27 August 2009 Edition
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Lisbon 2 deception
AS LISBON 2 approaches the Government and their cronies are lining up to tell us how we should vote; promising that everything will be different this time. We have been given guarantees by European leaders that answer all of our concerns they tell us. IBEC, the IFA and many other special interest groups support Lisbon. We will be cast out; no longer at the centre of European decision making if we vote No. Our economy will suffer as we are deserted in droves by international businesses.
The recent past has shown us just what a politician’s promise is worth, regardless of how many assurances we are given. IBEC and other special interest groups want Lisbon passed so that they can employ cheap labour from abroad without having to pay such inconveniences as pensions, health benefits, sick pay and the Irish legal minimum wage. We cannot be cast out of Europe without our consent and how much closer to the centre of European decision making can we be than deciding Europe’s future via referendum? Our economy has already suffered under rules that Lisbon 2 will copperfasten into law; it’s time for new socio-economic thinking that will benefit people and not businesses.
The Europe that we joined in the seventies was an economic union and not the political monster that it has become. As the political establishment in Ireland sell our sovereignty for their thirty pieces of silver it falls to us to defend our freedoms. Everyone with a shred of patriotism must work towards a second No 2 Lisbon.
Lisbon and independence
THE NEXT British Government will be led by the Conservative Party. William Hague, their spokesman on Foreign Affairs, wants the Irish to vote No. More important was his commitment in the Irish Times of 26 July last year: “If Lisbon remains unratified by all EU member states, a Conservative government will put Britain’s ratification of the treaty on ice and hold a referendum, recommending a No vote”. This means that a British referendum will happen only if Ireland votes No this October. And we know that in a referendum the British people will overwhelmingly vote No.
This inevitably means that if we vote Yes in October, Britain, which has already ratified Lisbon through its Parliament, will stay in the core EU. This will be the case even under the Conservatives. So of course will our country, North and South.
But, equally inevitably, if we Irish vote No, Britain and Ireland will be outside the core project of Europe, which most (not all) of the other 25 member states will continue to push forward, led forcefully by the ancient mutual enemies France and Germany. The most discouraging strategic problem for Irish nationalists for generations will then confront us: a small group of mainly smaller countries and one larger country, Britain, will have to negotiate thousands of issues with the core EU submissively ‘from the outside’ and, whether we like it or not, the core EU, a global power centre, will deal on these matters, not with Ireland, but overwhelmingly through Britain.
Inevitability we will then be back where the colonial British always wanted us: in the pre-1973 (when we joined the EU) cauldron of Anglo-Irish claustrophobia, dependence and suffocation. It was Ireland’s common and equal membership of the wider EU that eliminated our dependent status with Britain. Without it there would have been no serious Anglo-Irish negotiations on the North, no Anglo-Irish Agreement, no Good Friday Accord. What is more, the Irish once inside the EU, proved (much more than our neighbours) to be masters of the Community’s decision-making processes, gaining us respect, economic advantage and real independence viz-a-vis Britain such as we had never previously enjoyed.
Refuse to use KFC
IT HAS come to my attention that a new KFC ‘restaurant’ is opening around the corner from the Sinn Féin head offices. This, quite frankly, sickens me. KFC have been exposed on numerous occasions since 2003 for their brutality and cruelty towards chickens, in fact, I would almost argue that they are famous for it. While our government has proven to be incompetent at succeeding in anything, I believe it is time for them to finally stand up against these multi billion corporations, and if they don’t, we will.
I would hope that my comrades in Sinn Féin would not support these horrific abusers and refuse to purchase anything from them, as the smallest acts can make the biggest differences. These corporations are the best example of how our capitalist system works; they have no remorse or care for the very thing that provides them with an income, in this case, the chickens.
I understand that meat is eaten throughout the world, but we need to stop this ‘factory farming’ and help give the animals a better life. They are not here for the sole purpose of being our dinner, they are living, breathing and feeling beings and by eating from KFC we are showing that we don’t care.
As a socialist party, we must show our disgust at these American corporations and stop cultural imperialism, as citizens of Ireland we must support local produce and farmers and as people we must oppose the sad and horrible abuse of animals.
High price of school books
ONE of the most costly expenditures for parents with school children are the books for each new year in August. For what it is worth I believe that parents are being charged way over the normal prices for these books.
The Minister for Education could do the people some service by tackling this ongoing problem with high prices and that certain books can only be bought in selected shops.
PÓL Ó DEORÁIN,
Baile Átha Cliath.