When RTE reported (5th report) on the United Kingdom Independence Party’s involvement in the Lisbon Treaty referendum they described the event as ‘an intervention’ in the campaign.
When the EU President visited Limerick the national broadcaster reported (3rd report) that José Manuel Barroso was ‘campaigning’ for a Yes vote.
And Barroso didn’t waste much time in his campaigning, he immediately described some opponents of the treaty as absurd liars while handing out what some have described as a €15 million EU bribe to former Dell workers.
Gerry Stembridge, speaking on the Marian Finucane Show (Sunday) said that even Yes voters would be shocked by Barroso’s behaviour.
He went on to say that the Dell announcement was nothing but a vulgar, sleazy bribe and was an indication of how EU officials viewed the Irish. Clearly, somebody has been advising EU officials on how business is done in Ireland.
There was also an incident during the first Lisbon campaign which indicated how we are viewed by our EU colleagues. The EU was in the process of challenging the Irish Taliban law that allows religions to hire and fire teachers and medical staff if they fall fowl of the religious ethos of a school or hospital.
The challenge was dropped in the belief that the backward and religiously oppressed Irish would be more likely to vote Yes if they were allowed to keep their medieval laws.