Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vote NO to Lisbon 2 - Every vote counts

éirígí are once again appealing to people to vote NO to the Lisbon Treaty on October 2nd. There are many very important reasons for doing so.

The EU and the Fianna Fáil led administration have refused to respect the democratic will of the people of this state when they rejected Lisbon last year. They have not addressed their concerns in relation to the Treaty. The campaign for a yes vote is based almost entirely on deceiving the public into thinking that the Treaty has somehow changed. They have coupled this deception with blatant scaremongering and bullying tactics as Micheál Martin and Brian Cowen threaten us with impending doom if we refuse to vote the way they tell us to.

Lisbon is fundamentally an undemocratic Treaty that is very bad not just for the Irish people but for the people of Europe as a whole. That we are even being asked to vote on this again after the people of France, the Netherlands and most recently the people of this state last year, rejecting this Treaty exposes the undemocratic agenda underpinning the entire European Union project.

Don’t be fooled. This is the exact same treaty – word for word. Nothing has changed in it. The guarantees are meaningless promises. They are as reliable as the content of a Fianna Fáil election manifesto and as valuable as the paper they are printed on.

But the treaty isnt all bad news. At least not if you are Ryanair’s Micheal O Leary or multi-national corporation Intel seeking to increase its profits on the backs of the EU’s 500 milion workers and specifically in Intels case by the increased militarisation that Lisbon will bring about.

The Treaty obliges ALL EU states to increase its military capabilities. It deepens and strengthens the links between the EU and NATO, it seeks to increase the EU’s military capabilities and it creates a mutual defence pact in clear breach of the neutral status claimed by this state.

Intel manufactures computer parts for use in military hardware. Along with the rest of the arms industry they view Lisbon as a heaven sent opportunity to boost its profits regardless of the death and destruction the military hardware they help to produce will wreak on civilians on its receiving end in various war zones around the world.

While the Treaty does serve the self interest of the political establishment, big business and the arms industry, for workers Lisbon is yet more bad news and will see an intensification of the continuing attack on their living standards and working conditions.

The policies driven by the European Union and enforced by the lackeys that pass for a government in Leinster House, and which are enshrined in this Treaty, have devestated our farming communities and the fishing industry which has been completely decimated.

We are in the midst of probably the worst recession this state has ever seen. While the entire country has suffered greatly, the north-west has been probably been the worst hit region in the state. Almost half a million people in the 26 counties are now unemployed. Our health services have been savagely cut with major cutbacks in the provision of front line services as much needed nursing and cleaning staff are being laid off with essential medical services being removed or reduced. Our education services have also suffered greatly, particularly for those families on low pay and social welfare. The book grant scheme has been withdrawn, school transport fees have shot through the roof and the cutbacks in teaching staff have seen class sizes increase needlessly once again.

And the people responsible for creating this economic wasteland are now telling us, as they continue to live their lavish lifestyles drawing enormous salaries and over-generous expenses, to trust them. To trust them and to vote for Lisbon, for more of their discredited right wing, neo-liberal, greed before need capitalist policies that caused this crisis in the first place.

People have a choice. They can cave in to the bullying and scaremongering. They can put their faith in Fianna Fáil and the likes of Micheal O Leary and vote for a more undemocratic, heavily militarised Europe putting the interests of multi-nationals and big business above the rights of workers and their families and ahead of peoples right to first class health and education services.

Or they can can vote NO for a fairer, more democratic Europe that places the rights of workers and the right to public healthcare and education before the profits of big business. On October 2nd éirígí urge you to once more vote NO for a better Europe and a better future for us all.

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