Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Odey: I'm not funding Irish "No" campaign

The UK hedge-fund manager Crispin Odey, who an Irish Independent article claimed had “bankrolled” “Declan Ganley’s ‘No to Lisbon Campaign’, has rejected claims by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan that he is funding the Libertas “no” campaign. In a fax to RTE and TV3 dated 30th September 2009 and seen by me, Mr Odey demanded that the broadcasters issue clarifications to this effect by 12 noon today. The faxes state that:

"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

Reject Lisbon 2 next Friday

Seven days from now the fate of the Irish nation will have been determined. This generation will determine whether the independence won because of the sacrifice of the men and women of 1916 will have been but an interlude in Irish history, or whether 1916's vision of a small nation, cooperating with its European and international partners, will endure. Is Ireland to be returned to the colonial domination generations fought to end?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ganley returns to fight Lisbon 2

In a dramatic development, Declan Ganley has announced he is to campaign against Lisbon 2. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ganley argues that the second referendum not only insults the Irish people, but also the French and Dutch who rejected the controversial treaty’s predecessor, the EU Constitution: "It’s profoundly undemocratic to walk all over democracy. . . The Irish people had a vote on the Lisbon Treaty. They voted no. A higher percentage of the electorate voted no than voted for Barack Obama in the United States of America. No one’s suggesting he should run for re-election next month. But—hey, presto!—15 months later we’re being told to vote again on exactly the same treaty.” He taps the table for emphasis: “Not one comma has changed in the document". Asked for evidence the two treaties are the same, he again cites the architect of the EU Constitution, former President of the Convention on the Future of Europe Valery Giscard d’Estaing: "Well, first of all, the people who drafted the European Constitution say it is. Like [former French President Valéry] Giscard d’Estaing. He called it the same document in a different envelope. And having chaired the presidium that drafted the Constitution, he would know…He also said in respect of the Lisbon Treaty that public opinion would be led to adopt, without knowing it, policies that we would never dare to present to them directly. All of the earlier proposals for the new Constitution will be in the new text, the Lisbon Treaty, but will be hidden or disguised in some way. That’s what he said. And he’s absolutely right. There is no law that could be made under the European Constitution that cannot be made under the Lisbon Treaty. None".

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

Lisbon: Dismantling our immigration-controls

It's the elephant in the room that the elites do not want to discuss. While on the opposite side of the spectrum to Cóir on some moral issues, they are to be commended for bringing the immigration issue into the debate in terms of Lisbon's contribution to the race to the bottom through mass-immigration. It is unfortunate that the rest of the no campaign seem unwilling to do so. The elites won't discuss it in public, but I am firmly of the view that this has the potential to win this contest for the "no's". A string of prominent pro-Lisbon party TD's stated that immigration played a major role in the first no, and I believe it will in the second. So who is it connected to Lisbon? It is connected to Lisbon largely because of the provisions of the referendum-legislation, but also because of those of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Under Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht as amended by Amsterdam and Nice) as amended by the Lisbon Treaty, the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights have "the same legal-value as the Treaties". Under the proposed Article 29.4.6 of the Irish Constitution., that means they will override the Irish Constitution. It states: "6° No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State, before, on or after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, that are necessitated by the obligations of membership of the European Union referred to in subsection 5° of this section or of the European Atomic Energy Community, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures
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.