Monday, September 07, 2009

The Lisbon Treaty and the Natterjack Toad

In the first referendum on the Lisbon Treaty I voted "Yes". I always vote "Yes" in referendums on European matters. 47% of the vote the last time was for a "Yes" - a sizeable minority, but a fact that "No" campaigners ignored while claiming a massive victory. The Dún Laoghaire constituency returned the highest "Yes" vote in the country - over 60%. Some folks here wanted to know if we could stay in Europe while the rest of the country could opt out. I support the European project - not because of what Ireland has got out of the EU, but because I feel it is a good thing to be a European and that we should all be integrated more closely. In many ways I feel that I am in the same boat as the French, Greeks, Latvians, and people of all the other 26 EU member states - part of a wider Union family of Europeans. In order for it to work better, it needs the Lisbon Treaty - a no brainer for me.

Seeing the array of people who are lined up against the Treaty makes it even easier to vote "Yes". Joe Higgins (one of our MEPs ffs), Sinn Féin, People before Profit, the dreadful Cóir, are all a motley crew of people searching for reasons to vote "No". Many of the issues identified last time for the 53% "No" vote have been addressed, so they are searching the bottom of the barrel for more reasons to vote "No" (that they astonishingly forgot to tell us about the last time). €1.84 minimum wage is the latest - the Treaty does not mention anything about minimum wages. We'll have abortion imposed against our will (what would a vote on that be like now I wonder?) - the Treaty does not mention anything about abortion. I also hated the way that Cóir used the 1916 Proclamation during the last referendum, and the way they are using pictures of Pearse, Clarke, and Connolly this time claiming they won our freedom and beseeching us not to "Throw it all away". They did not win any freedom - in fact they lost and were shot for it. Leave the 1916 leaders and the Proclamation alone - they are dead patriots who do not deserve their memories being usurped like this.

The Treaty also does not mention a lot of other things - among them the endangered Natterjack Toad in Kerry. Does this mean that this protected toad is under threat from voting "Yes"? According to the twisted logic above it will. Now I'm descending into ridicule - but I'm sick of negative people who always oppose anything no matter what. I bet that if we have a referendum on protecting the Natterjack Toad that gobshites like Cóir would campaign against it.

I have no problem with people voting "No" - I'm sure many who did so the last time are sick of the fact that they have to do it again (just like I am having to go out and vote "Yes" again). But please leave our dead heroes alone and stick to the facts of the treaty. Otherwise people like me will want to know where you stand on the Natterjack Toad issue.

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