Posts Tagged ‘Declan Ganley


Thank heavens for Joe Higgins

As arguments for a No vote go, this is surely the feeblest. There are placards dotted around Cork stating the EU will impose carbon taxes us. “On your business. On your farms. On your families,” is the claim. The thing is, we have to pay taxes anyway, on our businesses, farms and even (if indirectly) our families. And if the Greens are to have any effectiveness in government, we’re all going to be paying carbon taxes soon, regardless of anything that happens in the EU. To many, if not most, paying carbon tax is a good thing.

It is this level of argumentation that I think is giving the Yes camp the edge in the polls. People are sick of the irrelevance and downright deceitfulness of the No side’s arguments. I am aware this is happening on both sides of the fence, but it seems to me the Nos have been dominant in this regard. It is for this reason that I’m genuinely delighted by the presence of Joe Higgins. It is only because of Joe that we’re having a proper debate at all. I’ve remarked before how Joe Higgins has usurped Declan Ganley as the No side’s mascot in this referendum, and this has proven to be a good thing. Unlike Ganley, there’s no ambiguity about why he wants us to vote no. There’s no questioning his motives. He’s a socialist in comment and deed, and regardless of how you rate his opinions there’s no denying he’s stands up for what he believes in. Bertie once described Higgins as a failed politician (actually, what he said was failed person, but let us suppose that was said in the heat of the moment and what he meant was failed politician). Well, at least Joe’s failures didn’t take the rest of us down with him.

As boring is this campaign has been, at least we’re having a debate. Last year we were preoccupied with microchipped babies, enforced abortions and super-army conscriptions. Many on the No side have made much of the fact that we’re voting again on the same treaty, cheerily ignoring that the second referendum is largely their fault. If we had rejected the treaty on its own merits last year, rather than get distracted by Cóir’s bullshit and Ganley’s questionable vested interests, then the EU wouldn’t have been able to pass it off with legal guarantees. This time it’s the affect Lisbon will have on workers that’s the focus of debate, and for that we have Joe Higgins to thank.

I’ve spoken here previously about Higgins in a manner that was perhaps more sarcastic and mocking that was warranted, but I for one am glad he’s campaigning. I’m not convinced by his argument. I’m still voting yes, but I’m grateful there’s someone of Joe’s integrity asking me to consider voting no. I’ve been reading Nick McGinley’s 100 Reason to Vote Yes to Lisbon II, an reasonable yet hardly definitive call for a yes vote. Reason 97 is “Joe Higgins will have to engage constructively with the EU institutions”. I’m sure he finds it repulsive that he has been personally tagged as a reason to vote yes, but I’m sure we can agree that we’re better off having an MEP like Joe working on the inside for us.


I’m voting No ’cause Lisbon won’t sort out that rattling sound in my engine

With the Lisbon II campaign officially under way, it’s been interesting to see who’s been crying for a no vote, and why. First off, there are a lot of empty seats at the back. Amazingly, the bauld Ganley has seemingly kept his promise to stay out of it should Libertas do badly in the European elections. I didn’t expect that. I thought we’d have every media outlet in the country saturated with his opinions (if perhaps through proxies). Perhaps working with Libertas really was a miserable experience for all involved.

Also marked by his absence this time around is Kevin Myers. Not a word has he devoted to Lisbon in his Indo column; odd given is highly vocal objections last year. I don’t recall all his arguments, but I happen to know his main objection was the possibility of Turkey (ie, a Muslim country) joining the EU. I know this because he told me so in conversation (I interviewed him for my thesis). Now he didn’t say it was ok to quote him on this, but he didn’t indicate he was speaking off the record either so I assume he doesn’t mind me repeating it here. Given recent tirades against immigration, one must assume he hasn’t changed his mind. There’s time for him to speak up yet.

Other no-shows include Ulick, seemingly rendered too shy in the presence of Sinn Féin supporters. As such, the campaign for a No vote has been largely left to the Shinners, those wicked cunts in Cóir and Joe Higgins’ socialists. There are others of course, such as Unite breaking ranks with their fellow trade-unions, but for the sake of clarity let’s say these three are the golden trinity of naysayers. Of these Joe appears to have adopted the mantle of the No side’s grandmaster. Last year he was waxing lyrical about Europe’s military industrial complex. I saw him at a public debate in Trim with Ganley and Dick Roche and a few other vested interests. When it was Joe’s turn to speak he banged on with is best Jim Larkin impression, shoutin’ and roarin’ like a mad thing about profits made by European arms manufacturers, and getting only nervous sideway-glances in response. This time his argument is more measured, complaining that anti-worker rulings by the European Court of Justice will be copper-fastened under the treaty.

His claim seems to have formed the No side’s central argument. And honestly, I don’t have the wherewithal to challenge it. I’ll allow more learned men to fight this case. However, I must challenge Higgins’ apparent concern that “the reality is that Lisbon grants no new rights for workers”. Why would it? We might as well complain that it doesn’t say anything about fighting pollution, it doesn’t control John O’Donoghue’s spending, and it doesn’t force a videogame company to release Duke Nukem Forover. The Lisbon treaty’s charge is surely the numerous organs of the EU, ensuring they work efficiently together. It is these organs that ensure workers rights, and Lisbon facilities that. Now we can complain about ideology and ECJ rulings ‘til the cows come home, but if we take the EU as a whole I think most will agree Irish workers have benefited from it.


In this post, I try to get sued by Declan Ganley

It seems that the bauld Ganley is planning to sue RTE over last Thursday’s Prime Time show, in which his business actions were investigated. This is on top of threats to sue Labour’s Joe Costello and seemingly hollow talk of taking action against Colm Keena and The Irish Times.

I did manage to catch Prime Time on Thursday, and I don’t recall anything in it that was particularly damaging. All allegations were address by Ganley in the show itself, or were already well documented and in the public domain. Admittedly, I wasn’t really paying attention. The only part I took interest in was the John McGuirk interview where he was made to look like a fool (this made me happy, as McGuirk is an individual I’ve had the displeasure of meeting prior to his Libertas career).

Allow me to state my opinion on Declan Ganley; he really needs to piss the fuck off. He made a name for himself in amateur politics during the Lisbon Treaty campaign, and did very well for himself. Bully for him. But his 15 minutes are up and he needs to get back to whatever Galway bog-mansion he owns.

Libertas’ campaign during the treaty was one of mistruths and disinformation. For instance, I attended a Libertas public meeting in Ranelagh in which he claimed the treaty if in enacted would assume superiority over the Irish constitution. When I rudely interrupted to ask where in the treaty that was stated, he pointed to an article that perscribed highly qualified scenarios to which national constitutions may be unsuited. I don’t remember exactly what these were, but is certainly wasn’t the scary super-constitution stuff he made it out to be.

He also made much of the EU’s arrogance and cynicism in trying to trick us to accept the treaty. In fairness, he had a point here. There was something horribly high-minded and undemocratic about the way Europe tried to push the treaty on us. But this alone does not mean the treaty was a bad idea, and he was conspicuously silent when Coir (who managed to be even bigger pricks that Libertas) were knowingly telling lies about European super armies and microchipped babies.

But that was then, and he got his way. So why is he still on my telly. In his defence, there has undoubtedly been an effort by The Irish Times and RTE to highlight the ‘controversies’ over this finances. But he’s partly to blame for this for his superficial adherence to campaign funding regulations. It’s time for him fuck off home. He’s the most insignificant successful political activist this country has ever seen. He does not speak for anyone but himself. His objections to the treaty were self-serving. Mr Ganley, you know you’ve never acted in anyone’s interest but your own. Please go away.

In the meantime, here are some facts about Ganley you may not have heard. Declan Ganley has a bizarre leather fetish. He is directly to blame for my joblessness. Prior to the campaign, he spent only three weeks a year in Galway. As a child, he longed for Gargamel to kill the Smurfs. He is bald, which scientists have link to impotence. He has never satisfied a woman. He has attended donkey shows. And if he reads this post he isn’t going to sue me.