Archive for June 16th, 2008


(The egregious) Denis MacShane:

The treaty of Lisbon has featured big in current European democratic consultation. President Sarkozy of France was handsomely elected on a platform of supporting the treaty and defying his opponents who made their call for a referendum a core part of the 2007 election campaign in France. Of course, we should not ignore the 800,000 Irish voters who voted no. But nor can we ignore the 20 million French voters who reversed their 2005 vote and voted oui for a president pledged to ratify Lisbon in France’s national assembly.

Mutatis mutandis, the solution to the current impasse, according to MacShane’s logic, is clear: Ireland should hold another general election, and provided we have a government mostly comprising either FF, FG, Lab, Greens or PDs, the voters will in fact be reversing their vote on the Lisbon treaty. Because that’s how democracy should work, you know.

Peace, prosperity and stability for its peoples (but screw everyone else)

At the same time, the EU is trying to convince the Andean Community of Nations (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) to sign an “association agreement” that includes a free trade agreement of a similar nature to that imposed by the US. We are under intense pressure to accept demands for liberalisation of our trade, financial services, intellectual property rights and public works. Under so-called “judicial protection” we are being pressured to denationalise water, gas and telecommunications. Where is the “judicial protection” for our people seeking new horizons in Europe?

Evo Morales has been sadly misled by a rag-tag alliance of anti-abortionists and xenophobes, and hasn’t got it into his head yet that privatisation is good for Bolivia, good For Europe.

The social cohesion problems that Europe is suffering now are not the fault of migrants, but the result of the model of development imposed by the north, which destroys the planet and dismembers human societies.

What a nasty man. He must have been taken in by those leaflets from Coir. All those working class people in Bolivia. They just don’t understand the enlightened character of the European project. We should get Colm Tóibín to fly over and read extracts from The Master to them, since he supports the project ‘in general‘. That’d settle their angry little heads.

Gideon Levy:

It is also true that public opinion in Europe is still more sympathetic to the Palestinians. But the European governments are turning their backs on this sentiment and are conducting a quite amazingly sympathetic policy toward Israel. There is practically no country that has not sent an official to Israel recently; they are all rushing to Sderot to take their picture with a Qassam, and staying away from Gaza in droves, despite the much greater suffering there.

This false magic charm should not be allowed to trick us. This is not good news for those who wish for an end to the Israeli occupation and still believe that Europe can and should play a useful role in achieving peace in the region. Europe, which is now incomprehensibly and blindly following the U.S., is not just a Europe ignoring the values it proclaims; it is also a Europe that will lose any possibility to influence the region. That is not good for the Middle East and it is bad for Europe, too, in whose backyard our conflict begins.

Yes, but blindly following the US is good for the Middle East, good for Europe. Ignoring public opinion, by the way, is also good for Europe.

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June 2008
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