Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Kenny, Gilmore, and a referendum

Enda Kenny and his cronies would do well to tell the truth about the EU Permanent Austerity Treaty. The Taoiseach and his mates deny that the pact was crafted to minimise the prospect of a referendum in Ireland. That is exactly what happened, however, and it is no secret at all in Brussels, where the treaty was written.

Parts of the pact were explicitly drafted to give Kenny a chance of avoiding a vote on it. An EU official quoted in the Irish Independent accepted that the matter was likely to go to the Supreme Court but said the EU authorities hoped there would be no referendum, as many voters would relish an opportunity to inflict a bloody nose on the Government and the EU over their austerity and pro-bondholder bail-out policies.

Kenny insisted that Irish negotiators were not told to circumvent the risk of a vote and were given a mandate to maximise Ireland’s interests in the talks. But think about the damage that would be done to Kenny if there was a referendum and it was rejected. He would be hugely diminished—domestically and internationally—and questions would be asked about his ability to plough on with the EU-IMF programme, which Eurocrats hope will deliver a badly needed success for their cruel austerity policy.

So there is every reason to believe that the authorities would tinker with the text of the treaty to make an Irish vote less likely.

And what about the comment made by Éamon Gilmore that the provisions of the treaty had no “appropriate” place in the Constitution of Ireland? If that is a legitimate argument to make before an Oireachtas committee, is it not equally legitimate to make it in an EU negotiating forum?

And was it made? Somehow it echoes Gilmore’s claim that there would not be another referendum following the first rejection of the Lisbon Treaty!

Well, there’s a pair of them in it; but remember what happened to Fianna Fáil! There are big changes ahead, and those who are honest with the electorate, uphold their interests and enhance the sovereignty of the people will be the ones to benefit.

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