It seems that the NO side in the Irish referendum campaign no longer have to come up with their own campaign slogans. They are getting all their best material from the YES side, who are beginning to openly admit that the Lisbon Treaty is a mistake, a dead duck, and not even necessary.
Starting with Charlie McCreevy, Ireland’s EU Commissioner. It was him who provided the COIR campaign with their most successful poster of all, when he obliged by telling the world that 95% of Europeans would vote NO against the Lisbon Treaty, if only they were given the chance! See the story in Daily Telegraph from June HERE
From OPEN EUROPE –
Margot Wallstrom, EU Communications Commissioner certainly has a problem finding good answers to explain what Charlie was saying. He was only trying to defend his fellow countrymen’s earlier rejection of Lisbon, under a hail of EU bullets of course.
On Friday the Irish Evening Herald reported on an interview with EU Communications Commissioner Margot Wallström in which she said that Irish Commissioner Charlie McCreevy must regret saying that 95 percent of Europeans would vote No, adding “I think you can only ask Charlie about that.
I can only guess that he’s unhappy about being used in this way, in any campaign.”
But after getting the defence done, then she seemed remarkably unwilling to go on the attack over the Lisbon Treaty. She’s singing a very different tune now, to what she was a month ago.
According to the paper, “the Swedish politician is in Dublin to seek support for the Lisbon Treaty”, and she is quoted as saying, “Ireland would be so much worse off without Europe…. Maybe we don’t tell you often enough: We want Ireland in the EU … Ireland being in the EU, to the rest of the EU, it means so much.”
It sounds as if she has moved on to worrying whether Ireland will soon be moving out of the EU. Lisbon was not really mentioned.
Then you see the comment from Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, that a victory for the NO campaign would be – a disaster for Ireland ? (NO), the end of Ireland’s membership of the EU? (NO) the end of the world? (NO).
Saturday’s Irish Times reported that Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan has said that a ‘no’ vote would represent a “spiritual withdrawal” from Europe.
That sounds almost a sensible and well-considered position to be in for Ireland. But again, it shows concern about what will happen once the Treaty is rejected, and no expectation that it will be approved.
Finally one of journalism’s biggest advocates of the Lisbon Treaty and of EUtopia in general, Wolfgang Munchau of the Financial Times, says that he now, all of a sudden, finds the Lisbon Treaty – vital for Ireland? (NO), vital for Europe’s future? (NO), the only way to make Europe workable in the future? (NO).
In his column for the FT, Wolfgang Münchau writes, “Last year, after a first referendum produced an overwhelming No, I argued in a series of columns that a definite rejection of the treaty would effectively strike that country off the political and economic map.
I no longer believe that to be the case. If the Irish vote No, I now believe it will be the end of the treaty, not of Ireland.”
He describes the text as a “pre-crisis treaty for a post-crisis world” and goes on to say, “I, too, find the treaty increasingly hard to defend with a straight face…It is not that easy to explain why this particular treaty is necessary when the real problems of the EU lie so obviously outside its scope.“
My God! There is clearly an instruction going round to get the crowd ready for the total withdrawal of the Lisbon Treaty. Munchau will write whatever his masters in Brussels tell him to write. You could be forgiven for allowing yourself a chortle at Wolfgang’s volte-face, except the implications of Munchau’s political window dressing require serious absorption.
With Ganley rushing back into the political frame, yesterday challenging Cowen to a TV debate over Lisbon, trying to get his face to the front of the NO campaign, after earlier saying he’d withdrawn from politics, and now many key media EUtopians pulling up the white flag, it is hardly surprising to hear British Conservatives subtly hardening their anti-Lisbon promises.
The words ‘manifesto’ ‘Lisbon’ ‘referendum’ ‘unconditional’ are on their lips.
The EU wants to prevent that at all costs. They will undoubtedly withdraw the Treaty and find another way to stitch up the Brits. They will have to, somehow, make a British referendum superfluous. They must be terrified of Cameron, and their strategy will inevitably be to stop a British referendum, even at the cost of sacrificing the Lisbon version of the treaty, and starting all over again.
The media, however, is continuing its fantasy about the Lisbon Treaty having a prayer or even life, announcing false polling results in Ireland to buy time, while all the signs from those who know, indicate that Lisbon’s corpse is already silently floating down the Liffey, unnoticed by anyone. The EUtopians who’ve realised the Lisbon game is up, are competing to write Lisbon’s eulogy favourably to themselves, and orientate themselves for the coming scramble for new positions, before the sceptics realise what’s going on.
The rats aren’t leaving the ship yet. But the ship will never be the same again. The Lisbon-era politics of arrogance are fast giving way to the politics of fear. The game is moving on.