One good reason for opposing Lisbon is that it has affected my daily routine. I didn’t really want to venture back out of the house having just arrived home from work but the desire to record my vote had a stronger pull than the tiredness that was beckoning me to the couch in front of the TV. So along with my wife we made the short journey to the polling station.

I didn’t get to vote last time round. I was not registered then. My vote would have gone to the ‘no’ camp as they made more sense than their critics. Tonight I did what I wanted to do last time and put my x beside a rejection of the Treaty. My wife values the privacy of the ballot box so I am not at liberty to divulge how she cast her vote. I fancied a pint on the way back but lost out to her and her taco chip. Whatever way she cast her ballot she voted no to my pint.

I doubt if the ‘no’ campaign will be successful this time. People might be fearful that with the recession the luxury of protesting is not something they can afford. For a time I sensed that the ‘no’ campaign was flagging. The Left led by Joe Higgins was making the running but did not seem to be getting much help from elsewhere. Declan Ganley entered the fray late in the day and Sinn Fein did not seem as robust in their opposition as they did last time out. Mary Lou McDonald was doing alright up until Gerry Adams accompanied her on one of her outings. With an unparalleled ability to make you instantly disbelieve what he says I immediately felt the air go out of the tyres on the ‘no’ bandwagon. Eoin O Broin later put in a solid performance and managed to inflate things quite a bit but none of it scaled the heights of the previous effort.

In this campaign the ‘yes’ people got their act together a lot better than before. Their backs are against the wall and they know they have to do it or bust. Pat Cox may be a lot less persuasive than Joe Higgins but there is a passion about the yes team that sits in stark contrast to the last referendum where they seemed to take our vote for granted.

What secured my vote against this time were not the arguments of those opposed to Lisbon but an instinctive distrust of the government. They have shafted the poor and deprived while baling out the bankers. They are financing the so called economic recovery by taking money from areas where real wealth does not exist. It has to come from somewhere so those hit are the people least able to resist the government’s claws. The woeful mismanagement of the state’s economic resources by politicians so incompetent means it is impossible to listen to their advice on anything, certainly not something as crucial to our future as Lisbon.

I am not some little Irelander who values economic protectionism and fiscal autarky. It is not the way of the modern interdependent world. I relish the idea of a European identity preferring it over an Irish one. I just have no faith in the politicians. They need to learn the hard way that they must win people’s confidence before they can be trusted with serious decision making. And they will not do that over pink gin in the club of the rich.

Never trust a yes-man.


  1. Unless he's making a strategic withdrawl, I would say you are on point to not trust a yes man--never, is so absolute! Inherent distrust of government is the quality that would cause me offer you a pint,were I anywhere in reasonable proximity! I promise, no polemics with names;Doc-you still rock!

  2. Hope the vote goes your way, but as our election over here showed, hard times these days usually favor the mainstream center-"left" and their corporate controllers. (Word verification: suffedhe: Portuguese for economic malaise?)

  3. We (the People Before Profit Alliance),

    Campaigned long and hard for a No vote. Our experience canvassing and the results so far show that in general it was working class areas where the No vote was strongest.

    The Irish voters seem to have polarized into Left and Right camps which is a good thing in the long run. Hopefully the ghosts of the civil war are finally being laid to rest.

    In my opinion his is a Pyhrric victory for the yes camp.


  4. In lieu of communicating over a pint,let me ponder electronically-If totalitarianism is the enemy of individual freedom,it seems to me the current development of reducing dialogue to parallel monologues greatly aids and abets the enemy. Here in the US,if not elsewhere, it also is a growing habit for folks to escape the bread and circus trip by disconnecting from the media. Unfortunately the result is isolation ala "Walden". So, I reach out to any individualist that I come across to attempt to establish sets of dialogues,in the effort to promote counter measures to the control junkies. Having made my motive clear,perhaps it will incite action toward that end. Some good sources that I have found are: Strike The Root,Global Guerrillas,and Tom Dispatch.