Lisbon Letter

The following letter was submitted for favour of publication to the Irish Times in response to an article by the newspaper correspondent Patsy McGarry entitled "Strange bedfellows of the Anti-Lisbon campaign" on August 21st.  This response was pubished in the Irish Times on Friday 28th August.

Padraig Mannion
Padraig Mannion, WP referendum campaign manager

The Editor
Letters to the Editor Page
The Irish Times
Tara Street
Dublin 2


Patsy McGarry sneers at the range of organisations who, sometimes for differing and sometimes for overlapping reasons, oppose the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland. Would Mr McGarry prefer if we were on the same side as the bankers and the financial institutions - those fine upstanding gentlemen who would march us into their new Europe with the same alacrity as they marched us into this present overwhelming financial crisis? Or perhaps Mr McGarry  would prefer we aligned ourselves with all the pro-Lisbon builders and land speculators who now need a €90 billion NAMA bailout that will impoverish both ourselves and our children.

Maybe Mr McGarry  thinks we should be international.? Does he propose we align ourselves with the pro-Lisbon European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) with their privatisation agenda that makes Maggie Thatcher look like a wet Liberal?  Or maybe Mr McGarry  would be happier if we aligned ourselves with the generals, the arms manufacturers and arms exporters all of whom are fervently pro-Lisbon.

Mr McGarry  seems particularly worked up by anti-Lisbon campaigners calling the treaty "profoundly undemocratic" and calls as his defence that "it has already been approved by 85% of directly elected representatives across the EU". Indeed, but more pertinently it has also been rejected by 55% of the Irish voters and we were the only country allowed to vote on its contents.  Mr McGarry also seems to allude that Joe Higgins' visit to Cuba disallows him speak on democracy. I thought Patsy would know that a visit to Cuba puts Joe Higgins in the same elevated company as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michael Martin TD, the late Pope John Paul II, and many of the present leadership of the Labour Party.

If Patsy McGarry wishes to read the Lisbon Treaty and acquaint himself with the facts then I or anyone else on the NO side will be fully prepared to have an open debate with him. In the meantime it would be most edifying if he desisted from undergraduate type desk thumping.

Is mise

Padraig Mannion
Anti-Lisbon Treaty Campaign Director
The Workers  Party., 24 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics