Green party leader, John Gormley, out canvassing in a working class area of Dublin, has surely advanced the most bizarre argument for a Yes vote (Drivetime, 1.10).
He was asked by a woman – Does it mean we’ll get less say in things?
“I think we have a huge say in the European Union. One on the reasons we have a huge say is that we speak English and that’s a huge advantage at the moment because all of the discussions take place in English, you know, say at lunchtime. We have a fantastic opportunity there.”
Let’s be charitable to Mr. Gormley here and assume he was suffering from a bout of sunstroke and not treating this group of women as if they were a herd of morons.
Tom McGurk, writing in the Sunday Business Post, gives even better reasons for voting No.
“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a European superstate run by Eurocrats who are unsackable, founded on a treaty that is unintelligible and watching the democratic linkage between citizen and state disappear under oceans of verbiage.
I don’t believe the architects of this treaty, people like Valery Giscard D’Estaing or Guiliano Amato. I think they are practised political truth-massagers, – and tax-free ones to boot. As Amato himself said at the LSE last February: ‘‘The good thing about not calling it a constitution is that no one can ask for a referendum on it.”
The arrogance and dishonesty of the Yes campaign, too, have been deeply depressing, as if somehow the need for workers’ rights, charters of fundamental rights, an end to cross-border sex trafficking, climate change and global warming somehow cannot be dealt with except in the context of Lisbon. Such nonsense is mere camouflage for the fundamental structural change between citizen and state that Lisbon is creating.
Over and beyond all of this, there is the growing tyranny of Europe’s obsession with environmental and gender politics, its secularisation and multicultural agendas, its interference with national immigration policies and, above all, its failure to combat the relentless transformation of our society into a mere marketplace. Imagine a future in a Euro superstate almost entirely at the mercy of free market forces.
Come to think of it, if we defeat this referendum, it won’t be the first time that the Irish rescued Europe from the Dark Ages. I am pro-European, but I also want to remain primarily an Irish citizen, not a mere statistic in a European superstate. Therefore, I am voting No.”