Thursday, June 19, 2008

Irish No vote:Unhelpful comments from Mandelson and d’Estaing hinder resolution of difficulties

Today the King of spin EU Farm Commissioner Mandelson made a slashing attack on the Irish Yes campaign. He said in reference to the debate in Ireland “All of those fears should have been addressed all those misrepresentations should have been corrected. Frankly, the untruths that were put out by some of the propagandists should have been rebutted right at the beginning of this campaign. [By the Yes campaign]
If you don't defuse it and demolish it instantly, it gets its skates on and it's around the country and everyone is assuming it's right before the other side get up on their soapbox."

Peter Mandelson should look closer to home. His behaviour at the WTO talks triggered a massive rural backlash and protest vote at the polls. This came not alone from farm families but from small businessmen dependent on farming and food processing workers. Has he forgotten the destruction of the sugar beet industry? He appears well on the way to destroying Irish agriculture. Spin Mr Mandelson does not put bread and butter on the table.
Mandelson could show his bona fides at the WTO talks and desist from lecturing the Irish electorate.

Today former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing said that Ireland must either hold a second referendum on the EU reform treaty or negotiate a special accord with the European Union in the wake of its No vote last Thursday.
Giscard d'Estaing was the chairman of the Convention that drafted the EU constitution, which collapsed when French and Dutch voters rejected the text in 2005.
He said in an interview to RTL radio. "A country that represents 0.7 percent of the European population...cannot decide for the others." Once more he is dictating to the Irish.
This intervention is unhelpful and displays arrogance typical of an out of touch liberal. This is par for the course with d’Estaing who was critical of “mistakes” made by French and Dutch voters when they rejected the EU Constitution in referenda.

Whether elitists like it or not a large segment of the Irish electorate has major concerns with the Lisbon Treaty. It is time to address them now. Cast iron guarantees from the EU on Corporation Profits Tax, neutrality and abortion-with no loopholes Mr d’Estaing- are essential, allied to a change in policy by Mandelson or his successor at the WTO talks. Otherwise this crisis will persist. It is time to put d’Estaing and Mandelson out to pasture.

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