"According to the notice, the decision to set up a school was taken at a meeting in Dublin late last month. The meeting was attended by members of the education committee of the Saudi Shura Council, an unelected body whose members advise the Kingdom’s government, and Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Ireland, Abdulaziz Aldriss.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
"After a crisis Cabinet meeting yesterday, Jan Fischer, the Czech Prime Minister, avoided a direct confrontation with Mr Klaus, bowing to his demand to reopen negotiations with the EU on an eleventh-hour opt-out. However, he called on the unpredictable President to guarantee his signature if EU leaders agreed to his conditions and if the Czech Constitutional Court raised no new objections.Mr Klaus is demanding an opt-out for the Czech Republic that would prevent German families expelled after the Second World War from lodging property claims at the European Court of Justice.He raised the stakes on Friday, putting a dampener on EU celebrations over the Irish referendum decision to back the treaty. The President argued that the charter could whip up an avalanche of property claims from German families expelled from Czech territory after the war".
The Irish option of ‘guarantees’ outside of the Treaty appears insufficient for Klaus:
"Mr Klaus appears to have rejected the easier path of negotiating guarantees on interpretation of the charter, in a syle similar to the guarantees secured by the Irish government on an interpretation of the treaty in politically sensitive areas.
Ladislav Jakl, the Czech president’s spokesperson told the Irish Times that “this [Irish way] seems to me as an absolutely impossible way forward”. “The president will not be satisfied by any declaration, but only guarantees for every citizen. For him, this condition is fundamental, necessary, unbreachable”.
Bulgaria and France have today reacted angrily to the delay:
"Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said here Monday after talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy that a refusal by the Czech Republic’s leader to ratify the EU Lisbon Treaty would not be tolerated, AFP informed.
“It must not be allowed, it must not be tolerated. President Sarkozy is of the same opinion,” Borisov said when asked about the Czechs being the last holdout in ratifying the European Union’s reform treaty.
According to the office of the French president, during their talks Sarkozy noted that the 27-nation bloc had targeted for the Lisbon Treaty to take effect by the end of this year.
“Therefore, we cannot imagine that a member state would be responsible for trampling on its commitment,” it said.
The Czech Republic also runs the risk of not having a commissioner on the next European Commission, the EU executive arm, it added".
EU leaders are anxious to secure Czech ratification to prevent an incoming Tory Government in the UK reversing British ratification and putting Lisbon to a referendum, where polls indicate the Treaty would almost certainly be rejected. The UK General Election must take place by June 2010 at the latest. Conservative Party leader David Cameron has promised a referendum if elected prior to the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty by ratification in every member state. However, asked what his course of action would be if it is already in force by that date, he has only stated he would “not let matters rest there”.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
"The President may in his absolute discretion refuse to dissolve Dáil Éireann on the advice of a Taoiseach who has ceased to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann".In that context, Cowen could lose a confidence-motion in Dail Eireann and Enda Kenny could be elected Taoiseach by virtue of the Greens crossing the floor and support from Sinn Féin. But Green support would surely depend on Enda Kenny agreeing not to seek a dissolution of Dail (and in practice a General Election) from the President. This is at the heart of the ignorance about the prospect of an early election – the role of the President and An Taoiseach. To start the train running, An Taoiseach must request a dissolution of Dail Eireann from the President of Ireland. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas and consequently, Cowen certainly won’t request it. Likewise, neither will the Greens allow Kenny to. And even if Kenny requested a dissolution of Dail Eireann, the Greens would deprive him of his hypothetical majority, allowing President McAleese to refuse a dissolution. After all, she is a Fianna Fáiler at heart.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
"Rychetský had reportedly promised the German ambassador rapid settlement of the contract".Czech Senators involved in the challenge reacted angrily to the revelations, accusing Germany of outside-interference and of undermining the independence of the judiciary.:
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
"1. I have never contributed to to any political campaigns in Ireland conducted by Mr Declan Ganley or any other group.
2. I contributed a sum of money in May this year to the campaign of a British citizen who was standing as a candidate for Pro-Democracy Libertas UK in the European elections because she is a personal friend of mine.
Please confirm by fax by 12 noon today that you have published a clarification of any inaccuracies that may have arisen by reason of any broadcast or publication by yourselves."
The faxes are reproduced below:
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Asked by the interviewer why should 1.5 million Irish voters get the opportunity to hold back the progress of 500 million citizens of Europe? Ganley argues that rather than thwarting the will of hundreds of millions of fellow Europeans, Ireland has a duty to them to uphold the results of those earlier votes. Approving the treaty would be a betrayal of those in France and the Netherlands—not to mention the millions of others who were never offered a vote on the Constitution or Lisbon. "Millions of people in France, a majority, voted No to this European Constitution. In the Netherlands, millions of people did exactly the same thing. When the Irish were asked the same question, they voted no also. Those three times that it was presented to an electorate, the people voted no…Why..when the French voted no, the Dutch voted no and the Irish voted no, are we still being force-fed the same formula? You don’t have to scratch your head and wonder about democracy in some intellectualized, distant way and wonder, is there some obscure threat to it". Inevitably, the discussion turned the economy. Was Ganley putting his country at risk by calling for a No vote? He responds that that the only people threatened by a no vote are: "these elites in Brussels, The only people we risk annoying are a bunch of unelected bureaucrats and what I call this tyranny of mediocrity that we have across Europe…the Irish have never been afraid throughout history of asking the tough questions and standing up for freedom and what was right against much, much bigger opponents. In fact, we seem to revel in it". With the no campaign derided in the press as an alliance of Far Left and Far Right, the re-emergence of Libertas as a force in the Lisbon potentially puts the middle-classes, which voted pro-Lisbon last time back in play for the no-camp, and will come as an unwelcome distraction in the wake of a large falloff in support in the latest TNS-MRBI Lisbon poll. The battle is joined, and the outcome is all to play for.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
adopted by—i the said European Union or the European Atomic Energy Community, or institutions thereof, ii the European Communities or European Union existing immediately before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, or institutions thereof, or iii bodies competent under the treaties referred to in this section,from having the force of law in the State." The usual retort to this argument from the pro-Lisbon side is to the effect that an overriding provision for EU legislation and decisions has existed since we joined the then EEC in 1973. While this is true, the context has entirely changed. For the first time, a massive codification of human-rights is coming under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. They - not the Irish Supreme Court - will decide what it means. As the competences of the EU have grown over the last 36 years, the Irish Constitution has become more and more undermined, because new policy areas are subjected to QMV (Qualified Majority Voting) on the Council of Ministers. That inevitably means an increase in the throughput of legislation/decisions from Brussels, which means more opportunities for the Irish Constitution to become null and void. Yet until Lisbon, the basic question of human rights has remained overwhelmingly a matter for the Irish Supreme Court to adjudicate upon. No more with Lisbon and the Charter, which will give the ECJ the final say on those issues. Specifically, Article 15.1 legalises work for asylum seekers, stating: "1. Everyone has the right to engage in work and to pursue a freely chosen or accepted occupation.". The problem is that the UK has an optout Protocol from the Charter, meaning that Ireland and Malta would become the only English-speaking countries in the EU allowing asylum-seekers to work. Likewise, Article 19.1 of the Charter states that "1. Collective expulsions are prohibited". This will inevitably mean that Irish deportation-orders will be challenged in the ECJ, notably where they involve asylum-seekers who arrive in the country with children or have them while they are here. So in effect, if we vote yes, we are voting to create a new baby-tourism loophole for asylum, whereby asylum-seekers - as before the Citizenship Referendum in 2004 - have children here to prevent their deportations. With asylum costing the taxpayer €300 million per annum, and with the average judicial-review prolonging the asylum-appeals process by 21 months, this is the last thing the hard-pressed Irish taxpayer, social-welfare system, health-service, overcrowded schools and 420,000 unemployed need. We are effectively borrowing to pay for bogus asylum seekers as over 90% of asylum-seekers fail in their applications.
Besides the Charter, the Lisbon referendum's process of dismantling our immigration controls also feeds into the text of the constitutional amendment we are voting on next month. The 28th Amendment to the Constitution Bill 2009 contains the wording of the amendment we are being asked to insert into the Constitution. Paragraph 7, which will become Article 29.4.7. if we vote yes, states the following: "7° The State may exercise the options or discretions—i to which Article 20 of the Treaty on European Union relating to enhanced cooperation applies, ii under Protocol No. 19 on the Schengen acquis integrated into the framework of the European Union annexed to that treaty and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (formerly known as the Treaty establishing the European Community), and iii under Protocol No. 21 on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice, so annexed, including the option that the said Protocol No. 21 shall, in whole or in part, cease to apply to the State, but any such exercise shall be subject to the prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas.". So Paragraph 7(ii) empowers the Government, with the consent of the Oireachtas (which is a given in any event) to take Ireland into the passport-free travel area known as the Schengen Area. This would abolish passport-checks on travellers into Ireland from the 25 countries party to the Schengen Agreement. Furthermore, Paragraph 7(iii) would allow the Government to abolish -the optout Protocol, present since the 1999 Amsterdam Treaty, that has allowed successive Irish governments to optin/out of common policies in the field of Justice and Home Affairs, including asylum and immigration, policing, and the powers of the pan-European police-body known as Europol. In that context, it was ironic some days ago listening to Fine Gael's deputy spokesman on European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, claim on RTE's Drivetime radio programme that Lisbon will help in the fight against people-trafficking. The reality is that by legalising employment for illegal-immigrants, the Treaty further incentivises people trafficking, by ensuring that the fatcats who are exploiting illegal migrant-labour can do so legally. Furthermore, the abolition of passport controls and document-checks for immigration into Ireland for travellers through the 25 country Schengen Area will inevitably cause a huge increase in the numbers trafficked into the country. It may be that Schengen membership - as well as opening the floodgates from that area - will force us to establish controls on the border with Northern Ireland. But if one door is to be closed somewhat, it is certain that the establishment of what amounts to a Common Travel Area with 25 other countries will more than cancel out any gains in the fight against people-trafficking consequent on joining Schengen. The reality is that Lisbon is part of the race to the bottom by the rich and powerful elites against the Irish working man and woman. The agenda is clear: to legalise illegal immigrant labour and to make it easier to traffick them into Ireland. That is what Lisbon is about, and is another important reason to vote No on October 2nd.
Friday, August 14, 2009
What is especially frustrating about the Lisbon debate, from the perspective of all true democrats, is the dismissive, condescending and arrogant tone adopted by the elites towards the people who voted no. We are being blamed by them for the recession that they were largely responsible for landing us in. When a Government resorts to such subliminable messages, it has truly ceased to represent the people and instead substituted representation of outside elites, many of them themselves without a mandate, and based outside this country. The Government gives the impression of representing not Ireland in Europe - but Europe in Ireland. But have no illusions as to the kind of "Europe" they are defending. It is not the people of Europe, who do not want this Treaty, which is why Ireland was the sole country to have a referendum on Lisbon, though the French and Dutch peoples rejected the 95% identical EU Constitution. No. The 'Europe' the elites defend is one of vested-interests, including Dickensian employers in search of cheap-labour (as was shown by the aftermath of Nice and EU Enlargement, when assurances on immigration by figures such as Dick Roche, Willie O'Dea and Proinsias de Rossa were proven wildly inaccurate). In an interview with the Irish Catholic at Government Buildings in 2002, Roche stated: "It is the view of the Irish government and a number of other governments that this idea that there is going to be a huge influx of immigrants is just not supported. The evidence is just not there for it. They are not going to flood to the west. The same rules are going to apply in all 15 states. There is no evidence to suggest that the people of the Czech Republic or Poland are less anxious to stay in their home as we are." In a letter to the Irish Times on 20th August 2002, Proinsias de Rossa claimed that a "trickle" would come: "It is a deliberate misrepresentation to suggest that tens of thousands will suddenly descend en masse on Ireland...The expected trickle of immigration to Ireland will on balance benefit the Irish economy...I estimate that fewer than 2,000 will choose our distant shores each year""Bizarrely, some of the elites now try not merely to deny the future as before, but seemingly to deny the present as well. That is apparent from Brian Crowley MEP's contention that Lisbon will aid the fight against drug-trafficking. He obviously is not aware of the proposed Article 29.4.7. of the Irish Constitution as amended by the 28th Amendment to the Constitution Bill 2009, if we vote no. Article 7 would empower the Government, with the support of the Oireachtas, to take Ireland into the Schengen Area, which would abolish passport-controls on immigration into Ireland from this 25 country group. It would also permit the Government, with the consent of the Oireachtas, to abolish the Protocol that allows the Irish Government to optin/out on an ad hoc basis to common policies in the field of Justice and Home Affairs, including asylum and immigration, policing, border controls, the powers of Europol/Eurojust and of the European Public Prosecutor (an office Lisbon allows the European Council to establish by unanimity). It states: "7° The State may exercise the options or discretions— i to which Article 20 of the Treaty on European Union relating to enhanced cooperation applies, ii under Protocol No. 19 on the Schengen acquis integrated into the framework of the European Union annexed to that treaty and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (formerly known as the Treaty establishing the European Community), and iii under Protocol No. 21 on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice, so annexed, including the option that the said Protocol No. 21 shall, in whole or in part, cease to apply to the State,but any such exercise shall be subject to the prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas." .But the relationship between people-trafficking and Lisbon goes beyond this. Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union as amended by Lisbon states that the Charter of Fundamental Rights shall have "the same legal value as the Treaties". The relevance to immigration and asylum is found most directly in Articles 17/18/19 of the Charter, but there are also implied implications in Articles related to the right to work (Article 15), health, education etc. Article 18 states:"The right to asylum shall be guaranteed with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees and in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community.". Article 19(1) states: "1. Collective expulsions are prohibited.", while Article 15 states "Everyone has the right to engage in work and to pursue a freely chosen or accepted occupation.". The State, in the midst of a fiscal crisis with a deficit of €21 billion, could find itself hauled before the ECJ and forced to subsidise free healthcare and education for illegal-immigrants, on the basis of the Charter's absolute prohibition on "discrimination" on grounds of nationality. While opposed to racism, I think we need to get real on this question. Nation states have always discriminated on grounds of nationality to some degree, by virtue of restrictions on non-citizens with respect, for example, to voting rights, access to the labour-market and social-welfare. Were it not the case, nation states - especially in Big Government countries in the EU - would rapidly become bankrupt. So the last thing Ireland needs is Big Brother telling us what to do in the fields of asylum and immigration in general, and in terms of entitlements for illegal immigrants in particular. Yet that is where the road to Lisbon takes us. And if the Chen (2004) and Metock (2008) cases are anything to go by, there are no prizes for guessing the likely outcome of such challenges to Irish law in this area on the basis of the Charter. With Chen in 2004, the ECJ required EU member states to grant rights to the mother accuring from the EU citizenship of a Chinese mother whose child had been born in NI (on the basis of advice for her own solicitor). The Metock case in August 2008 struck down Irish law in the area of marriages-of-convenience. Prior to this ruling, Irish law had denied automatic residency to non-EU spouses without prior residency in another EU member state. In this respect, Ireland was supported by other member states, including the UK and Germany, but the ECJ had other ideas, with respect to a highly questionable interpretation on the latter's part of the Freedom of Movement Directive, which calls into question what we are told as to the certainty of the pro-Lisbon camp with respect to future interpretations of the Charter by the ECJ in this area. The ECJ is an activist court, and has been exposed as such by its own hand, and those of critics such as former German President Roman Herzog. Herzog recently produced a paper outlining the phenomenon of "competence creep" by the ECJ, referring in particular to the Mangold case in which a German law intended to assist those aged 58 and over to find work was struck down as discriminatory by the ECJ. This was in spite of the fact that the deadline for the implementation of the relevant EU directive cited by the court had not yet been reached. In the ruling, the ECJ included in the basis for its ruling what it called "constitutional traditions common to member states". Yet the Herzog paper demonstrates that such traditions do not exist in all member states. So this is not a court that can be trusted to confine itself to the letter of the law when interpreting the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The ruling comes amidst growing controversy over the status of the 'legal guarantees' offered to Ireland to help the Government win a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. UK Europe Minister Baroness Kinnock (wife of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock) has told the House of Lords that they will not have the force of EU law until added as a Protocol to a future Accession Treaty. She said: "Those guarantees do not change the Lisbon treaty; the European Council conclusions are very clear on them. The Lisbon treaty, as debated and decided by our Parliament, will not be changed and, on the basis of these guarantees, Ireland will proceed to have a second referendum in October." She added: "Nothing in the treaty will change and nothing in the guarantees will change the treaty as your Lordships agreed it....My Lords, what we have in the guarantees will become binding in international law when the guarantees are translated into a protocol at the time of the next accession, which presumably will be when Croatia or Iceland comes in. Before that protocol can be ratified by the UK, Parliament must pass a Bill. As I said, Parliament will rightly have the final say." But Foreign Secretary David Milliband appeared to contradict her during questions at the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee yesterday, stating: "Every head of state agrees that these guarantees do not change the Treaty...the guarantees are legally-binding in international law... It does not require ratification in order to have legal affect." This lead the Chairman of the Committee to ask, "If this is a legally-binding decision and doesn't need ratification, why does it need to be put in a protocol?" He asked, "Is it a stitch-up to get around Irish peoples' concerns? I can see why people would be suspicious." To confuse things further, Liberal Democrat MEP and self-described "militant federalist" Andrew Duff has claimed that an Irish Protocol appended to an Accession Treaty would be challenged in the courts as it would violate EU law, saying: "Adding this protocol to the Croatian accession treaty would leave the treaty wide open to attack in the courts...".According to the Irish Times, "he added that rules in the EU treaties governing accession treaties only allow issues pertaining to a state's accession to be dealt with." Clearly, the credibility of the Government's 'guarantee's is not something they can take for granted. I, for one, am far from convinced of their veracity.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Amidst the gloating of the Lisbon-elites as to the fate of some anti-Lisbon candidates in the Irish euro elections lies a simply truth: this election was not fought on European issues, but on national ones. It also cannot be separated from the broader European context. For to do so, would represent hypocrisy on the part of those on the other side who sought to demonise Libertas on the basis of controversial comments on issues ranging from torture, to false accusations of anti-semitism and neo-Nazism with respect to its candidates in other EU countries. The Irish elite are trying to portray the defeat of Libertas across Europe as a humiliating defeat and a victory for the pro-Lisbon cause. Yet it is not so simple. Traditionally, the constitutional-architecture of the European Union has demanded unanimous treaty-ratification by the member states. It is abundantly clear from these elections in the 27 member states that where Lisbon is concerned, such a mandate does not exist - at least at popular level. The most glaring example of this can be found in the UK elections, where Labour - pushing through the deeply unpopular Lisbon Treaty without a referendum in the teeth of opposition from their own Eurosceptic population - was pushed to a humilating fourth-place behind the Tories, Liberal Democrats and even the UK Independence party. On 15.7% of the vote, they are now weaker than they have been since the 19th century. Were the results replicated in a General Election, the BBC estimates the Tories would return to power after 12 years with a majority of 28. The size of that majority should evoke memories of the last Tory govt, which was constantly at the mercy of its Eurosceptic backbenchers, particularly after the strong leadership contest in the party by John Redwood in 1995. In any case, party leader David Cameron is, if anything, far more of a Eurosceptic than his predecessor, promising - if Lisbon has not yet come into force across Europe - to withdraw the articles of ratification from Vienna and put the Treaty to a referendum that would certainly end in the rejection of the Treaty. And the Irish have allies further afield too. The Treaty remains under consideration by the German Constitutional Court, and further challenges are pending in the Czech Constitutional Court by Senators opposed to it. The Czech and Polish Presidents themselves continue to refusal to put their signature to it unless and until the Irish first vote no. And even then, it is far from clear that President Klaus will sign it. He is not obliged to by the Czech Constitution. Some in the leftist Opposition and a former Green minister in the deposed Coalition government have called for Klaus to be impeached, but the Constitution is clear on this: the Constitutional Court would make the final decision, and it appears that short of being incapacitated or having committed and act of treason, the President will remain in Prague Castle for the remainder of his four year term. It seems probable then, that if the Irish people and Klaus hold out until the next UK General Election, the Lisbon Treaty will be consigned to the dustbin of European history where it belongs. In that context, it is imperative that we stand our ground, that (in Lincoln's words) "government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth".
Saturday, May 30, 2009
These expectations seem borne out by the actual results of the poll, which - as predicted - did not include the usual regional breakdown. For the Euro elections, the results are: FF: 20%,FG: 34%, Labour: 14%, SF: 9%, Greens: 4%, Libertas: 4% and Independents 15%. Without such a breakdown, all we have to go on is commentary by Richard Colwell (Red C) and Pat Leahy - and I have no beef with either of them. But it means we have to take their word for it when it comes to the likely apportionment of seats, which Colwell does as follows: "Liam Aylward is still in with a fighting chance for the third seat in the East constituency…Libertas support does appear to be on an upward trend…Almost all of this support is for the party’s founder, Declan Ganley, who, based on the poll’s constituency-figures, could yet be in with a shout to take a seat in the North West. This is a significant gain in two weeks and means he is a real threat to Gallagher, O’Reilly and Independent Marian Harkin…Harkin does remain in the running for a seat in the North West constituency, but could suffer at the hands of Libertas.". The national poll, in showing Libertas support at 4%, needs to be seen in the context of them only contesting three constituencies (Dublin, East and Northwest), but the fact that Ganley - written off for months by a hostile media in a manner familiar to the PDs for their 27 years on this earth - now stands on the threshold of ousting Harkin or sending Pat the Cope back to Leinster House despite an existence of barely six months must rank as a considerable acheivement and - on the context of these recessionary - even depressionary times - not an untimely one. Indeed even Jamie Smyth on the Irish Times blog, not exactly known as a friend of Libertas or the no campaign, is gracious enough to acknowledge than a successful election for the party cannot be ruled out, and that: "I think it is too early for yes campaigners to start counting their chickens ahead of the October vote. For one thing the economy is in such a bad state and sentiment towards the government is so poor that a Lisbon II referendum could become a referendum on the government. In other words, people may vote no to Lisbon simply to force Brian Cowen to stand down and prompt an election and a change of government.". We disagree of course, of the reasons for the no vote, but it is nonetheless comforting that the general nastiness of this election cycle can at times be rendered civilised and devoid of the kind of arrogance the Irish people have had to endure from our political, intellectual and media-elites since voting "the wrong way" last year. It is a trait others, like Europe Minister Dick Roche, might do well to learn.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
It has to be asked where the impetus for this legislation is coming from. Is it from the Catholic Right, which has been fighting a losing battle for political-influence since 1992 (when the Irish people voted to legalise travel and information related to abortion), including the defeat of the 2002 Abortion-referendum, or is it from what the Left like to call "the new communities" i.e. particularly foreign-nationals of the Islamic faith in particular? In that respect, we would do well to bear in mind research across Europe on the attitudes of Muslim communities to questions pertaining to traditional Western freedoms, notably freedom of the press and of speech - and in particular, the question of blasphemy. With respect to British Muslims, an ICM opinion poll in 2006 revealed an astonishing 40% of them want Islamic Sharia law to be introduced in Muslim parts of the country. In relation to the Danish cartoons: The full figures on ICM’s website reveal some interesting bits and pieces that weren’t reported in the Sunday Telegraph. British Muslims surveyed by ICM were almost unaminous (97%) in thinking that the publication of the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed was wrong, 77% said they personally were very offended by the cartoons, 9% said they were a little offended and 11% said they were not offended. Moreover: "Regarding reactions to the cartoons, 14% of British Muslims thought it was right for protesters in Muslim countries to attack Danish embassies and 12% thought it was right for “demonstrators to carry placards calling for the killing of those who insult Islam”. 13% said it was right “to exercise violence against those who are deemed by religious leaders to have insulted them”. The Left were at the forefront of dismantling decades of theocracy in this State, notably in the struggle against the bans on divorce and homosexuality. It would surely be ironic then, if in the name of Political-Correctness and a wish to appeal to a minority of newcomers to our shores, they were to take a step backwards from Enlightenment ideals of Western freedom in order to get us to a place at least as bad as where we started in the first place. All true liberals and democrats should oppose this bill, and make their views on it known to the powers that be - particularly on the Green benches in Leinster House. They forced Fianna Fáil's hand on the by-elections - maybe they can do the same with the Defamation Bill. For the email addresses of your TDs. see here.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Now I know we have all come to expect gullibility of the most incredible kind from the Leinster House liberals since the onset of large-scale illegal-immigration to this Republic sicne the mid-1990's. In apparent amnesia of their primary responsibility to the people to whom they owe their political-careers in elective office, the Leinster House set have seen fit at almost every opportunity (save the Citizenship referendum regarding former Justice Minister McDowell and a small number of other select cases that are two few to mention) - even now in the face of the rapid collapse of our economy - to support and believe - or at least pretend to believe - the excuses and half-truths of those who wish to abuse our asylum-system for a purpose it was never purported to be designed to serve - namely economic-migration. For I am not opposed to legal economic-migration to this country - quite the contrary. While I have often held that - in the context of a recession, aswell as the necessity for the country to experience a reasonable lead-in time to learn the lessons, and avoid repeating the mistakes of France, Britain and the Netherlands with respect to integrating their new arrivals from overseas - we need to move from a policy of open-borders to a policy of regulation and control of immigration - I have always held firm to the belief that it is morally and politically wrong to scapegoat migrants as a whole for what is - at the end of the day - a failure by the political-class to adequately reconcile the economic and social needs of this country with humanitarian and cultural imperatives including the absorption-capacity of a small country like ourselves when determining immigration and asylum-policy. But that is not the same as not holding to account those who are in clear abuse of the principles upon which international law in the area of asylum, including the 1952 Refugee Convention, is supposed to be based. If indeed it is true - as it seems very much to be - that Pamela Izevbekha has sank so low in terms of morality as to concoct a work of fiction involving a nonexistent daughter who died of FGM, in order to emotionally blackmail the Irish State, to the detriment of the Irish taxpayer that is forced to oppose her application in the courts, into allowing her leave to remain in this country, then she should not only be ashamed, but so too should those who so typically condemned all those who saw through her. In particular I would like to single out for criticism figures such as Labour Lord Mayor of Sligo Veronica Cawley, who organised a civil-reception in her honour, as well as Fine Gael figures such as John Perry TD, who were amongst those calling for her to be allowed leave to remain in the State. Those politicians who have chosen to identify themselves with her case have now been shown to have egg on their faces. The Hard Left will probably stand by her. For them, the issue is an ideological one, rather than a case governed by merits or particular circumstance - they just want open-borders fullstop. I suppose it would be too much to ask Senator David Norris to see reason on this matter and admit the error of his ways in rubbishing correspondance he claimed to have received casting doubt on her story of how she arrived in Ireland. But one can always hope. She has outstayed her welcome in our country, and betrayed the noble cause of fighting the scourge of FGM in our world. She has also seen fit to manipulate the emotions of the Irish people, many of whom flocked to her cause when it seemed to them to be based on a mother's love for her children and a desire to protect them from a real and present danger - a danger now proven to be nothing but an illusion. This is a wakeup call for the Leinster House liberals. It is now time, in these recessionary times, for them to be true to the old maxim that charity begins at home. No more €1 million cases spent in legal guerilla-war in our courts challenging manifestly bogus asylum-claims. It's time to spend the money where it's really needed and deserved - on helping the old, the sick and the vulnerable, including the few genuine asylum-seekers resident in this State. 100,000 people have lost their jobs since the start of 2008, with up to half a million expected to be on the Live Register by Christmas. In the context of a €20 billion deficit, economies must be made and priorities imposed. Manifestly-unfounded asylum cases should not be among them.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The high-priests of multiculturalism need to be challenged in the context of mature debate on the merits and demerits of this ideology. Too often the elite has uniformly balked at any suggestion that anything other than a liberal, open-door model combining the encouragement by the State of mass-immigration and an ideology that places all cultures on an equal footing should be questioned. In that respect, the stance of 'Official Ireland' is at variance with European trends. The nominally Socialist government of Spain has introduced subsidised voluntary-repatriation. The Italian government is led by a man who has rightly castigated the failings of multiculturalism, and whose Coalition includes the more hardline Northern League of Umberto Bossi. In the recent Austrian General Election, 2 Far-Right parties, the Freedom Party and the Alliance for Austria's Future, repeated their success of 2000 with a combined 29% share of the popular-vote, forcing the Socialists and the conservative Peoples Party into Coalition. In 2007, President Sarkozy of France won at least half of the former Le Pen vote on a platform of tighter immigration-controls, 'integration' of immigrants and opposition of Turkey to the European Union - all positions I would argue are popular with the Irish people but seemingly opposed by the Irish political and intellectual elites. Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against any law-abiding member of any ethnolinguistic group. But I insist that the Western freedoms for which generations of Irish and Europeans have given their lives be maintained, and that newcomers who come to our shores accept that this be so. Assimilation - not multiculturalism - is the way forward in terms of integrating immigrants with host-societies. We have the misfortune in Ireland of continuing to be governed by a postwar political and intellectual generation that sets its face against the reality that we have learned since 911 in general but since the world recession in particular. Now is a time when Irish and western workers are finding themselves forced to choose between competing with cheap-labour at home or emigrating abroad. This is not the fault of the immigrants. As far as I am concerned both the Irish and the foreign-nationals are victims of ill-thoughtout social-engineering by a condescending, PC and largely leftist elite. The French, British, Dutch and Spanish peoples have had a longer lead-time than us with which to experiment with the multicultural-model, and it has damaged both themselves and the newcomers by eroding a sense of cohesion and common-focus. By insisting that the State remain culturally-neutral and that the host-society make concessions to new cultures and regard them as equally valid as the host-culture, the proponents of the ideology have unwittingly or otherwise created fertile ground for Islamic-radicalism. I still recoil in horror at the memory of the "Behead Blair" demos in the UK. If you accept the principle of absolute cultural-equality (which is separate from the equality of the person - something I distinguish from "culture" which is defined a way of life), then you are - whether you like it or not - condoning the spread of Islamic radicalism. According to the British media, 4,000 British-born Muslims were trained in Al Qaida camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In particular, concerns have been raised about the proliferation of schools called madrassas in Pakistan, which historically were supported by that country's intelligence-services (ISI) to provide a fertile ground for recruitment for the Taliban and Al Qaida - something that began during the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980's. Then as now (though in a very different context), the West made a fools-bargain with radical-Islam, in the name of defeating an abhorrent ideology. Communism was defeated but what was spawned in its place? The Afghan people were sentenced to 12 years of civil-war and tyrannical Taliban-rule, setting up a chain of events that would one day lead to the terror-attacks on the West in New York, Washington, Madrid, London and against largely Australian tourists in Bali, Indonesia. The ideology our elite claim to be fighting is "racism". A noble aim, surely. But the political-class in Ireland have gone into overkill, demonising any and all calls for tighter controls on Muslim immigration in the supposed aim of 'anti-racism'. In particular, note the hysterical and disgraceful villification visited on Leo Varadkar - largely by Labour but also by Fianna Fáil figures such as Minister Mary Hanafin - some months ago for calling for calling for subsidised voluntary-repatriation for migrants. That an Irishman of mixed-race origins could be accused of making racist comments is the height of nonsense - even in a political-class so hopelessly engrossed in PC-thinking as this one.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Not content with smearing Libertas on it's integrity, the IT continued the usual theme of attempting to tar Mr.Ganley and the Irish organisation with the "Eurosceptic" brush (though even if it were true, what would be wrong with that in a democracy?). 'Mr. Ganley went on to firmly reject attempts made by such reports, and by the Irish Times over the past number of months, to attach his name to a Euro Sceptic agenda: "It is a well established fact that Libertas is not a Euro-sceptic organisation, nor does it espouse any Euro-sceptic policies. If calling for democracy and accountability in European governance makes one a euro-sceptic or anti-European, this raises other more serious questions on the anti-democratic path that Brussels is firmly on at present. The fact that some narrow sections of the media ignore the fact that Libertas is pro-European and not euro-sceptic would suggest that they may be falling susceptible to other agendas. We are delighted with the progress being made on the project we have undertaken, which if successful will see the voters of Europe being given a chance for the first time in Europe's history to vote on a common, reforming platform which would restore democracy, accountability, and economic common sense to the heart of Europe". I am not my brother's keeper. The reality is that even in Ireland, the no vote - like the yes vote - were coalitions of groups with sometimes incompatible opinions but who shared a common stance on the Treaty. The idea that because we don't agree on everything we are not entitled to agree on some issues is an utter nonsense. Were that the case, Charlie and Dessie and Albert and Dick would not have gone into Coalition with one another. The reality of democracy in countries like the Czech and Irish Republics is of coalition-building in common cause despite fundamental political-differences on some matters. If the Irish Times hadn't been asleep for the last 20 years you would be aware of that, and consequently would not be so damning of those who disagree on some issues pertaining to Europe happening to agree that Lisbon is bad.