Sarah Clancy, an activist aquaintance, recently had a letter posted in the Galway Independent about the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, which I thought was very well phrased.
Below is the text of the letter. (With thanks to Sarah for allowing me to reproduce.)
It is not in the interests of either Ireland or the EU to allow something now euphemistically named ‘Lisbon’ to be used as a symbol of Ireland’s unwillingness to cooperate with the other countries in the Union. Recently, in the media the debate on Lisbon has become removed from the details of the treaty itself. Our politicians must be encouraged to re- read it (if in fact they read it the first time) once more. The details merit close scrutiny under the current economic circumstances. This Government’s attitude to Europe has been very effectively displayed by Brian Lenihan’s solo run Bank Guarantee scheme. The Treaty of Lisbon contains no clause that would have shored up our banking system in the face of mismanagement and shoddy regulation. It contains many that would make such independently conceived interventions as the bank guarantee scheme illegal.
The chief problem with the Lisbon treaty was, and is that it is a political policy-document that is long passed its sell-by date. Though it was disingenuously presented to the Irish electorate and the European citizenry as a mere rule book or set of structures through which the EU would function more efficiently all of those who have read the Lisbon treaty will recognise that it contains commitments to two ideologies -market liberalisation and militarisation. It also contains concrete methods for the realisation of these ideologies and in some instances even provision for sanction for those states that deviate from them.
Notwithstanding the fact that there are arguments to made either in favour or against either of these ideologies they have no place in a treaty. Their suitability is always dependent on the circumstances in which they are to be applied, however the supporters of Lisbon want us to agree to enshrine these particular ideologies into the very structure of our EU institutions irrespective of circumstance or change of personnel. The removal of our democratic right to decide what type of political ideology we chose to order both our individual nations and the EU by is much more serious than such issues as losing our commissioner or our taxation regime.
Lisbon contains a zealot’s type of blind commitment to one by now spectacularly failing economic model. It will erode the flexibility we need to meet the economic social and environmental challenges that we Europeans now face.
Economic events should, by now have proven that it is surely unwise to enshrine a market fundamentalist type of ideology that is going out of fashion faster than legwarmers in the eighties into the structures of the EU?
It could well turn out that the most pro European act of the people of Ireland in recent times has been the rejection of the flawed, outdated and now ideologically discredited Lisbon Treaty.