On The Turn

OK, I’ve had an about turn. I’m voting Yes. Here are my reasons:

  1. Don’t let’s be beastly to the Europeans. Voting no would be like taking a knife to a bouncy castle at a five year old’s birthday party.
  2. It’s gone well so far, so it will go well in future, because we Europeans all know from our history that things never go wrong.
  3. Ireland’s image as committed Europeans will be tarnished, and people wearing kilts will be shunned on the cities of the continent.
  4. The best time to change a constitution is when there’s nothing better to do.
  5. One in the eye to the Eurocrats is no doubt satisfying, but one in the eye for the hundreds of millions of EU citizens who can’t vote for the treaty delivers an exquisite moment of jouissance.
  6. A No vote will mean you will no longer be able to use the words jouissance, schadenfreude, and dolce far niente. Instead, these will be replaced by ‘craic’, ‘craic’, and ‘craic’.
  7. I am a democrat and therefore I believe in freedom of choice. So we can freely choose to say yes, or we can be cast out as lepers for saying no.
  8. What this country needs most, more than laws and political programs, is a few courageous, tireless, devoted leaders in whom the people can put their faith.
  9. The last word in Ulysses is ‘Yes’. Imagine what it would have been like if it had ended on a ‘No’. Millions of literature lovers the world over would have gone WTF?!! So we should vote ‘Yes’ because it is consistent with our literary heritage.

    4 Responses to “On The Turn”

    1. 1 FutureTaoiseach June 12, 2008 at 5:14 am

      I’m still voting no. The issue is Irish sovereignty and its surrender to an unelected elite. Also, when French and Holland voted no, they didn’t suffer – FDI in France doubled while Dutch unemployment fell to 2%.

    2. 2 Hugh Green June 12, 2008 at 6:16 am

      I’m still voting no too, though I seem to have confused people on this point. Perhaps the above reasoms were more plausible than I thought?

    3. 3 Tomaltach June 12, 2008 at 8:43 am

      Where did you get your figures. The figures I saw for Holland saw its u nemployment heading for 7% in the year after the referendum failed (failed 2005, figures for 2006 were 6.6%). Nevertheless, I don’t think the dynamics of an economy are such that a rejection would have an immediate impact. But in terms of France there is no doubt that the country’s political elite felt that their hitherto position as one of the main drivers in Europe was set back significantly. Ever since they have spent enormous energy trying to regain that position. Chirac’s credibility in Europe evaporated and no European initiative on his behalf was possible. Sarko has spent his time trying to build relations with Europes other two big powers, Britain and Germany, in an effort to bring France back to the centre of things. True the sky didn’t fall but there was a cost. And let’s not forget that France went on to ratify Lisbon.

    4. 4 Hugh Green June 12, 2008 at 9:14 am

      I’m not convinced by the power argument one way or the other. That is, it doesn’t matter much to me that Ireland gains or loses influence in Europe. A cliché I know, but power should go to the people. The idea of certain states holding more influence than others by virtue of how well their commissioners and other officials work the room is fundamentally anti-democratic. By voting ‘Yes’ based on the proposition that you’re securing a desirable degree of influence for Ireland in the EU, you’re endorsing a power structure that delivers more power to certain EU citizens than to others. I can understand that one might vote ‘Yes’ on the understanding that this state of affairs is an unfortunate by-product, but doing so precisely because it is a good thing to have as much power for your own nation-state as possible seems to me to fly in the face of ideals such as democracy and solidarity.

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    June 2008
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