All stand for Lisbon part 2. What does it all mean? As someone who did vote last time, I feel a certain degree of annoyance at being asked to vote again for the following reasons:
The next time I am asked to choose between the political wannabes and chancers that we call our political elite, and I put an x beside whoever looks the least likely to do me some personal harm, will the voting machine (lol) suddenly spring to life and shake, flashing a warning and announcing in the best voice synthesis that money can buy – “You have voted for the wrong candidate, please go to Ministry For Truth for re-education?”. I mean seriously. This is the thin end of the wedge.
So even though I /do/ have a rather ambivalent attitude towards the democratic process as an Irishman I feel duty bound to honour the democratic process due to the bravery of Pearse, Connolly, McDonagh et al, as they did lay down their lives to rid Ireland of the colonial yoke wielded by perfidious Albion. However, that’s about where it stops. Asking a load of Donkeys who they want to lead them will yield – well – a Donkey. I have nothing against Donkeys I may add, but I would have as much faith in voting for the neighbours cat to lead the Irish people to the promised land as I would in our current crop of fearless leaders. Alas, the cat isn’t likely to put himself forward as a candidate, which is a shame – we need a political animal with cat like skills of preservation and a certain alacrity and perceptiveness that you just don’t find in humans. Also the ability to quickly climb a tree may come in handy.
But I digress. Lisbon is /not/ about the current Fianna Fail administration but it could easily /become/ about the current Fianna Fail administration. The donkeys are not happy, are they concerned about us all walking into the arms of a European superstate? Where we freely surrender our ability to govern ourselves to some nice man called Franz, with a degree in Business Administration and a post-grad in politics – who as far as he is concerned thinks the troubles in Ireland were just a tiff, because we all now shop in Tesco? No, these things aren’t a concern. Some vague morality posturing is foremost in the minds of Coir, wrapped up in flannel about the minimum wage but really its about the unborn. But as Coir will soon discover, they just can’t successfully stem the tide with cheap shots of disinformation about the minimum wage as the Catholic church emits a death rattle. Many will vote no just to have a pop at Fianna Fail, which is daft, and pointless as many of these fools voted for them in the first place. Maybe each country gets the government it deserves.
Either way the ship has sailed, if we didn’t want a superstate we shouldn’t have adopted the Euro, what more of a come to bed signal does anyone need? We are in bed now, roll over and scratch. Nice. I mean the treaty, not nice.
So why are we so quick to surrender ourselves to foreign powers? Is there something wanting in the Irish psyche? Do we so miss the 800 horrible years of horrible struggle, hardship, civil war under the rule of Britain that we long for the comforting arm of a stronger nation that we can take shelter of? We are making such a balls of our country right now, should we be asking the Brits back? Oh, sorry, we were on our own for a bit an didn’t like it. There were some tough decisions to be made and a lot of cute hoors made money on the back of the new aspirational middle class..
suckers.. sorry the public.. Please come back and mind us!
Well, no. That’s not a solution, is it? However, you really would be fool if you thought that we could go it alone and say no to Lisbon. Aside from trying to live with the diplomatic fallout (imagine the uncomfortable silences at breakfast while our Irish diplomatic stiffs munch croissants in the Borschette). Like it or not Europe is the model of the future. We (humanity) are so dependent on each other to prop each other up in the quest for the great American dream of conspicuous consumption and endless sense gratification. At least Europe has history, art, great music and literature. Sure the American Indians would have had that too, if we gave them a chance, and they were not all slaughtered by greedy WASPs looking for the new Jerusalem. Only on that score we will never know.
So what to do, Yes/Non? Oui/Non? Ja/Nein? Or is the fact that the only referendum to take place is happening in one of the smallest most insignificant suburbs off, off Broadway (sic) an indicator of what Europe really thinks of us? I think we are boned if we say no. Quicker than you could say “Bjork” we would go down the swanny without the Euro paddle and all its subsidies. God, image it, a country without EU directives. We would never be able to find our way home from the pub. Or we wouldn’t want to leave it. If we say yes – will we end up in a trade war with China over who has a right to sell ‘smart economy widgets’ to the Philipines? Or will our children get dragged into an oil war? Or the next time Berlesconi publically offends Angela Merkel will we have to defend her honour by talking up arms due to this new system of alliance? Hmm, maybe that would be a war worth fighting.