When the result came in yesterday Mark Mardell looked shocked and sounded exasperated. The BBC has continually been running this line in its reporting of Ireland’s historic vote on the Lisbon Treaty:
“Just over three million Irish voters are registered – in a European Union of 490 million people.”
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The real comparison with Ireland is even far more dramatic and much less democratic than the image the BBC has been projecting….
The fishermen are resolutely opposed, for the same reasons British fishermen oppose the EU. They have blockaded Cork and Waterford harbours recently. There was some talk of doing so locally, but they couldn’t really be arsed.
Two No votes were cast in our household. If the European superstate crumbles as a result, Granny Fawkes will have started it…
Rumours abound as to the outcome, the governing Fianna Fáil party commissioned a private poll which apparently shades it for them. They also said Bertie Ahern was honest, so Guido puts no particular store in that rumour.
It is difficult to call, punters marignally favour a “Yes” win.
N.B. That really is Guido’s polling card.
We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State. And we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations… In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.
RTE News Flash 22:08
The latest opinion poll on the Lisbon Referendum is showing the ‘No’ side surging ahead in a dramatic reversal of opinion. The TNS/mrbi poll in tomorrow’s Irish Times shows opponents of the Treaty with a 5% lead over those in favour.
Up to now, opinion polls on the Referendum campaign have consistently shown the ‘Yes’ side ahead, although opponents have been closing the gap. But now the ‘No’ side has done more than that, surging into a commanding lead with just a week to polling day.
The poll shows the ‘Yes’ side at 30%, down five points since their last poll three weeks ago, while the ‘No’ side is at 35%, up a staggering 17%, with ‘Don’t Knows’ down 12 at 35%.
If that result is repeated next week, the political establishment is heading for a crushing defeat and the Lisbon Treaty is dead.
Could Ireland save European civilisation again? We are a contrary people…
Guido will be supporting them in the sunshine and then moving on to the Guinness Guzzling fund raiser (see below for how to donate).
By happy coincidence this knees-up is on the last day that Londoners will still be allowed to drink legally on the underground. All who are still standing after the Irish bash (and those light enough to be carried) will be heading over to Liverpool St for the “Last Orders on the Underground party“ on the Circle Line. Unfortunately that starts at 9pm so Guido won’t be able to make it…
UPDATE : I Want a Referendum campaign just called – there will be free Guinness for all who turn up!
*Guido can legally donate to the Irish No Campaign because he is an Irish citizen.
The Irish benefit massively and the inward investment has helped make Irish per capita incomes now higher than in the UK. In the last 11 years Gordon’s big government and big tax bill thinking has contrasted with Ireland’s more Thatcherite approach – resulting in Ireland becoming richer. It has come to something when the republic is spending hundreds of millions of euros to help the poor neighbour in the North upgrade infrastructure. Eurosceptics who claim Ireland is subsidised by EU funds are out of date. Nowadays Ireland is a net loser from the EU financially.
Gordon says he is listening, well he should hear what businesses are saying and see what they are doing. The tax base is narrowing and will continue to do so until he takes the low tax, high growth route to prosperity. The taxodus across the Irish sea will only increase otherwise…
RTE News has more…
No Guinness to be found however, ah well… Happy St Patricks!
As Thomas Cahill records in How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe “when stability returned in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning, becoming not only the conservators of civilization, but also the shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture.” Ireland became “Europe’s publisher” as warrior-monks followed Columcille’s example and began to colonise barbarised Europe.
Whereas once before in distant European history the Irish preserved documents to save Europe from barbarians, Ireland could now vote down a document and save Europe from the bureaucrats. Ireland, alone of all the nations of Europe, will hold a referendum on the Constitutional Treaty…
The PDs are standing firmly on their anti-IRA, tax-cutting, free markets and free enterprise platform. Didn’t Britain once have a successful political party that stood for those values?
Incidentally Tony Blair, fresh from paying tribute to Sarkozy, appeared last night in Fianna Fáil’s party political broadcast backing Bertie Ahern. Fianna Fáil is the Irish equivalent of the Conservative party – so that is the second foreign centre-right political leader he has backed against their socialist opponents in as many weeks. The PDs are allied internationally with the LibDems, but as far as Guido can discover, no-one from Cowley Street is going to help the Irish liberal party. We will cope…
Guido won’t be booing the British national anthem this afternoon, but he will be cheering O’Driscoll to victory…
UPDATE : 43 – 13 and the proper respect shown for the national anthems. Ireland can be proud.