Ganley Plans For The Future

Today the Irish Times published a survey on attitudes towards a new Lisbon referendum, finding that a majority of people would now vote yes based on assumptions that we would be assured a permanent commissioner, and that separate issues such as abortion & neutrality would be clarified. Declan Ganley, founder of Libertas appeared on Eamon Keane's lunchtime program on Newstalk to give his response to the survey.

Being a bastion of integrity, Mr Ganley clearly and without the use of rhetoric described his feelings on the matter, and his plans for Ireland's future in Europe.

Oh, wait, no...

As most people are aware, our No vote was a sign that the country was unhappy with the deal on the table. Seeing as both sides of the argument agree that Ireland has no wish to leave the EU, the only way forward is to re-negotiate the treaty and come to an acceptable compromise. Indeed, one of the main selling points of the No campaign was the slogan 'Ireland can do better'. Now it seems that Libertas don't want to make a deal at all, instead numbingly repeating a mantra which is as obvious as it it unhelpful: 'The people have said No'.

Rather than provide any inkling as to how he and his organization would suggest we progress from this point, Mr Ganley seemed more interested in propagating his own inevitable candidacy for the upcoming European elections. Any mention of improvements to the Lisbon treaty were greeted with shocking petulance. When the possibility of Ireland maintaining a permanent Commissioner was put to him, Ganley forgot that he had in fact campaigned for this concession, and instead responded with a childish: "Should we be grateful??"

Every serious question is given a coy or 'humourous' answer, with the occasional injection of a catchy soundbyte:
'We are the voice of reason!', 'A second referendum would be undemocratic!' etc, etc...

It is inevitable that we will have to vote on this treaty again, the point being that the terms will have to change to guarantee that at least some of the Irish people's concerns are abated. There is no way any government- particularly this struggling one- would even attempt to get away with asking the exact same question twice. When the Nice treaty came up for a second referendum it was only because a specific clause ensuring Ireland's neutrality had been inserted.

This is what will have to happen with Lisbon... but it seems Mr Ganley has no interest in re-negotiating. He appears to be horrified at the prospect of a second referendum no matter how much the deal is altered in our favour.

In his eyes, he has won- and that's the end of the story.

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November 18, 2008 at 11:43 PM Fergal Reid said...

"In his eyes, he has won- and that's the end of the story."

Good point. Very good post :)