with the RUC. She claimed that these difficulties involved
    RUC officers questioning her professional integrity, making allegations
    that she was a member of a paramilitary group and at their most
    serious, making threats against her personal safety including death
    threats to herself and her children. She also told of receiving
    threatening phone calls and letters and of being physically assaulted,
    intimidated and verbally abused by the RUC during the Drumcree standoff
    in 1997.

    Many of the Human Rights organisations including CAJ, the British Irish
    Watch, and the United Nations special investigator Param Curamaswamy
    accepted that her complaints were valid. At least sixteen other
    solicitors had also made complaints against the RUC for alleged threats
    although it was suspected that this did not represent the true extent
    of alleged RUC intimidation of solicitors representing
    Republicans/Nationalist suspects.

    So serious did the threats become against Rosemary Nelson that the
    Independent Commission for Police Complaints took the unprecedented
    step to refer them to the then Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam.

    A lesser person would have given up and moved but Rosemary Nelson was
    no ordinary lawyer.

    She pursued the RUC over the killing of Robert Hamill and successfully
    helped Colin Duffy to appeal his conviction on a charge of murder. But
    it was her work with Brendan Mac Coinnaith and the Garvaghy Road
    Residents Association that earned her the hostility of Unionist
    Paramilitary organisations, closely associated with the RUC.

    When the death threats didn’t work, hundreds of leaflets using the most
    vile language, impugning her reputation and claiming that she was
    having affairs with known IRA men, were posted all over Lurgan. It is
    tribute to her bravery and the loyalty of her husband that she
    continued to do her work on behalf of the people.

    The same allegations surfaced last week when the British established
    enquiry heard claims by an anonymous RUC Special Branch man hiding
    behind a curtain, that were similar to the leaflets in Lurgan all those
    years ago.

    Neither those who knew Rosemary or the wider Nationalists community
    were surprised although most were outraged that in a time of political
    policing progress; the bad old days of the RUC haven’t gone away.

    But then scurrilous and malicious allegations and character
    assassination is the stock in trade of the British establishment and
    their puppet police and paramilitaries.

    The minds of the people had to be destroyed before the subjugation of
    their bodies. It was the first story that counted, usually lies, half
    truths and smears so brilliantly described by the former British
    intelligence officers, and whistle blowers, Colin Wallace and Fred
    Holyroyd. Their job in Lisburn RUC station was to peddle as much
    disinformation as a compliant media would accept. Both became the
    victims of character assassination by their British Masters when they
    fell foul of MI5.

    We don’t have to stray far from our own City for such examples for
    examples of the character assassination of the dead. The dead of Bloody
    Sunday were vilified throughout the world, before their corpses were
    even cold. The Widgery enquiry put the official British seal on the

    Indeed an enquiry has been set up by the British for every atrocity
    they have committed over the past forty years. The objectives were
    never about truth or proper investigation but to make the issue sub
    judice, in the hope that by the time the inquiry reported, the incident
    would be forgotten. The opportunity to impugn the integrity of the
    victim or witnesses was an additional bonus.

    Those with long memories will recall the Bennet enquiry into the
    beating of suspects in interrogation centres by the RUC. Doctor Irwin a
    police doctor, who had examined many of the suspects, spoke on
    television about the number of injuries he had seen. He was accused in
    a leaked story to the Daily Telegraph, of holding a grudge against the
    RUC because of their failure to investigate a crime by a member of the
    security forces against his wife.

    The allegations that death squad operations were official British
    Government policy resulted in another enquiry headed up by the Deputy
    Chief Constable of Manchester John Stalker. A professional policeman,
    he got to close to the truth and had to be removed but not before his
    character and those of his associates had been destroyed and his career
    as a policeman finished.

    Even the reputation and integrity of the United Nations Rappateur Param
    Cumaraswamy was publicly questioned by the RUC because he raised
    concerns about the threats to Rosemary Nelson and the lack of a proper
    investigation into the murder of Pat Finucane.

    The problem with all the enquiries set up over the years including the
    current ones is that the terms of reference are set by the British.

    The lawyers representing the family of Rosemary Nelson were not
    permitted last week, to cross examine the witness who impugned her
    reputation. Yet special status in all these enquiries is given to MI5
    as well as to former RUC officers and representatives of the Ministry
    of Defence. It is becoming clear that the objectives of the current
    enquiries advocated by the Canadian Judge Cory are more concerned with
    character assassination than with establishing collusion in the murder
    of Rosemary Nelson. It is equally clear that the British Government
    can’t afford an enquiry that will be truly independent.

    It was the late Fr. Denis Faul who in the course of his work in
    exposing the atrocities of the British Army and the RUC in the 1970’s
    stated ‘I can verify that the British never told the truth about a
    single thing they ever did in this country.’

    If the current enquiries are anything to go by, truth is not part of
    their agenda.

    Someone once stated that Ireland has always been the rock upon which
    English virtue has floundered. To that could be added the virtue and
    credibility of British enquiries.




  4. Patronising

    IRISH opponents of the Lisbon Treaty will doubtless afford maximum publicity to the “explanation” given by Britain’s Minister for Europe Caroline Flint as to why people in the republic voted overwhelmingly No.

    Her explanation sums up the patronising and arrogant attitude of the pro-EU centralisation elite.

    The poor simpletons in Ireland apparently rejected the united sound advice of all major political parties, the media, business and farming interests because they hadn’t understood the treaty and had been misled by the No campaigners.

    Who told her so? It was “some people” she met in Dublin a month ago – presumably the same “some people” who thought, before the referendum, that they could con the Irish people into believing that the Lisbon Treaty was something qualitatively different from the EU constitution that French and Dutch voters had already rejected.

    The Irish know better than most the contempt of the EU great powers for people’s sovereignty in smaller states and Ms Flint’s dismissive comment that, in the event of a second No vote, “we will cross that bridge when we come to it,” indicates a readiness to ignore or override the voters’ decision.

    If and when Brussels, with the connivance of Brian Cowen’s quisling government, forces a second vote, supporters of national democracy across Europe will rely on Ireland’s electorate to stand firm.


  5. > Belgian EU-treaty ratification still pending?
    > On December 10th 2008 the Belgian campaign *Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg*
    > (1)*
    > *addressed the Constitutional Court of Belgium. In a first request, they
    > demand the cancellation of the Flemish ratification.
    > *Notre mot à dire*/*Onze Zeg* wants the Court to find out if this
    > constitutional treaty can be voted by a parliament. Won’t the treaty
    > the constitutional position of Belgium? Has the Belgian procedure been
    > executed properly? Are the Irish referendums a matter of discrimination
    > towards the Belgian people? Are the opt-outs in the Treaty in conflict
    > the principle of equalities?
    > In Belgium the Royal Assent on the Lisbon Treaty has not yet been
    > officially
    > announced, half a year after the vote of the last regional parliament
    > (July
    > 10th). Browse the “Moniteur belge”
    > here
    > .
    > The Belgian ratification process requires an agreement between the federal
    > parliament en all different regional parliaments (click
    > here).
    > The discussion on this decisive agreement is postponed due to the
    > between the political parties north and south of the country. It is not
    > clear when Belgium will sort this out.
    > Both facts (Court and lacking Royal Assent) mean Belgium has not yet
    > entirely finished the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, though
    > all official EU-websites are stating that only Ireland is left.
    > * *
    > Belgium can now be added on top of the list of countries that have
    > problems
    > concerning the treaty’s ratification (Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic,
    > Ireland and Finland). The Lisbon treaty can only go into effect after it
    > has
    > been ratified by all the member states.
    > Belgian government is misinforming the people and the other EU-members.
    > “deposition of the ratification instruments” is used to cover up an
    > unfinished ratification process. With this request *Notre mot à
    > dire*/*Onze
    > Zeg* intends to make clear this way of handling is not worthy of a
    > democratic, legal state.
    > *Notre mot à dire/Onze Zeg* asks a clear and honest answer. Is the Belgian
    > ratification finished, yes or no?


  6. Dublin prepares Yes conspiracy

    UNDER pressure from their grand masters in the EU, the Irish government is going flat out to convince voters that they got it wrong on the Lisbon Treaty in the previous referendum last May.

    Having promised to deliver a Yes vote whatever it took, the government coalition led by Fianna Fail has been stepping up its efforts to bamboozle, cajole and bribe enough people to vote Yes in the coming rerun.

    While the Irish government is undoubtedly working hard to isolate sections of the broad coalition of forces opposed to Lisbon, groups such as the People’s Movement, Ireland’s main progressive opposition to the Lisbon Treaty, and the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA), which advocates an independent Irish foreign policy and the maintenance of Irish neutrality, are working equally hard to do it all again and secure a second No vote.

    Such groups deserve our solidarity. While we can’t contribute to their campaign funds, nothing prevents us from sending messages of solidarity or from encouraging friends and relatives who are eligible to vote No and to point out that such a course of action would be in the interests of working people throughout the EU.

    Solidarity messages can be emailed to the People’s Movement at and to PANA at Alternatively, they can be sent by post to People’s Movement, 25 Shanowen Avenue, Dublin 9, Ireland and to PANA, 17 Castle Street, Dalkey, Co Dublin, Ireland.


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