Saturday, June 07, 2008

Sinn Féin & the Lisbon Treaty

What is the logic behind Sinn Fein’s opposition to the Lisbon Treaty, apart from that party’s normal ultra-nationalist anti-EU stance, which reflects its automatic denial of anything that may even appear to impinge on our sovereignty, as they choose to define it at any point in time?

Defence of our 12.5% Corporate Tax rate.
Didn’t Sinn Fein campaign for an increase in that rate as recently as the 2007 General Election? Are we now expected to be believe, 12 months later, that this Corporate Tax rate has become a core value for Sinn Fein? Who are they trying to fool? So the only question is this: are they just cynically scare-mongering or are they also trying to attract support and political donations from the business sector? Will Libertas leading lights feature on future lists of party donors?

Neutrality and Demilitarisation
The argument about the treaty requiring member countries to upgrade their armed forces would be better made by parties other than Sinn Fein. That party clearly had, in the past, a vested interest in keeping the security forces of this state in the weakest possible position. Doubtless there may well be some among their leadership/active membership who would wish to maintain that situation in the, hopefully unlikely, event of a return to “war”.
Sinn Fein’s concern for Irish neutrality and their desire to ensure that the Irish Army does not become involved in any EU adventures abroad is, in light of their own history, utterly lacking credibility. To be lectured thus by former terrorists is, frankly, FARCical.

Renegotiation of the Lisbon Treaty
Brian Cowen rightly made the point that this is far from the easy option so simplistically pushed by Sinn Fein and their fellow-travellers on the NO side.
As Cowen pointed out, if he goes back to Brussels with the list of problem areas being promoted by the NO campaigners, the other national leaders will be left scratching their heads while they say “but your tax position is protected by Lisbon, as is neutrality, abortion is unchanged, privatisation of public services remains a domestic policy decision etc etc etc”.
And let’s examine briefly the record of “ace negotiators” Sinn Fein: after 30+ years of mayhem and murder, for which that party must bear the greatest share of the blame.
What did they actually achieve?
(i) The territorial claim to Northern Ireland has been deleted from the Irish Constitution.
(ii) The constitutional position of NI as part of the United Kingdom is recognised by all parties, including the Irish Govt and Sinn Fein.
(iii) Ian Paisley (and now Peter Robinson, Baron Clontibret) becomes Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.
You couldn’t make it up! And these are the boyos who talk about renegotiating Lisbon? You wouldn’t send them out to buy a pint of milk.
Does anyone believe that the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement could have achieved LESS if left to pursue their peaceful approach for a decade? How prosperous would NI be now if they’d had 30 years of peace instead of Sinn Fein “negotiation”?

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