From Irish Political Review: July 2008

Thank you, Madam.

The Lisbon referendum result has come in as we go to press.

There will no doubt be many calls for reflection after the No result. We offer our initial thoughts. The EU Project is not what it was. The Irish electorate knew this in its bones. So do many other electorates. The Project has not yet recovered from the ending of the Cold War and may not ever do so.

It was originally the main European nations recognising their place in the world was now reduced to their own role as relatively small nation-states in a small area of the world and recognising the sense of making arrangements to work in a co-operative social entity, independent of the UK, the US and the USSR.

Now it is driven by the main nations of Europe and the UK finding again, and exercising again, their old Imperialist instincts and finding a new life for them. They want to add military weight to these instincts. It should not be forgotten that the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland and others have imperial pasts. Ireland's very raison d'etre is anti-Imperial. It can smell an imperialist a mile off (always determined of course to save them and the world from themselves).

The rag-bag opposition to Lisbon did not win this referendum (even after dispensing with the services of Anthony Coughlan). The arrogance of the Irish political elite and Europe did that. Even before the result was officially announced, Barrosso was encouraging those who had not endorsed the Lisbon Treaty to do so because the Treaty was not dead! But the Treaty was legally dead!

Uniting Europe needs some basic ground rules. One is recognising that uniting a number of historic political and social entities is a major task. It is quite an undertaking uniting those two small entities on the island of Ireland. These many entities are organic and uniting them is a delicate issue. It is not a mechanical or mathematical matter of voting, planning, scheming, legalising and documenting the process in various ways. The hearts, and not just the smart brains, have to be fully engaged. And having sheer numbers determining the issues will simply not work. It did not work in Northern Ireland

But this is the current EU methodology. This is not working, nor will it work. The Irish know what a written Constitution is. They have an understandable, working model. They know it is a tool for their benefit not a weapon to push policies that people do not want or understand. . A Constitution of this nature was presented in Europe before—and rejected in referendums. This has now been re-presented but called a Treaty—but no European country will be given a vote on it this time. Gordon Brown had promised a vote in England, but will now deny it. The ambition is to force the Constitution-Treaty on the people of Europe.

We may even have the farce of another referendum.

There is of course one thing that could have possibly changed all this and have made the Lisbon result a Yes result and everyone knows it—Bertie Ahern sans Mahon. What standing he would have! But the self-righteous indignation generated by the Irish Times over the absurd minutiae of some of his old bank records made him unavailable to save the day.

Thank you madam, most sincerely.

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