Will the Irish kill the Lisbon Treaty?
Pulling the piss out of the Labour Party
The Irish are a funny sort. Having a long history of not doing what their next door neighbours wanted them to do (sit back, suffer and enjoy British imperialism), despite famines and awful repression lasting centuries, the people of Eire shook off the chains of foreign occupation over 80 years ago.
This history is deeply engrained in the hearts and minds of Irish people, despite huge pressure to forget everything beyond and including your last piss-up. With recent decades of rapid change in Irish society and the ever-increasing divide amongst the haves and the have-nots, strong elements of 'being pissed off when having determined someone is trying to screw you' can become a call to arms (metaphorical)in a split second.
On a variety of occasions, people in Ireland wake up and smell the shite that's going on around them - e.g. the 1st Nice Treaty (yes, thanks to it Poland, etc. got in the door, blah, blah, blah), although we corrected our 'mistake' 1 year later by voting 'Yes.'
Biased, biased, biased - Irish Referendum Commission does it's master's work
At the end of a week day night, in the local pub, when the Irish anthem is played and sung along to(though few know the lyrics), one can experience that thing called sovereignity and decentralisation, which the Irish have always longed for and cherished (by the former I mean being independent enough to buy a pint of stout and by the latter I mean that there are enough pubs per capita to quench our insatiable thirst).
Though the sacred calf of Irish military neutrality was quashed and exposed as an actualmj myth in the first place, with the US army's use of Shannon as a pitstop for the Iraq war, the Irish still value their roles as peace keepers in the world, not war facilitators.
There are a host of other issues, all important in their own right, on the privatisation of public services, voting rights, tax sovereignity, military spending, etc. which have been dealt with inexorably in the Irish media and elsewhere.
I ain't going to bother my arse wasting time writing here about them.
Unity, Yes! Lisbon rag, No!
5 days ago I was 99.99% sure that the Yes campaign had it in the bag. But it seems like the Irish capacity to surprise may still await the half a billion citizens of the EU
Hence, my surprise with the recent Irish Times poll that the 'No Vote' have jumped a massive 17% in a recent survey, and have therefore taken the lead over the 'Yes campaign.'
No - 35%
Yes - 30%
I haven't a clue or don't give a shite one way or the other - 35%
Pundits say the latter group will be more inclined to vote No.
But, who knows what could happen in the final 4 days of campaigning.
It may all rest on the biggest trade union SIPTU, and whether they give their blessing to the 'Yes campaign' in exchange for a promise from the government that they will legislate for collective bargaining rights in the workplace. The Prime Minister, an intelligent, fairly pragmatic prick from my area, will not commit himself to whether worker's collective bargaining rights will be enshrined for the Irish workforce through the Lisbon Treaty. Consequently, he risks losing a major body of potential support for the 'Yes campaign.'