Gunboat takes aim at democracy

THE disconnect between the Government and the citizens whose interests it has been elected to represent has been strikingly illustrated by the recent astoundingly coercive measure taken against the Shell to Sea protesters.

Although the navy was never once deployed to protect Irish fishermen whose boats were being rammed by bigger foreign vessels and, in fact, contended that it had no right to do so, the Government sees fit to deploy a navy gunboat to ‘protect’ a multinational company from peaceful protesters.

So, on the one hand, the navy cannot protect Irish fishermen earning their livelihoods in our territorial waters, where the Government has ceded a substantial portion of our national assets to third parties, but on the other hand it ‘protects’ a multinational to which it has again ceded a portion of our national assets against unarmed Irish citizens living in and depending on the area for their livelihoods.

Our own people have been jailed for asserting their rights as citizens while a multinational refuses to comply with the terms attached to its gift.

It is clear the Government apparently no longer sees its role as being that of representing and protecting the interests of Irish citizens but rather representing and protecting supranational interests over and against those of its own people.

No doubt if the Government manages to circumvent the will of the people as democratically expressed with regard to the legally dead Lisbon Treaty, the sovereignty-draining provisions of its articles will enable it to do so with even greater efficiency in future at the behest of France and Germany whose needs and interests determine most of the EU’s policies.

Michael O’Driscoll

Menloe House

Blackrock

Cork

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