Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

The Lisbon Campaign Awards.

Posted by Jason O on Oct 3, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

1. The “Big Mo” Award: Ireland for Europe/Women for Europe. The Brendan Halligan/Pat Cox led organisation got what Americans call momentum with a constant stream of endorsements and a focus on non-politicians selling the message. It also had in Andrew Byrne an exceptionally talented organiser.

2. The Just Vote F**king Yes Award: Michael O’Leary. He’s a divisive figure, although every small businessman loves the guy for his bluntness. The decision to wade into the battle had an effect on the campaign, and his “Unemployable f**king headbangers” description of the No campaign was probably the most memorable line of the campaign, as was the press conference it was delivered at.

3. The A Lie Too Far Award: Coir’s €1.84 poster, which was such a big and disprovable lie that although it was effective, it allowed the Yes side to lay into them for blatant porkifying.

4. The Just The Facts, Mam Award: The European Movement, who although they did not campaign for a yes or no vote, published the best guide  to the treaty, and the tireless Andrea Pappin, who traipsed the country with a well-thumbed copy of the treaty and an inflatable sheep, and got savaged by people on both the Yes and No side for her troubles.

5. The Storm The Barricades Award: Joe Higgins MEP. Unlike the shinners, who were obtuse and seemed to change their opinions on the EU depending on whether they were north or south of Dundalk, and Coir, who just made shit up, Joe argued from a point of principle. Didn’t agree with him, but believed he was sincere. Having said that, if you asked him for the recipe to a really light and fluffy souffle he’d almost certainly demand that a worker’s collective be included.

6. The Here Comes The Cavalry Award: This has to go to UKIP, who assumed that the dumb paddies don’t know anything about British politics. Their intervention almost certainly shifted soft Nos into the Yes camp. The Yes campaign should do the decent thing and pay Nigel Farage’s airfare.  

7. The Blitzkrieg Award: Generation Yes, run by Bart Storan and Sharon Waters, was the paramilitary wing of the Yes side, and brought a lot of Full Metal Jacket style energy to the campaign.

8. The Puff Of Purple Smoke And They Were Gone Award: Coir/ Youth Defence. Just who were those mysterious people and their posters and their granny frightening?

9. The Bring Back The Old Days Award: Alive, the Catholic “publication”, and its unbiased “Does the EU want to make it compulsory for you to breed with weasels?” coverage of the treaty.

10. The Jaysus That Could Have Been Me! Award: Iceland, for making a lot of Irish people wake up and realise that, but for an “R” and not vaguely smelling of cod liver oil all the time, that could have been us.


Our UKIP friends turn on us-Shock horror!

Posted by Jason O on Oct 3, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

From today’s Irish Times. Like we are going to take lectures on democracy from a country that elects a prime minister despite 65% of people voting against him?:

UKIP slams ‘corrupt’ Lisbon vote

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, who entered the Irish debate calling for a No vote, compared the Lisbon Treaty referendum with a corrupt election in Zimbabwe or Afghanistan.

The MEP for South East England said there was a “wall of money” for the Yes campaign, and blamed High Court judgments and broadcasting laws for conspiring against the anti-Lisbon side. “The Irish have been bullied into voting Yes,” he said.

“I have to say while I’m disappointed by the result, I think the whole thing has been an absolute travesty of democracy. The way this thing has been conducted is more akin to Zimbabwe or Afghanistan. This has not been a free and fair referendum.”

Mr Farage said the Lisbon Treaty would now be adopted and lead to a more powerful European Union and that Yes voters would be disappointed that it would not bring more jobs and prosperity.

“I guess history may well look back upon this day as being the day when the very short, brief period of Irish independence actually ended,” he said.

The Ukip leader said his fight would now turn to Britain where his party would heap pressure on Conservative Party leader David Cameron to deliver a referendum if elected to Downing Street next year.

Mr Farage is a member of the right-wing Europe of Freedom and Democracy – a Eurosceptic grouping of nine political parties in the European Parliament.

The group delivered 1.5 million leaflets to every house in the Republic in the run-up to the poll.

Mr Farage was involved in a number of robust exchanges with Yes campaigners, including Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche who said Ukip was “drawn from the same political gene pool as the neo-fascist British National Party”.


Ireland dodges a (Very Stupid) Bullet.

Posted by Jason O on Oct 3, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty

Seriously, we’ve got to cut this shit out. I mean, honestly, a referendum on a complex treaty that most of our voters would not bother to read, and yet we placed the most important foriegn policy decision since 1969 in their hands. We must be mad.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Irish voters aren’t smart enough to understand. We as a people are no smarter or more thick than anyone else. But the problem is that we can’t be arsed. We can barely force ourselves to study The Rules of The Road. If we had posted an annotated readable copy of the treaty ( Like the IIEA’s Peadar O’Broin’s excellent version.) to every voter in the place, they still wouldn’t read it. This stuff should be done by parliament.

That’s not democratic! Shout the usual suspects. Yeah, it is. If you don’t trust the people in the Dail, then vote them out. But to elect a Dail and then say that we don’t trust them, whose fault is that? The Dail doesn’t elect itself.

Fact: We dodged a disastrous foriegn policy decision whilst praying that people wouldn’t believe that ludicrous lies put out by (some) No campaigners whom the same people wouldn’t give a majority to on a county council, let alone run the country.

Let’s not do this again. 

Copyright © 2018 Jason O Mahony All rights reserved. Email: Jason@JasonOMahony.ie.