Posts Tagged ‘Lisbon Treaty

09
Sep
09

Lies and the liars who tell them

I was in the Post Office this morning when I happened upon a remarkable piece of literature. It’s a newspaper titled The Sovereign Independent (which strikes me as a bit redundant), and just to give you an idea as to its content, the splash story is headlined: “The vote to end ALL VOTES.”

Yes, this is a paper dedicated to highlighting the evils of the Lisbon treaty. “Creating fear” is the charge the splash article levels at proponents of the treaty, claiming, “in the midst of the economic crisis, they are confident that people are afraid enough to vote on something they haven’t read.” Just to remind you, the headline of this article is “the vote to end all votes”, suggesting this is not a referendum so much as the plot to The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer. There’s only one side that can be accused of creating fear here.

The totalitarian talk continues within. There’s a piece on the prevalence of the EU flag. Apparently it’s “popping up like swastikas”. On our cars and on our money! “This is just another example of tip-toe totalitarianism.” I could go on but you get the idea. The best part for me is the back page, which contains a piece explaining the paper’s purpose. “We are a non-partisan newspaper and we only publish facts and not personal opinions.” Yes, much like the facts I’ve just highlighted.

It goes on: “We are at the most important historical point in all Irelands history, indeed in the history of the world – because we are being presented with the biggest assault on our liberty since independence.” You might recognise this as opinion, not fact, and might I add lousy, lousy grammar. The next paragraph tells us: “The vast majority of the European people do not want to live under the Lisbon Treaty any more than the Irish do.” How do they know? Did they ask them all (this really is Michael Rimmer stuff)? Again, opinion, not fact.

Here are some more facts. The front page story also says of the Yes side: “These are the same politicians who encouraged borrowing, who created the housing bubble, and who recently bailed out the banks at the tax-payer’s [seemingly just one tax-payer] expense.” Yes, except the housing bubble was a blunder of the FF-PD coalition. All major parties excluding Sinn Féin are supporting the treaty, and the shinners are simply reverting to the standard anti-EU stance, so we might easily exclude them. Also, this is a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, not a survey on how well the government handled the economy.

This is why I’m voting yes. I look to the No side for a rational argument and I see science fiction plots instead. Cóir have put up posters in my town (I assume they’re elsewhere) stating: “€200 million lost in fisheries. Farming is next.” Notice the absolute language used. They don’t even bother employing the Fox News trick of posing it as a question: “Is farming next?” Either Cóir are somehow privy to the EU’s agricultural plans, or they’re just trying to scare us into voting no.

Anyway, to change the subject completely, I’m off to bed now as I have an early start. I have an interview in the morning. An actual interview! I’d almost forgotten what those are.

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07
Sep
09

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.

07
Jan
09

So Bev was kicked out of Fianna Fail and this was somehow the taxpayer’s fault: UPDATED

My dole payment today was significantly less than usual. This is because I told the social welfare office that I’d been working over Christmas serving people I hate in an environment that suggests Marx was right. Actually, I didn’t have the nerve to mention the Marx stuff. I just told them I’d been working so my payments should be docked accordingly. I’m pretty sure I would have gotten away with it, but I figured I was better off being honest. The apprehension about getting caught would have been just too annoying, and I was starting to feel guilty every time I heard Cowan or Lenihan utter the words “significant exchequer shortfalls”.

It is exactly this reason that I’m in a boiling rage over Cooper-Flynn and her latest bullshit. She’s claiming a €41,000 annual benefit offered to independent TDs, even thought she’s a fully fledged Fianna Fail member. She can apparently do this because she was an independent when elected, having only rejoined the republican party’s ranks in 2008. The law clearly states that she’s still entitled to the money. So a loophole it be, like the kind she was good at finding when she was at National Irish Bank.

As of now, Cooper Flynn “earns” a €106,581 salary, as well as the numerous expences that TDs can avail of. On top of this she is somehow entitled to a tax-free €41,000 every year until the Dail ends in 2012 (or perhaps sooner than that, if this kind shit continues) for being something she actually isn’t. This is exactly the kind of doublethink that Orwell warned us about.

So what’s Flynn’s justification for this. According to The Irish Times, she told Midwest Radio, “prior to the last election I was elected as a Fianna Fáil TD. I found myself outside Fianna Fáil after the first year and spent the following four years as an Independent. In that particular case I did not receive the Independent allowance despite the fact that I did not have the support of the party structure and had the additional expenses that all Independent deputies have.” This might seem fair enough, except that during those years the country wasn’t facing a recession (which, incidentally, her party let happen) and the government wasn’t demanding cutbacks in every aspect of public spending.

Later this year the government will try to convince us to say yes to something we already rejected. This is a government that is already far more unpopular than it was during the last Lisbon referendum, due largely to the economy. And yet this woman is still banging on about what she’s “entitled” to. Of course we really shouldn’t expect Cooper-Flynn to be concerned with bigger pictures. She, like her similarly scummy father, is an old breed of Fianna Failer, in it for what they can get out of it. Let us not forget why she was expelled from the party in the first place. Now, when you think about it, she actually expects us to pay for this

It takes a particular nasty streak of greed to be Beverly Cooper-Flynn. I’m sorry to sound like an Evening Herald headline but it just so happans that occasionally they’re right. I could give you other examples of her greed related to me by my Mayo sources, but unlike RTE I can’t prove these and she would probably be successful in her libal claim against me. Nonetheless, she is clearly a self-interested bitch who’s only damaging her party and her govenment by being a part of it. The only way Fianna Fail can fix this one is if they once again make Bev a legitimate recipient of an independent TD’s allowance.

EDIT:
She finally buckled. I suppose it was inevitable, really. Still, I can’t help but wonder what it was that did it. I mean, yesterday she was adamant she was entitled to the allowance. Yet today, after a wee word with Cowen, she’s giving it up. What exactly did he say? Somehow, I doubt the word “please” was involved.

Apparantly she was “deeply hurt by some of the media comments that portrayed her as being dishonest”. I don’t doubt it. No matter how dishonest these fuckers really are, they still seem to expect universal awe for some reason. I know it’s unlikely, but I really, really hope that my post was one of the media comments that upset her so. Bitch!

I also had to laugh at the “used to benefit my constituents” remark, How exactly? Did she run around Mayo giving away the money to strangers? One must assume they’re the ones losing out now that the money is gone. No point in worrying about it too much though. It’s just more doublethink.

18
Dec
08

To those with a positive, “can-do” attitude, calm the fuck down and stop making things more complicated for everyone

My return to the service industry has naturally been met with a return of everything about it that I hate. As any barman or waiter will tell you, this isn’t a business marked by major difficulties, like – say – working down a coal mine. Its curse is the sum of a million little problems. For me, at least for now, chief among these is a phenomenon I’ve encountered in almost ever bar and restaurant I’ve worked in, the over-eager busy-body who thinks he’s helping everyone but is actually making the whole experience far more painful than it needs to be.

This particular individual, I’ve notice, has a penchant for taking charge of various situations, even if they require no forethought or direction whatsoever. For instance, the task of going to the cold-room to retrieve a case of wine comes with instructions on what route to take, what route to take back, other types of wine that might be suitable if the first choice isn’t available, how to bend your back when lifting a heavy box, etc. Just to be clear, this guy isn’t any level of boss or the holder of some certificate that makes him qualified to give such instructions. He just enjoys telling people what to do.

He’s worst offence was having us prepare trays of drinks for guests as they arrive, hours before the guests actually arrived. We ended up having to throw them out (the drinks that is, not the guests). Now all this might be some way forgivable if he had any talent as a barman, so let me point out one little thing; he thinks a half-pint goes into a slim-jim glass.

I’ve tried figuring out what motivates people like this. I suppose it’s a desire to be noticed above the herd. In this case, however, I don’t think that’s the point. I think he just gets a kick from the sense that he’s in charge. My first clue what the list of utterly pointless questions he asked our supervisor on our first shift. I seriously doubt he asked these question because was unsure of the answers (nobody could be that stupid). I’m positive he thought the rest of us would learn something if he brought them up.

Of course a level in initiative is necessary in any industry. It’s what turns an average service in to a great one. But when you’re seeking to maximise the benefit from every conceivable scenario, what you’re actually doing is wasting time and effort combating problems that never existed in the first place.

Apart from all this (and a small level of dickery from one or two superiours), the only other event of interest involving my new job occured last night when I served a particular girl. She’s a very active voluteer with Fianna Fail, and I worked with her quite a bit during the summer when I was covering the Lisbon campaign. This was slightly humiliating. I mean, to go from being a proper journalist to serving drinks to privilaged fucks is quite a downgrage. Of course I realise lots of people have proper jobs and do a little bar work on the side. Still, I think I would have felt better had she not been there.

09
Dec
08

Pat Kenny and Lisbon: get over it

Pat Kenny is on the radio right now suggesting that the EU may tell the government to go hang if we ask for a bail-out for the pig industry. The reason: our ungratefulness with the Lisbon vote.

It’s been well established that Kenny operates on such a petty level. His on-air sulking when the  vote was counted is proof of that. But if the EU can willingly let hundreds suffer as punishment for not voting the right way, well, we actually made the right choice.

I supported the treaty, I still do. But not for this. If I had thought it was a referendum was about letting Europe get it way or suffering the consequences, I would have voted no.

PS,

I got me a fluffly link from Damien. Thanks, man. Appreciated.

05
Dec
08

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.