Eire to EU: No, nay, never

Again with the Uprising, begob:

At the major ballot-counting center in Dublin, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan struggled to speak to reporters as anti-treaty activists jubilantly drowned him out with songs and chants of “No!” He eventually gave up and walked out, as one activist waved a sign reading “No to foreign rule” over his head.

Just rebel to the core, is all :}. OK here’s the deal ~ or rather, the No-deal (emphases added; and, Hat tip: sister-in-law Paddy Patty Ash :) ~~

Ireland’s voters have rejected the European Union reform treaty, a blueprint for modernizing the 27-nation bloc that cannot become law without Irish approval, electoral officials said Friday.

In a major blow to the EU, 53.4 percent of Irish voters said no to the treaty. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen now will join other EU leaders at a summit next week to try to negotiate a new way forward.

Anti-treaty groups from the far left and right mobilized “no” voters by claiming that the treaty would empower EU chiefs in Brussels, Belgium, to force Ireland to change core policies — including its low business tax rates, its military neutrality and its ban on abortion.

Among such “far left” groups was (naturally :) Sinn Féin (whose name is translatable to English as, appropriately enough, “Ourselves Alone” :). The treaty rejection is not only a blow to the EU’s grand plan :> but also a shillelagh upside the heads of the Republic’s mainstream political parties, all of which advocated a Yes vote ~ and perhaps especially a whack across the kneecaps of Fianna Fáil’s Brian Cowen, who has replaced the formerly unsinkable (and Always incomparable :) Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach.

More after the break.

…An EU constitution failed after French and Dutch voters rejected it in 2005. Ireland was the only member that subjected its would-be successor, the Lisbon Treaty, to a national vote. The Irish constitution requires all EU treaties to be ratified by referendum.

…In the EU’s power base of Brussels and other European capitals, leaders vowed to complete ratification of the Lisbon Treaty through the governments of the other 26 members — even though, legally, the treaty cannot come into force because of the Irish rejection.

Rural and working-class areas were almost universally anti-treaty. Better-off parts of Dublin registered stronger support for the EU. In suburban south Dublin, a largely wealthy and highly educated district, the “yes” camp triumphed with 63 percent of the vote. But a neighboring, scruffier district voted 65 percent “no.”

“Scruffier”, is it? Sounds like the recent Dimmycratic Primaries, by God. (Well. Except that in those, the Yes we Cans ultimately beat the No we Ain’ts. :)

The Lisbon Treaty and the failed constitution before it sought to reshape EU powers and institutions in line with the bloc’s rapid growth in size and population since 2004.

Both documents proposed to strengthen the roles of the EU’s president and foreign policy chief, reduce the areas where individual nations could veto policy changes and increase the powers of the European Parliament to scrutinize EU laws.

Whole article. Ohhh, it’s goin’ to be Fierce in Brussels I’m tellin’ ye. ;>

14 Responses to “Eire to EU: No, nay, never”

  1. Andrew says:

    Joe, given that you’ve invented your own brand of the English language, once Brendan puts this blog in the deep freeze, where and how are we going to experience your innovative style of writing? You’ll have to start your own blog or something. Maybe Brendan will end up guest-blogging often during campaign, football, and March Madness seasons. ;-)

  2. Marty West says:

    Tim Russert died :(

  3. copndor says:

    F*ck Friday the 13th. He was one of the few reporters who actually did his job.

  4. Joe Mama says:

    Whoa, that sucks. I liked that ol’ Mr. Potatohead. Condor is right, he was indeed one of the few reporters who actually did his job. Damn.

  5. Joe Loy says:

    Double damn. :(

  6. Joe Loy says:

    Well, the sudden & saddening loss of Buffalo’s favorite Irishman sort of puts ould Erin’s quibble with Brussels into puny Perspective, here. Bid a long farewell to a giant of Genuine journalism, and a famously Kind & transparently Joyful man to boot. Requiescat in Pace, Timothy J. Russert, Canisius H.S. ’68.

    * * * * * * * * *

    Andrew, re your above, thanks. You’re very kind. / We’ll See.

    But “brand”, schmand: O so I’m “innovative” izzit. :> Inner Votivities me arse, the Mission here is Chaos. (Well ~ in Theory. :) Daddy, when I grow wup I want to be Fuddled, like Senator McCain. ;> Yes’n’ it’s like the Perfesser said: a Dialect is a Language with an Armadillo and a gang of Navvies. Or Something like that. ;] I.e., in the timeless lyric of the chanteyman: “Then all became Confu-si-on and the stormy Wynds did blow / The bo’sun slipped on an Orange peel, fell into the Hold below…” (from “The Good Ship Calibar” :)

    “Maybe Brendan will end up guest-blogging often during campaign, football, and March Madness seasons. ;-)”

    Yeah. Thus defeating the Porpoise ;}. Again. ;>

  7. Joe Loy says:

    Just momentarily to Revert to the original subject of the guestpost: this ruthlessly well-balanced UK Telegraph piece is Well worth a Read. / I won’t even Try to excerpt it here, because I’m not Ruthless enough to Cut it: it’s All good. :}

  8. toby says:

    First, declare my interest: I voted for the Lisbon Treaty.

    Be careful not to interpret this as a principled anti-EU vote. No one, but no one, on the “No to Lisbon” side (except for the looniest of loonies) advocates Ireland pulling out of the EU. While Sinn Fein have opposed every European referendum, they have been converted to the EU idea, while retaining concerns about sovereignty and neutrality.

    Ostenibly, this is a vote for a “better deal” on Lisbon, though on what issues it is hard to discern. Concerns about taxation (a low corporate taxation rate is held to be a key to Ireland’s prosperity)? Was taxation affected by the treaty at all? Perhaps not.

    Military neutrality? Maybe Ireland can be given a separate guarantee on that. Abortion? We already have derogations on EU law.

    The tone seems to be that the rest of the EU may be able to press ahead without Ireland. Actually, the UK is one country that might prevent that … they also have sovereignty concerns and might just call time on the whole Treaty negotiation.

    Which will go down like a rat sandwich with France and Germany. The danger is that we will end up with a two-track EU with “central” countries adopting Lisbon and “outer” ones in bilerateral arrangements.

    However, that is not what even the “No” camp want. Ireland, despite being one of the EU countries with the strongest “national” as opposed to “continental” feelings, has always wanted to position itself at the “heart of Europe”, no matter how contradictory that seems. And Ireland has done reamarkably well out of the EU – billions in agricultural grants and infrastuctural development funds, and a workable model to end the Troubles, for example. New countries joining have made Ireland their model.

    Maybe, at last, the Irish ambivalence towards the EU is at last coming to the surface after years of suppression.

  9. copndor says:

    I lived in Ireland once, and I have to say that I’ve met with no stupider national idea than the notion of “Irish nuetrality.” Only the Irish could be so stubborn as to embrace a national notion which was revealed to be such a failure by WWII when they employed it under de Valera.

  10. copndor says:

    “Neutrality,” I meant.

  11. toby says:

    “Irish neutrality.”

    As an Irishman, I agree 100%. Irish “neutrality” is the most grotesque of sacred cows.

    Neutrality in WWII actually worked well for Ireland… nor did it damage the Allied cause much since Northern Ireland’s coast and airspace was available for convoy protection.

    In fact, the Irish Free State was “neutral for the Allies”, and Hitler would have been justified in declaring war on the Free State had be known the full extent of Irish co-operation with the British and Americans.

    However, that did not satisfy Churchill and Roosevelt.

    Neutrality made sense in 1940 since entering the war would just have lengthened the British perimeter of defence and led to insuperable military problems. However, neutrality made little sense in 1944-45 when country after country was enteriing the war on the Allied side. De Valera was too cautious in my view … he feared anti-British public opinion. However, thousands of Irishmen were serving in the Allied armies, and many more had good jobs in British war industries.

    For today, I find it repellent that Ireland would not come to the aid of a fellow EU member should it be a attacked e.g. if Poland was invaded by Russia for example.

  12. Joe Loy says:


    A Hundred Thousand Thankyous for your obviously very Knowledgeable (and indeed, Eloquent) commentposts! Excellent information & analysis ~ from one who actually Knows whereof he speaks! (That would be, as distinguished from Those who pretend to know something about Ireland when truth-be-told I merely cough cough that is to say, They ;> only Love Everything about her. / Well. Almost everything. :)

    Tell us if you will, where are you located? Where do you vote? / OK I’m going to guess: Baile Átha Cliath. Dun Laoghaire or Dublin South. (63% Yes, fractionally plus-or-minus :) Or, do you boldly stand with the brave 34.9% minority in (per the article) “scruffier” Dublin South-West? ;> And, while I’m at it, just what have the SW Dublin Scruffies ;} got in common (besides landslide “No” votes) with the far Donegal North-East folks? Hm. Discontent, I suppose. And/or, as you said, that old “Irish ambivalence”.

    But enough of my blarney. / Thanks again, Toby. Nice work.

  13. Alasdair says:

    Hmmm … the image of the Venerable Joe hanging upside down high up Blarney Castle suitably reverencing The Stone Itself is truly mind-boggling !

  14. Joe Loy says:

    Boggle awa’ , Braveheart, for I’ve Been there Dunn that :}.

    (And ~ true reminiscence ~ whilst standing in the soft Munster rain at Cormac MacCarthy’s former stronghold awaiting my turn to buss the boulder, heard a fellow-tourist remark in her fine British accent to her companion: “Here we are then, having paid perfectly good money to get drenched in a slow-moving queue waiting to lie down on our backsides and kiss a rock. And we say the Irish are stupid.” :)