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

Libertas: Just plain odd?

Posted by Jason O on Mar 5, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty |

Time to be clear.

Time to be clear.

I  could easily have been a member of Libertas. Some of Declan Ganley’s espousals of things like a directly elected President of the EU hold real appeal for me. On top of that, I find his unashamed pro-Americanism to be quite refreshing in a country that the US has been nothing but a good friend to despite our constant bitching.

Having said that, when I read the likes of this in today’s Irish Times I can’t help but wonder: What the hell is Libertas at? Why is a man who actively supports the concept of European unity constantly trying to recruit ardent eurosceptics? And not just eurosceptics, but oddballs too. Take Czech president Vaclav Klaus. A climate change denier. Or Viscount Phillipe De Villiers of France, who wants to scrap the Euro. 

Does Declan Ganley support either of these positions? Probably not. But how can voters be asked to vote for a pan European Libertas ticket if Libertas means different things in different countries? Declan Ganley has very clear views on his Catholic faith, gay marriage and abortion, which are perfectly acceptable to many in Ireland. Will Libertas voters in the UK or Sweden know that they are voting for those views?

If  Declan Ganley is serious, it’s time for Libertas to publish a clear, comprehensive manifesto as to what ALL it’s candidates stand for on all the issues facing Europeans.         

11 Comments

Anthony Butcher
Mar 5, 2009 at 10:51 am

Hi Jason. I am a UK Libertas volunteer and saw that article too. It’s in the Irish Times so you shouldn’t take it too seriously – they have been running a constant stream of attack pieces against Libertas for a long time. Why they hate Libertas and Declan Ganley I don’t know. They must be living in a different EU to the rest of us. However, that’s just politics I suppose; there are always going to be some biased media sources.

With regard to the article, Libertas suggested that it would attract a million euros worth of donations in Sweden and that was a good reason for another party to merge with Libertas. I don’t see the problem. Presumably Swedish electoral law is the same as the UK and forbids foreign money being invested into parties, so unless the Irish Times is suggesting that Libertas has secret plans to illegally ship a million euros into Libertas Sweden, rather than using the Libertas name to attract donors in Sweden, I just don’t see the issue. If anything, a million euros sounds a little pessimistic to me.

The core message and policies are going to be launched soon. These will be EU reform policies that have to be acceptable in all 27 EU member states. Issues like abortion, membership of the Euro and so on are domestic issues; and it will be Libertas policy to give nations the power to control their own future in that respect. Libertas will NOT have EU-wide policies on those issues. There are some things that the EU should do well on a pan-European basis, and other things that it should keep its nose out of.

On the issue of recruiting ‘eurosceptics’, these are generally the people most interested in addressing the problems of the EU. Supporters of the EU gravy train tend not to want to rock the boat, so are hardly likely to sign up to a party that wants root and branch reform of the EU. Whatever their view prior to signing up, once they are in Libertas they will be required to support the Libertas message of positive reform. They will of course retain their personal views on issues, but those will be subservient to the core reform message.

I’m a former ‘eurosceptic’ myself, but once you get involved with Libertas, the optimism for a better future for Europe is infectious.


 
Jason O
Mar 6, 2009 at 8:28 am

Anthony,

Thanks for the comment, and am looking forward to the document.

I have to disagree with you on membership of the Euro being just a national issue. De Villiers advocates the return of the Franc. Whilst it is (Rightly) up to the French people to decide, it would effect all of us in the Eurozone. It is not unreasonable for pro-Euro Libertas voters (Including, presumably, Declan Ganley himself, who is pro-Euro, right?) to know if a vote for Libertas candidates could be seen as a mandate to break up the Eurozone?

The other issue is climate change, which is surely not a national issue?

Jason


 
Adrian Weckler
Mar 6, 2009 at 10:26 am

Anthony,

I’d like to suggest that the Irish media’s agenda (and there is one, in fairness) against Declan Ganley is spurred mainly about the non-transparency of where the campaign’s (substantial) money is coming from. Honestly, it’s as simple as that. Most people cannot understand why there isn’t more explanation about it from Libertas. And it’s a fair question in a democracy.

Can I ask what _exactly_ Libertas sees as the correct European model?

Is it more sovereignty for member states (less pooled decision-making)? If so, doesn’t this make it harder for decisions to be made?

Adrian


 
Jonathan Dickson
Mar 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I am proud to hold my head up and say I am what you disparagingly call a climate change ‘denier’, using a cheap smear technique. I am well educated and able to do research for myself and draw my conclusions from the work of others as well as my own. I have not yet found any reasonable evidence for man playing any part at all in what is now called ‘climate change’ since the globe has stopped warming. I have seen a great deal of evidence for political agendas influencing the perepetration of what I consider the myth of man-made ‘global warming’. I have collected a lot of material on a modest blog, http://www.okgetral.com. which may be of interest to any open minded person with a genuine interest in the subject. Most environmental problems are local, anyway, and to label problems as being ‘global’ sets up a sense of powerlessness over them, and cosequently nothing gets done – it shifts the focus of responsibility from the individual, who does have the power to take responsibility and act, to some other; ‘them’, the corrupt U.N. or the discredited IPCC or any other body who, let’s face it, are not going to act in the interests of the individual.
Believe it or not I have no axe to grind nor am I financed or backedin any way by any oil companies etc. (if only!) and recycle as much or more than my fellow man, live in a lime-built house, which will absorb carbon dioxide for decades to come, make rich compost for the veg. patch, use filtered and u/v sterilised rainwater for my needs, used sheep’s wool insulation for my house, and so much more – not because I care about ‘the environment, which has no intrinsic value, but because I know all these things are in my own interest, particularly in the longer term. As far as I am concerned ‘the environment’ is where I live, i.e. my surroundings at any given time. Anything that improves this environment, is good.
Also the welfare of others is of no more concern than my welfare, rightfully, is of concern to them. I trust them to live their lives as they see fit, and expect the respect to be mutual.
If each of us keeps our own backyard clean, which is obviously in our own interests, then all back yards will be clean, and no-one can do a better job of cleaning up his patch than the owner.
I like the tone of your blog, but was disappointed to see you stooping to smearing a group of people as ‘deniers’, a cheap trick, and I think you are generally above such behaviour, and, giving you the benefit of the doubt, wish you well in your endeavours.
All the best, Jonathan.
http://www.okgetreal.com


 
Jason O
Mar 8, 2009 at 11:05 pm

My point Jonathan is that Libertas in Ireland does not sell itself as denying climate change, and that it is not unreasonable to expect it to have a consistant policy throughout the EU.


 
Jonathan Dickson
Mar 9, 2009 at 11:13 am

If Libertas was to have a consistent policy throughout the eu, it would be the first group to do so.
I still think it insulting to call Vaclav Klaus, a very polite man, a ‘climate change denier’. Placed in those terms it is nothing but an insult, and insults and ad-hominems devalue your arguments by their very presence. You are capable of reasoned debate, and I still think it reflects badly on you that you employ smear tactics instead, or as well. It cheapens your blog, in my view.
I do take your point, above, but ‘consistent policy is an alien concept to the political bodies of the eu.
All the best, Jonathan.


 
Jason O
Mar 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

“Future dangers will not come from the same source. The ideology will be different. Its essence will, nevertheless, be identical – the attractive, pathetic, at first sight noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of the common good, and the enormous self-confidence on the side of its proponents about their right to sacrifice the man and his freedom in order to make this idea reality.” What I had in mind was, of course, environmentalism and its currently strongest version, climate alarmism.

This fear of mine is the driving force behind my active involvement in the Climate Change Debate and behind my being the only head of state who in September 2007 at the UN Climate Change Conference, only a few blocks away from here, openly and explicitly challenged the current global warming hysteria. My central argument was – in a condensed form – formulated in the subtitle of my recently published book devoted to this topic which asks: “What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?” My answer is clear and resolute: “it is our freedom.” I may also add “and our prosperity.”

This is from his own website. He even gives the reason why he doesn’t accept the IPCC. Because he believes it to be a conspiracy to keep some countries poor. He is ideologically opposed to the solution.

http://www.klaus.cz/Klaus2/asp/clanek.asp?id=XpAV39wT4A32


 
Jonathan Dickson
Mar 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm

It is good to know that, whatever Al Gore says, the debate is alive and well. The IPCC is now so widely discredited that I am surprised it still gets a mention. What is ‘the solution’ mentioned above?
I cannot accept that ‘the common good’, whatever it might be, is ever more important than the rights of the individual. Reality and history have shown me that this is true. JD.


 
Jason O
Mar 10, 2009 at 7:45 am

IPCC “widely discredited” by whom? That’s like a Fox News intro into a scurrilous remark: “Some people say that Barack Obama is a communist…”


 
People Korps
Mar 11, 2009 at 5:01 am

Anthony Butcher is featured on my site today, Like Libertas’ david Cochrane he runs a forum but in the UK.
he has been in trouble in the UKIP for a while and has gone to where the gravy seems to be flowing.
Robin Matthews leader of the Libertas UK is a former spin doctor for the British military in Helmand. He seened lost for words today trying to explain the empty purse that is Libertas policy.

read Libertas Nein Danke


 
Jonathan Dickson
Mar 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

By “widely discredited’ I was referring to their claim that there is a consensus among 2500 ‘scientists’ when it turns out that of those only about 35 have ever studied climate, or climate related fields and the list is made up of people who sometimes did no more than turn up for an event and found themselves on the list of so called 2500. Also there is the Manhattan Declaration of some 17,000 scientists who disagree with man playing any part in climate change, and the Oregon Declaration of some 9000 scientists who also dispute the IPCC’s position. The IPCC is merely a panel of politicians who have done a precis of others’ work, and have presented it to fit their political agenda, flying in the face of any inconvenient facts. In any sense I would say they are discredited, as well as deceitful. By “widely” I mean that this information is in the public domain and has been for some considerable time and from a very wide range of sources.
Also of significance is the change of name from ‘global warming’ (because it isn’t) to climate change, as if the climate has not always changed anyway, man or no man. Only those with a vested interest or agenda take ‘global warming’ seriously, or those too lazy or unwilling to check facts for themselves. I really think there is no excuse to take it seriously any more, but a lie, repeated often enough becomes accepted as a ‘truth’, even though it isn’t, so there is a large residual pool of social ignorance around still, but it is evaporating fast.


 

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