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Give each of us a copy of the legally binding agreement and stop trying to kick sand in our eyes

“HERE be dragons” is what the cartographers of the ancient world wrote on the edges of their maps when they came to unknown oceans and lands.

It would be a good idea to consider the credentials of Irish politicians now urging us to vote in favour of the Lisbon Treaty in a jolly and confident sort of “come on in, the water’s lovely” tone, although some less nonchalant observers have put up signs advising the reckless to “beware of sharks“.

As the politicians now cheerleading for the Lisbon Treaty are, by and large, the same people who either sat complacently in the Dáil or wallowed in the excesses of bankers, builders and others of consequence, I have to wonder at their unmitigated gall in expecting anyone to believe a word they say.

The verbal formula about a so-called binding legal agreement addressing the doubts of those who voted no just last year isn’t worth the paper it’s not written on, but I am willing to be persuaded that this “binding legal document” exists when every voter is given a copy of the “binding legal agreement” for perusal without the politicos and spindoctors attempting to kick sand into our eyes. Could we have a clear answer on how far Sarkozy and Merkel wish to expand eastwards, to include many more countries than the present 27? There are people in Irish political life, such as Simon Coveney TD, who believe Turkey should be admitted to the EU, a proposition that has already been warmly supported by the US under the Bush presidency. This would take the EU into the seething cauldron of Middle East politics as Turkey has borders with Iraq, Syria, Iran, Bulgaria, Greece, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Turkey, which is the beneficiary of the American military-industrial complex, is also on relatively friendly terms with Israel, even though Iran and Israel are mortal enemies and both of these countries have the nuclear option.

Well, as I don’t expect to be hearing from Nicolas Sarkozy or Angela Merkel any time soon, perhaps those politicians now wooing the voter to say yes in a marriage of convenience could tell us how big the marital bed is to be and if Russia might not get more than a little angry at seeing western Europe (with US connivance) expanding eastward once again as it did in the 1940s when the policy of lebensraum was perfectly in accord with Nazi Germany’s need for “living space” and Azerbaijan’s oil was an attractive resource.

Are we being given any clear answers as to why the EU needs to expand into areas of tension and conflict? No, we are getting the usual gobbledegook from politicians less able to see the wider picture than to focus on saving their own skins in the next Irish general election.

The EU has shown no respect for our democracy but now, if we prove that we can be pushed around and the Taoiseach is prepared to take orders from the president of France, which is what he did in the wake of last year’s no vote, there is no need to pretend we are an independent republic any longer. We must, henceforth, simply do as we’re told and we will be held in such high esteem for our integrity, intelligence and competence that the jobs will come rolling in. After all, the EU has had ample proof of our ability to live in Never-Neverland and that the Peter Principle applies to our Government in a manner only rivalled by Iceland. We could see ourselves, in political terms, as having been shackled by public representatives who have embodied the Peter Principle, each rising to the level of his or her own incompetence and some being so inept that they’ve been given ministries as a reward for ineptitude.

Now if we don’t give Bully EU what he wants, fire and brimstone will rain down on top of our heads and we won’t get the reward of being “at the heart of Europe”, an anatomical impossibility no matter how often politicians say it with a straight face. Sarkozy and Merkel don’t think we are as adorable as we might like to think we are. France and Germany are coming out of recession already as they did not follow the Anglo-American banking system, as we so foolishly did, and Sarkozy’s priority is jobs for the French when he clearly showed favour to the French car industry last year to the outrage of car manufactuerers in eastern Europe, although they too were EU member states.

Angela Merkel is facing a general election and it is Germans she has to please, and she also wants Croatia, historically a German ally, to be admitted to the EU’s rich man’s club. The only leverage Ireland has is the right to hold a referendum. By voting yes we will be cutting our own throats and our voice will not be heard again except to whine that we were deceived by our own cowardly politicians but nobody will be listening by then.

I do not want to live in a country where we will be expected to kowtow to an unelected president of Europe and the name most recently touted for this eminence is former British prime minister Tony Blair, the man who committed his country to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the Americans in their invasion of Iraq in 2003 and many thousands of deaths ago.

The sheer nerve of top politicians urging us to accept the Lisbon Treaty while admitting they hadn’t read it completely was insulting enough to the electorate in 2008 but they have now compounded that insult by refusing to accept the verdict of the people.

This is little short of totalitarianism by men and women of dishonour who haven’t the integrity or courage to bear witness to the truth.

As for the next generation that a real statesman should be concerned about, I hope that all the babies born in our recent “baby boom” will not grow into adulthood cursing the generation of politicians who cajoled the electorate into voting yes, an electorate willing to accept the word of proven opportunists and their “binding legal agreement” which isn’t a piece of paper worthy of wrapping last year’s dead fish.

Maureen O’Donnell

Haig Gardens




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