So, what actually happens if we vote No? The Yes campaign say we’ll have no access to funds, less influence, send a bad signal to investors in Ireland, etc. But what’s more interesting is what the No side are saying. What are they claiming a No vote will deliver?
1. It will allow a renegotiation of fiscal severity. Hmm. See, the problem with that is the fact that even Francois Hollande accepts that we have to have a curb on spending. Curbing unaffordable spending is not an ideological thing, it’s the reality of matching resources to demands. It ain’t going away.
2. A vote against the “austerity treaty” will presumably mean no extra austerity, right? After all, they say the treaty will force extra austerity, so therefore a No vote will either reduce the need for extra cutbacks or even reduce the current need? I don’t actually believe this, but this is what they are essentially promising. Just look at Paul Murphy’s posters. Remember how the Yes campaign got (rightly) hammered for “Vote Yes for Jobs”? A No vote is a vote to reverse austerity apparently, through positive energy, angel power, prayer, pretty much anything except actual money.
3. If we need extra money, it will be found. This is the one. Mary Lou McDonald has pledged that the money will be made available. She has given us her word. In fact, you have to admire her integrity in putting the very day to day existence of her core voters on the line, because if we have to cut, it’ll be social spending that bears the brunt. Like a big pile of casino chips, Mary Lou has pushed her own voters into the middle of the green baize, such is her belief that she has the winning hand. You have to admire the courage.