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 Is Declan Ganley that Irish?

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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:02 am

cookiemonster wrote:
Some more from the brain of Declan "The Operator" Ganley.

Quote :
Ahead of a conference of presidents meeting this morning to discuss the funding of Irish anti-Lisbon group Libertas, its founder, businessman Declan Ganley, puts his case to MEPs.

Well, I have put on my wellies and waded into the floods of purple rhetoric - and there's enough purple in here for an emperor. Some points:

Declan Ganley wrote:
So there is the message: if the EU is to succeed, thrive and be capable of igniting a new European renaissance, to have Europe strong, credible, respected and truly capable of once again leading the world, Europe must be legitimate. To have legitimacy, it must be rooted firmly in democracy. Legitimacy can only come from the bottom up, starting with the individual sovereign citizen.

We all say "yay!". Obviously. That the EU needs more democratic legitimacy and engagement is a no-brainer - the quesiton is whether Declan Ganley is the right man to deliver it.

DG wrote:
If we are to confer more and appropriate power and responsibility on the EU, and I personally believe we should, the EU must make itself democratically accountable to the citizen. For example, if there is to be a president of the council, then that position can only be established if that person makes themselves subject to the ballot box all across Europe – and we will all be better off for it.

Well no, we wouldn't, because that person would invariably be German, until the Turks join. Given an EU President with a democratic mandate, who on earth would vote for someone from another country. We might, simply on the basis that we know we can't prevail against the Germans, but might be able to swing the vote for the British. This is a silly idea.

We could, I suppose, do it according to STV, but in Ireland we'd still be looking at no Irish candidate ever getting enough 1st preferences to survive round 1.

DG wrote:
If Europe is to have a constitution or fundamental treaty (and Libertas believes it should), call it what you want, then lets ensure that it is up-front and honest in what it seeks to achieve. It is alright that it be ambitious – in fact, it needs to be in order to speak to the hearts of Europe’s people. It should be short, concise and readable by ordinary European citizens.

Rule one of such a document should be that if it is more than 25 pages, the answer is no. I believe the people of Europe will rise to such a call. I am utterly convinced that Brussels seriously underestimates the citizens of Europe and what they are capable of understanding and prepared to support. Brussels has just dismally failed to show the necessary leadership and courage. A referendum across Europe for such a treaty is essential and the people’s say on such a proposition must be final.

I like the idea - I also like the idea of the EU-wide referendum...but (and it's an enormous but)...we're talking here about a document that is to bind 27 sovereign countries, assuming it is to have any meaning or force in the EU as currently constituted. Unless what is intended is rather less legally binding - essentially a set of statements of the fundamental principles of the EU, outlining what it is intended to be, and what it is not.

That is certainly something I would fully support, but it is not a substitute for the existing Treaties any more than a company mission statement is a substitute for its corporate articles. If DG is seriously suggesting that we can replace the Treaties with such a 25-page document, he's in la-la land (no offence). It would be worthless except as a starting point for arguments.

DG wrote:
For those of you in the European parliament that so fervently believe the anti-democratic Europe set out in Lisbon is the only way to go, I lay down this challenge. Say “back me or sack me” to your electorates next June, and let’s have a Europe-wide debate on what kind of Europe we want to build for the future of our children and grandchildren. Yes, it will be a proxy referendum on the Lisbon treaty, so let us have an open and honest debate on it, engage the citizens of Europe and give them something to believe in.

Yes, I can certainly see how that would benefit Libertas. Unfortunately, since the EP does not have the power to pass Lisbon even if every single MEP elected were diehard pro-Lisbon, whereas a heavily anti-Lisbon EP could certainly do its bit to help stop Lisbon, pro-Lisbon MEPs would be extremely stupid to take up this 'challenge'.

Also, of course, the emotive call for an open and honest debate rings a little hollow coming from a group whose posters said "Keep Ireland's Commissioner - Vote No".

DG wrote:
As for that tiny extremist minority in Brussels who have seen fit to cast innuendo on my character and motivations (with help from their puppets in Dublin), know this: I am of Ireland and I will stand alone if necessary, with my people, no matter how you attack me.

Stirring. One lone millionaire, backed only by 'his people', versus the Brussels elite. Who exactly are 'my people' there? Is that supposed to be us? One would appreciate being asked, you know, if one is expected to lay down one's life in defence of Mr Ganley. It's only polite.

DG wrote:
We are interested in talking with MEPs or potential MEPs who want to learn more about our campaign for a democratic, accountable, transparent, and strong Europe.

Because, boo-hoo, we're going to be forced, forced I say, into standing in the Euro elections, exactly as we said right back when Libertas was first conceived - and then didn't admit to during the campaign.

Hmm. Well, it's awfully long on rhetoric and awfully short on actual substance. Also, at least some of the substance is frankly daft. What use is it to Ireland to elect a President from the big countries? I have to admit to a slight quiver of concern when I see inflammatory rhetoric full of big, simple, impractical-yet-appealing ideas, demands for strong leadership, and calls for Europe to take its rightful place in the sun. It strikes me we've heard this kind of thing before, in Europe, and it didn't end well last time.

On the other hand, of course, the EU has neither an army nor a police force, and is limited to those powers conferred on it by the member states...still, it makes those links with Austrian right-wing groups rather more than less troublesome.

I remain rather unconvinced by all this. In as much as it shakes up the political consensus, it is to be welcomed - still, there are shades of Oswald Mosley here.


Last edited by ibis on Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:14 am

'Tis a very good speech. The opening remarks strike me particularly. I'm reminded of the one-man one-vote mantra of the civil rights movement during the 60's in the north. The idea was that every person should have a direct input in who governs them and on what polcicies are implemented.

At the heart of the Union debate is accountability and transparency. We do not need second tier democracy like we are experiencing in Ireland - we vote for representatives and then they tell us what to do.

The Lisbon Treaty is nothing more than an attempt to make the military-industrial complex more efficient. This is not what the European citizen requires. We should expect and indeed demand more. If we go down the Federal Union route, which I'm not necessarily opposed to, then we, the citizens of Europe, must demand full accountability and direct representation allied with the recognition of local traditions and political aspirations. A cookie-cutter approach won't work.

On a final note. The core yes voters reactions to ganley and others has been just vile. There is no other word for it. They are being disinegnuous, dishonest and pernicious. The incessant references to Nazism are purile. This debases the very notion of debate. I think Ireland's voters were sickened of McDowells attempts to constantly defile his opponents with such Nazi references. If this is the "yes's" view of how a European treaty should be debated and sold to the public, I don't want any part of your debate and by extention the treaty. People who revert to such tactics must feel in their bones that they are selling a pup to the Irish people. They employ the tactics of advertising. It's a bit like the fast food industry that advertise quick and cheap food. At the back of it, clogged arteries and obesity.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:40 pm

So no one fancies anointing Declan Ganley High King of Ireland ? king
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PostSubject: Declan Ganley on the Late Late Show   Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:43 pm

He of the crookéd crown. Is there something in this?
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:45 pm

As long as he has to go through a Geraldus Cambrensis type coronation congress with a white mare on the Late Late....and then abdicates
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:06 am

rockyracoon wrote:
'Tis a very good speech. The opening remarks strike me particularly. I'm reminded of the one-man one-vote mantra of the civil rights movement during the 60's in the north. The idea was that every person should have a direct input in who governs them and on what polcicies are implemented.

At the heart of the Union debate is accountability and transparency. We do not need second tier democracy like we are experiencing in Ireland - we vote for representatives and then they tell us what to do.

The Lisbon Treaty is nothing more than an attempt to make the military-industrial complex more efficient. This is not what the European citizen requires. We should expect and indeed demand more. If we go down the Federal Union route, which I'm not necessarily opposed to, then we, the citizens of Europe, must demand full accountability and direct representation allied with the recognition of local traditions and political aspirations. A cookie-cutter approach won't work.

There's the thing, though - I'm not arguing that we don't need more democracy in Europe. I just don;'t see the solutions that have been publicly offered as anything other than shallow. The idea of an EU-wide election for a President of the European Council, for example, is a complete "so what?". The idea does nothing for democracy, it simply installs a figurehead - inevitably from one of the larger countries - with no real powers. It is to democracy what the President of Ireland is - as useful as tits on a bull. Sure, the EU suffers from a lack of leadership, but voting somebody into a position to be ignored by the Council is entirely pointless too.

The idea of a short European Constitution is good, but it's not a substitute for the Treaties. It's not going to be accepted by the member states as a binding set of regulations on the institutions, because that requires that the EU has reached some kind of final institutional state - and the whole reason for the Constitution and Lisbon is because as far as the participating governments are concerned, it hasn't. It would be acceptable as a statement of what Europe stands for, but then what's the difference between it and the Charter?

rockyracoon wrote:
On a final note. The core yes voters reactions to ganley and others has been just vile. There is no other word for it. They are being disinegnuous, dishonest and pernicious. The incessant references to Nazism are purile. This debases the very notion of debate. I think Ireland's voters were sickened of McDowells attempts to constantly defile his opponents with such Nazi references. If this is the "yes's" view of how a European treaty should be debated and sold to the public, I don't want any part of your debate and by extention the treaty. People who revert to such tactics must feel in their bones that they are selling a pup to the Irish people. They employ the tactics of advertising. It's a bit like the fast food industry that advertise quick and cheap food. At the back of it, clogged arteries and obesity.

There haven't been any references to Nazism, except insofar as Libertas has chosen to hook up with far-right parties in Austria, who are self-consciously heirs to the Nazi political tradition.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:49 am

ibis wrote:
rockyracoon wrote:
'Tis a very good speech. The opening remarks strike me particularly. I'm reminded of the one-man one-vote mantra of the civil rights movement during the 60's in the north. The idea was that every person should have a direct input in who governs them and on what polcicies are implemented.

At the heart of the Union debate is accountability and transparency. We do not need second tier democracy like we are experiencing in Ireland - we vote for representatives and then they tell us what to do.

The Lisbon Treaty is nothing more than an attempt to make the military-industrial complex more efficient. This is not what the European citizen requires. We should expect and indeed demand more. If we go down the Federal Union route, which I'm not necessarily opposed to, then we, the citizens of Europe, must demand full accountability and direct representation allied with the recognition of local traditions and political aspirations. A cookie-cutter approach won't work.

There's the thing, though - I'm not arguing that we don't need more democracy in Europe. I just don;'t see the solutions that have been publicly offered as anything other than shallow. The idea of an EU-wide election for a President of the European Council, for example, is a complete "so what?". The idea does nothing for democracy, it simply installs a figurehead - inevitably from one of the larger countries - with no real powers. It is to democracy what the President of Ireland is - as useful as tits on a bull. Sure, the EU suffers from a lack of leadership, but voting somebody into a position to be ignored by the Council is entirely pointless too.

The idea of a short European Constitution is good, but it's not a substitute for the Treaties. It's not going to be accepted by the member states as a binding set of regulations on the institutions, because that requires that the EU has reached some kind of final institutional state - and the whole reason for the Constitution and Lisbon is because as far as the participating governments are concerned, it hasn't. It would be acceptable as a statement of what Europe stands for, but then what's the difference between it and the Charter?

rockyracoon wrote:
On a final note. The core yes voters reactions to ganley and others has been just vile. There is no other word for it. They are being disinegnuous, dishonest and pernicious. The incessant references to Nazism are purile. This debases the very notion of debate. I think Ireland's voters were sickened of McDowells attempts to constantly defile his opponents with such Nazi references. If this is the "yes's" view of how a European treaty should be debated and sold to the public, I don't want any part of your debate and by extention the treaty. People who revert to such tactics must feel in their bones that they are selling a pup to the Irish people. They employ the tactics of advertising. It's a bit like the fast food industry that advertise quick and cheap food. At the back of it, clogged arteries and obesity.

There haven't been any references to Nazism, except insofar as Libertas has chosen to hook up with far-right parties in Austria, who are self-consciously heirs to the Nazi political tradition.
The point ibis that you just refuse to address is that all the politicians who put forward Lisbon know full well that the people of almost all member states are, rightly or wrongly, not in favour of this treaty, yet they are more than willing to impose it on them anyway without a rearward glance or even pretence at any sort of democracy.
In my opinion that is what is fundamentally wrong with Lisbon and no amount of we know best from politicians will ever change that
.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:18 am

Tonys said
Quote :
The point ibis that you just refuse to address is that all the politicians who put forward Lisbon know full well that the people of almost all member states are, rightly or wrongly, not in favour of this treaty, yet they are more than willing to impose it on them anyway without a rearward glance or even pretence at any sort of democracy.
In my opinion that is what is fundamentally wrong with Lisbon and no amount of we know best from politicians will ever change that.

I agree with you Tonys that that is the case, and I would be surprised if Ibis disagreed. That doesn't mean there is a concensus about Mr. Ganley. There is probably as much of a split view of him as there is of Lisbon.

The left wing does not love him for obvious reasons. I view him as a far right wing cynic with potential under certain circumstances to do damage. Why would anyone give credence to a politician who tries to hide his own political stance ?
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:30 am

cactus flower wrote:
Tonys said
Quote :
The point ibis that you just refuse to address is that all the politicians who put forward Lisbon know full well that the people of almost all member states are, rightly or wrongly, not in favour of this treaty, yet they are more than willing to impose it on them anyway without a rearward glance or even pretence at any sort of democracy.
In my opinion that is what is fundamentally wrong with Lisbon and no amount of we know best from politicians will ever change that.

I agree with you Tonys that that is the case, and I would be surprised if Ibis disagreed. That doesn't mean there is a concensus about Mr. Ganley. There is probably as much of a split view of him as there is of Lisbon.

The left wing does not love him for obvious reasons. I view him as a far right wing cynic with potential under certain circumstances to do damage. Why would anyone give credence to a politician who tries to hide his own political stance ?
I know almost nothing of Mr. Ganley and didn’t pay any attention to anything he had to say on Lisbon, it was Europe’s politicians who made the very large hole in Lisbon by not involving their voters, Ganley and others just walked through it.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:35 am

tonys wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Tonys said
Quote :
The point ibis that you just refuse to address is that all the politicians who put forward Lisbon know full well that the people of almost all member states are, rightly or wrongly, not in favour of this treaty, yet they are more than willing to impose it on them anyway without a rearward glance or even pretence at any sort of democracy.
In my opinion that is what is fundamentally wrong with Lisbon and no amount of we know best from politicians will ever change that.

I agree with you Tonys that that is the case, and I would be surprised if Ibis disagreed. That doesn't mean there is a concensus about Mr. Ganley. There is probably as much of a split view of him as there is of Lisbon.

The left wing does not love him for obvious reasons. I view him as a far right wing cynic with potential under certain circumstances to do damage. Why would anyone give credence to a politician who tries to hide his own political stance ?
I know almost nothing of Mr. Ganley and didn’t pay any attention to anything he had to say on Lisbon, it was Europe’s politicians who made the very large hole in Lisbon by not involving their voters, Ganley and others just walked through it.

Agreed.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:35 am

tonys wrote:
The point ibis that you just refuse to address is that all the politicians who put forward Lisbon know full well that the people of almost all member states are, rightly or wrongly, not in favour of this treaty, yet they are more than willing to impose it on them anyway without a rearward glance or even pretence at any sort of democracy.
In my opinion that is what is fundamentally wrong with Lisbon and no amount of we know best from politicians will ever change that
.

The reason I don't address that is because it's simply a claim, with no actual backing evidence. If it were the case, that would be a different kettle of fish. In other words, you say that the Treaty is to be imposed against the will of the electorate, and, to put it bluntly, I say that's not true. I've stated this before, and nobody has come back to me with anything other than anecdotal stuff about "people they know in other countries". That's not evidence of anything except the human tendency to link up with people they find sympathetic.

The vast majority of the people in the EU are neither for this treaty or against it - they don't give a toss about it. That is a separate, and more difficult problem, because the EU tends to evolve anyway, whether planned or not, and if the majority of those to whom it is responsible do not hold it to account as it evolves, it will be pure blind luck if it evolves in a positive direction.

tonys wrote:
I know almost nothing of Mr. Ganley and didn’t pay any attention to anything he had to say on Lisbon, it was Europe’s politicians who made the very large hole in Lisbon by not involving their voters, Ganley and others just walked through it.

True. They're also the essential element of the democratic deficit.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:50 am

ibis wrote:
tonys wrote:
The point ibis that you just refuse to address is that all the politicians who put forward Lisbon know full well that the people of almost all member states are, rightly or wrongly, not in favour of this treaty, yet they are more than willing to impose it on them anyway without a rearward glance or even pretence at any sort of democracy.
In my opinion that is what is fundamentally wrong with Lisbon and no amount of we know best from politicians will ever change that
.

The reason I don't address that is because it's simply a claim, with no actual backing evidence. If it were the case, that would be a different kettle of fish. In other words, you say that the Treaty is to be imposed against the will of the electorate, and, to put it bluntly, I say that's not true. I've stated this before, and nobody has come back to me with anything other than anecdotal stuff about "people they know in other countries". That's not evidence of anything except the human tendency to link up with people they find sympathetic.

The vast majority of the people in the EU are neither for this treaty or against it - they don't give a toss about it. That is a separate, and more difficult problem, because the EU tends to evolve anyway, whether planned or not, and if the majority of those to whom it is responsible do not hold it to account as it evolves, it will be pure blind luck if it evolves in a positive direction.
No, I think you miss the point and maybe I confused it myself, whether the voters in other European countries were in favour or not really doesn’t matter, the point is they weren’t asked for fear they would reject it. This was a major change in the way Europe worked and regardless of whether is was legally necessary or not in any individual country to put it to the voters, it was fundamentally undemocratic not to do so.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:59 am

tonys wrote:
ibis wrote:
tonys wrote:
The point ibis that you just refuse to address is that all the politicians who put forward Lisbon know full well that the people of almost all member states are, rightly or wrongly, not in favour of this treaty, yet they are more than willing to impose it on them anyway without a rearward glance or even pretence at any sort of democracy.
In my opinion that is what is fundamentally wrong with Lisbon and no amount of we know best from politicians will ever change that
.

The reason I don't address that is because it's simply a claim, with no actual backing evidence. If it were the case, that would be a different kettle of fish. In other words, you say that the Treaty is to be imposed against the will of the electorate, and, to put it bluntly, I say that's not true. I've stated this before, and nobody has come back to me with anything other than anecdotal stuff about "people they know in other countries". That's not evidence of anything except the human tendency to link up with people they find sympathetic.

The vast majority of the people in the EU are neither for this treaty or against it - they don't give a toss about it. That is a separate, and more difficult problem, because the EU tends to evolve anyway, whether planned or not, and if the majority of those to whom it is responsible do not hold it to account as it evolves, it will be pure blind luck if it evolves in a positive direction.
No, I think you miss the point and maybe I confused it myself, whether the voters in other European countries were in favour or not really doesn’t matter, the point is they weren’t asked for fear they would reject it. This was a major change in the way Europe worked and regardless of whether is was legally necessary or not in any individual country to put it to the voters, it was fundamentally undemocratic not to do so.

Hmm. Again, no. It wasn't a major change in the way Europe worked at all. The other EU states never have consulted their voters on EU treaties. Leaving aside the Constitution, it's essentially only us (who always have a referendum), the Danes (who usually have one), and the French (who sometimes have one).

The Constitution was the anomaly, not Lisbon. The referendums there were a PR exercise that went badly wrong - there was no need for most countries to hold them at all.

I have to point out, I'm sorry to say, that the shift of the goalposts to "most people wanted a referendum" is what I get every time I challenge the statement that "most people opposed Lisbon". The former has good evidence behind it, the latter is simply a statement of belief. Would it be OK if you accept that there actually isn't any evidence for the latter position (unless of course you have some)? Otherwise I feel that I'm up against someone who isn't interested in facts - and the facts are quite sufficient to argue a case for a No.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:38 am

ibis wrote:
tonys wrote:
ibis wrote:
tonys wrote:
The point ibis that you just refuse to address is that all the politicians who put forward Lisbon know full well that the people of almost all member states are, rightly or wrongly, not in favour of this treaty, yet they are more than willing to impose it on them anyway without a rearward glance or even pretence at any sort of democracy.
In my opinion that is what is fundamentally wrong with Lisbon and no amount of we know best from politicians will ever change that
.

The reason I don't address that is because it's simply a claim, with no actual backing evidence. If it were the case, that would be a different kettle of fish. In other words, you say that the Treaty is to be imposed against the will of the electorate, and, to put it bluntly, I say that's not true. I've stated this before, and nobody has come back to me with anything other than anecdotal stuff about "people they know in other countries". That's not evidence of anything except the human tendency to link up with people they find sympathetic.

The vast majority of the people in the EU are neither for this treaty or against it - they don't give a toss about it. That is a separate, and more difficult problem, because the EU tends to evolve anyway, whether planned or not, and if the majority of those to whom it is responsible do not hold it to account as it evolves, it will be pure blind luck if it evolves in a positive direction.
No, I think you miss the point and maybe I confused it myself, whether the voters in other European countries were in favour or not really doesn’t matter, the point is they weren’t asked for fear they would reject it. This was a major change in the way Europe worked and regardless of whether is was legally necessary or not in any individual country to put it to the voters, it was fundamentally undemocratic not to do so.

Hmm. Again, no. It wasn't a major change in the way Europe worked at all. The other EU states never have consulted their voters on EU treaties. Leaving aside the Constitution, it's essentially only us (who always have a referendum), the Danes (who usually have one), and the French (who sometimes have one).

The Constitution was the anomaly, not Lisbon. The referendums there were a PR exercise that went badly wrong - there was no need for most countries to hold them at all.

I have to point out, I'm sorry to say, that the shift of the goalposts to "most people wanted a referendum" is what I get every time I challenge the statement that "most people opposed Lisbon". The former has good evidence behind it, the latter is simply a statement of belief. Would it be OK if you accept that there actually isn't any evidence for the latter position (unless of course you have some)? Otherwise I feel that I'm up against someone who isn't interested in facts - and the facts are quite sufficient to argue a case for a No.
1. You say Lisbon was not to facilitate a major change in the way the EU worked, I wonder what it was about at all if not that.

2. There is the evidence of the fact that no Government volunteered to have a vote on Lisbon and the evidence of the fact that any Government that felt they might have to have a vote did their (successful) legal damnedest to avoid a vote. Democrats acting democratically I suppose, you may not believe that most would have voted against, but their politicians on the ground obviously did.

At the end of the day you either think people are entitled to a vote, regardless of the legal niceties, on something as important as Lisbon or you don’t and apparently you don’t and I have nothing to say on that
.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:44 am

There is no doubt in MY mind that Libertas is a crock of shit. How easy it is to hide behind the curtain of democracy, while all the time using the same curtain as a cloth of secrecy and surreptition.

I don't trust that chap whatsoever.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:06 am

tonys wrote:
ibis wrote:
tonys wrote:
ibis wrote:
tonys wrote:
The point ibis that you just refuse to address is that all the politicians who put forward Lisbon know full well that the people of almost all member states are, rightly or wrongly, not in favour of this treaty, yet they are more than willing to impose it on them anyway without a rearward glance or even pretence at any sort of democracy.
In my opinion that is what is fundamentally wrong with Lisbon and no amount of we know best from politicians will ever change that
.

The reason I don't address that is because it's simply a claim, with no actual backing evidence. If it were the case, that would be a different kettle of fish. In other words, you say that the Treaty is to be imposed against the will of the electorate, and, to put it bluntly, I say that's not true. I've stated this before, and nobody has come back to me with anything other than anecdotal stuff about "people they know in other countries". That's not evidence of anything except the human tendency to link up with people they find sympathetic.

The vast majority of the people in the EU are neither for this treaty or against it - they don't give a toss about it. That is a separate, and more difficult problem, because the EU tends to evolve anyway, whether planned or not, and if the majority of those to whom it is responsible do not hold it to account as it evolves, it will be pure blind luck if it evolves in a positive direction.
No, I think you miss the point and maybe I confused it myself, whether the voters in other European countries were in favour or not really doesn’t matter, the point is they weren’t asked for fear they would reject it. This was a major change in the way Europe worked and regardless of whether is was legally necessary or not in any individual country to put it to the voters, it was fundamentally undemocratic not to do so.

Hmm. Again, no. It wasn't a major change in the way Europe worked at all. The other EU states never have consulted their voters on EU treaties. Leaving aside the Constitution, it's essentially only us (who always have a referendum), the Danes (who usually have one), and the French (who sometimes have one).

The Constitution was the anomaly, not Lisbon. The referendums there were a PR exercise that went badly wrong - there was no need for most countries to hold them at all.

I have to point out, I'm sorry to say, that the shift of the goalposts to "most people wanted a referendum" is what I get every time I challenge the statement that "most people opposed Lisbon". The former has good evidence behind it, the latter is simply a statement of belief. Would it be OK if you accept that there actually isn't any evidence for the latter position (unless of course you have some)? Otherwise I feel that I'm up against someone who isn't interested in facts - and the facts are quite sufficient to argue a case for a No.
1. You say Lisbon was not to facilitate a major change in the way the EU worked, I wonder what it was about at all if not that.

Er, no. I said the way it was ratified in most countries wasn't.

tonys wrote:
2. There is the evidence of the fact that no Government volunteered to have a vote on Lisbon and the evidence of the fact that any Government that felt they might have to have a vote did their (successful) legal damnedest to avoid a vote. Democrats acting democratically I suppose, you may not believe that most would have voted against, but their politicians on the ground obviously did.

The question wouldn't have arisen for most of them, because as I pointed out, most member states (nearly all, in fact) don't use referendums that way. Several of them are specifically precluded from doing so, and the Dutch decided against using a referendum in similar situations because it presents certain constitutional issues (specifically, it abrogates the supremacy of the Dutch parliament).

It's a bit like claiming that someone not smoking was suspicious when they're a non-smoker.

tonys wrote:
At the end of the day you either think people are entitled to a vote, regardless of the legal niceties, on something as important as Lisbon or you don’t and apparently you don’t and I have nothing to say on that.

I think, as I've thought all along, that the electorates in different countries are entitled to do things the way they do them. We have referendums, which I like. The UK doesn't. If you're saying that other people should use our method of ratification, because it is self-evidently the "best", then you're just engaging in a particular form of parochialism. They've chosen to do things differently, and we have no more right to dictate that they should use referendums than they have to dictate that we should not.


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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:47 am

Correct me If I'm wrong but Moseley was a British nazi. I remember quite recently that the bbc (it could have been RTE) had a holocaust survivor on who addressed the issue of people calling other people or organisations nazis. He said quite simply that these people had not the slightest idea what a nazi was like. They couldn't begin to imagine what the gestapo was like. In short, the people who banter the term nazi about without any real knowledge were debasing the suffering of the people who lived under the nazi regimes.

Also, the ex-communist MEP from East Germany more or less called "no" voters nazis the day after the referendum. He was taken to task by another German MEP. But it was a sordid affair.

Ganley is the topic of the thread so he's the target. Fair enough. Some pertinent observations. I've always considered him, and his posse on pie, to be closet PDs. Strangely enough, as a Republican (more Paine than Pearse), I sympathise with some of their ideas. I believe people should be responsible for their actions. I believe there is too much mis-directed individual regulation and too much petty regulation on small businesses. Regulation should be about making the market a fairer areana for every would-be entrepenuer, not a paper game in order to provide a civil servant with a job. However, I fundamentally disagree with their objectives. Imo, they believe that wealth creation in and of itself is the objective while I believe that wealth creation is a community activity in which most participate or are in training. There are no free lunches. There is an entire social and economic infrastructure which makes some wealthy. As the cost of this wealth creation is shared so should the benefits.

Even the yanks realise that such things as electricity generation have to be at least regulated (dare I say socialised) because it adds value to the whole community's productivity. The idea of private health is just an anathema to me. The very idea that someone makes a profit off another's suffering is just mind boggling.

Which brings me back to the EU. Whatever about Ganley, the direction the EU itself is taking has to be the focus. The raison d'etre of the origins of the EEC was a practical solution to Europe's main problem. They were always fighting among each other. Bring in closer economic ties whereby one the attack on another nation hurt the attacking nation's own economy and the likelihood of war receded.

At this stage the arguments over clause x, subsection b referring to the previous treaty on clause y, subsection c with reference to the footnote don't really cut the mustard. Time after time I've heard the refrain that Europe must change in oder to meet the economic challanges of the world, particularly China and India.

Fine. But, I want regulation. I want transparency. I want accountability. If Europe is going to act in my name I want gaurantees through direct vote and periodic and public examination of policies. We have time. There is no immenent danger. Let's get this project right.

Imo, there is a fundamental breakdown in representative democracy in the Western world. We bought into the idea that there is a group of experts out there with the right answers. Parties throw out vague promising manifestos and find ways around every one of their propositions. Many items on the national agenda can't or won't be addressed. Government is more about power and PR than practical and inclusive decision making. Imo we have a second tier democracy and we don't need a third tier. Europe is either the first and foremost tier or it remains the master of some aspects of legislation and the overseer of others.

Ancedotally, the Republicans and Democrats in the Congress were inundated with old-fashioned faxes expressing the displeasure of the ordinary voting public. Would our government given one jot if such a thing were to occur in Ireland? Would such a thing occur?

Congress got it badly wrong. It panicked and rushed through legislation. Instead they should have spent the few extra days drafting their compromise and presenting it to the American people. Then if the Senator or Rep still thought is was necessary legislation they should have passed the bill. I'd have more respect for someone who argues their case, even if I disagree, and follows through with their convictions.

All too often we have governors who decide what they want to do without any consultation or prior warning, do it, and then spin the news afterwards. All too often their attitude is that once enacted a piece of legislation becomes a fait accompli - nearly impossible to reverse. So we get, "shut up and go sit back in your corner" . So it is with the Lisbon Treaty. Once enacted, we can never question its existence. However, if we do not agree and we do not enact, we must vote again and again until the desired result is attained.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:35 am

rockyracoon wrote:
Correct me If I'm wrong but Moseley was a British nazi. I remember quite recently that the bbc (it could have been RTE) had a holocaust survivor on who addressed the issue of people calling other people or organisations nazis. He said quite simply that these people had not the slightest idea what a nazi was like. They couldn't begin to imagine what the gestapo was like. In short, the people who banter the term nazi about without any real knowledge were debasing the suffering of the people who lived under the nazi regimes.

Moseley was, first and foremost, a Moseleyite. In almost exactly the same way, Declan Ganley appears first and foremost to be a Ganleyite. The similarities are primarily personal, not political - and Moseley committed no atrocities, and had no regime.

rockyracoon wrote:
Also, the ex-communist MEP from East Germany more or less called "no" voters nazis the day after the referendum. He was taken to task by another German MEP. But it was a sordid affair.

Boo hoo.

rockyracoon wrote:
Ganley is the topic of the thread so he's the target. Fair enough. Some pertinent observations. I've always considered him, and his posse on pie, to be closet PDs.

Closet! We're talking Freedom Institute...

rockyracoon wrote:
Strangely enough, as a Republican, I sympathise with some of their ideas. I believe people should be responsible for their actions. I believe there is too much mis-directed individual regulation and too much petty regulation on small businesses. Regulation should be about making the market a fairer areana for every would-be entrepenuer, not a paper game in order to provide a civil servant with a job. However, I fundamentally disagree with their objectives. Imo, they believe that wealth creation in and of itself is the objective while I believe that wealth creation is a community activity in which most participate or are in training. There are no free lunches. There is an entire social and economic infrastructure which makes some wealthy. As the cost of this wealth creation is shared so should the benefits.

Even the yanks realise that such things as electricity generation have to be at least regulated (dare I say socialised) because it adds value to the whole community's productivity. The idea of private health is just an anathema to me. The very idea that someone makes a profit off another's suffering is just mind boggling.

The idea that it is an efficient solution is what boggles me, but there we are - I daresay those who become private healthcare providers would see themselves as making a profit out of relieving peopls' suffering, so I don't see anything other than a subjective judgement there.

rockyracoon wrote:
Which brings me back to the EU. Whatever about Ganley, the direction the EU itself is taking has to be the focus. The raison d'etre of the origins of the EEC was a practical solution to Europe's main problem. They were always fighting among each other. Bring in closer economic ties whereby one the attack on another nation hurt the attacking nation's own economy and the likelihood of war receded.

At this stage the arguments over clause x, subsection b referring to the previous treaty on clause y, subsection c with reference to the footnote don't really cut the mustard. Time after time I've heard the refrain that Europe must change in oder to meet the economic challanges of the world, particularly China and India.

Fine. But, I want regulation. I want transparency. I want accountability. If Europe is going to act in my name I want gaurantees through direct vote and periodic and public examination of policies. We have time. There is no immenent danger. Let's get this project right.

I'd agree there.

rockyracoon wrote:
Imo, there is a fundamental breakdown in representative democracy in the Western world. We bought into the idea that there is a group of experts out there with the right answers.

There often is - however, we often prefer the non-solutions offered by politicians.

rockyracoon wrote:
Parties throw out vague promising manifestos and find ways around every one of their propositions. Many items on the national agenda can't or won't be addressed. Government is more about power and PR than practical and inclusive decision making. Imo we have a second tier democracy and we don't need a third tier. Europe is either the first and foremost tier or it remains the master of some aspects of legislation and the overseer of others.

Ancedotally, the Republicans and Democrats in the Congress were inundated with old-fashioned faxes expressing the displeasure of the ordinary voting public. Would our government given one jot if such a thing were to occur in Ireland? Would such a thing occur?

Congress got it badly wrong. It panicked and rushed through legislation. Instead they should have spent the few extra days drafting their compromise and presenting it to the American people. Then if the Senator or Rep still thought is was necessary legislation they should have passed the bill. I'd have more respect for someone who argues their case, even if I disagree, and follows through with their convictions.

All too often we have governors who decide what they want to do without any consultation or prior warning, do it, and then spin the news afterwards. All too often their attitude is that once enacted a piece of legislation becomes a fait accompli - nearly impossible to reverse. So we get, "shut up and go sit back in your corner" . So it is with the Lisbon Treaty. Once enacted, we can never question its existence. However, if we do not agree and we do not enact, we must vote again and again until the desired result is attained.

I'd agree that there's a 'democratic deficit' in public life, and that politicians have become rather more masters of PR than governance. However, the reason they can get away with this is because the electorate lets them. We're like the shareholder who just reads the annual glossy brochure and say "oh, well, that looks OK" rather than going to the meetings and asking hard questions. We don't hold our politicians to account - not because they are magically unaccountable, but because we don't bother. The same goes for Europe - many of the necessary mechanisms are there, but we don't use them.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:53 am

Ganley is not an elected politician. He is a private citizen doing what he is entitled to do.
He is not responsible for the future of the EU and it is disingenuous to demand of him to present an alternative to Lisbon if he wishes to condemn it. I voted No. Do I have a better plan? No I don't but that doesn't mean that Lisbon isn't a rubbish plan.
It is up to our highly paid, elected representatives to come up with an acceptable way forward. That they refuse to do so and instead thumb their noses at democracy and international agreements, says much more about their bona fides than anything uttered by a private citizen.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:15 pm

Moseley was a nazi. The propogandistic or rhetorical mis-use of the term whether by a German MEP, McAlise (spelling) or treaty supporters should not be so lightly bantered about. Imo, this devalues the significance of what was truely the most evil ideology in history - bar none. Enough on that topic from me.

Me and yee are never going to agree on this fatally flawed treaty (sorry, had to get dig in). A microscroptic examination does nothing to alter the larger deficiencies. We have the resources and the historical knowledge to forge a far better framework for Europe. Why should be expect anything less? In the name of expediency?

There is a general feeling among populaces that our democracies/governance should work better. Maybe we should spend some time on getting the local situation corrected to a majority consensus before we rush off into a continential-wide crusade.

I have no doubt in the fullness of time that Lisbon will be passed. But, is it going to be passed because the underlying unease which the majority expressed in the referendum will have been addressed? Or because a new PR position will be spun?

My own personal bias is for less governance and more localised accountability. This outlook is distinctly at odds with the majority view in my estimation. This is always going to be hard to square with a pan-contiental project. If, however, a greater good is accomplished through an EU government, like all decent Democrats/Republicans I'll accept the outcome. Even if the Lisbon yoke is enacted, I'll live with it. What choice do I have? There's the rub. I'll have seen my democratic voice (via the referendum) repealed or negated by a juggernaut. The game won't appear to have been played on a level playing field. It will be a pup that I can't love nor respect fully. I suspect many other European citizens will feel the same. And, by god, if the EU starts playing super-power like the yanks or even the Chinese, the poor pup will become un-loved altogether.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:50 pm

D.Harry wrote:
Ganley is not an elected politician. He is a private citizen doing what he is entitled to do.
He is not responsible for the future of the EU and it is disingenuous to demand of him to present an alternative to Lisbon if he wishes to condemn it. I voted No. Do I have a better plan? No I don't but that doesn't mean that Lisbon isn't a rubbish plan.
It is up to our highly paid, elected representatives to come up with an acceptable way forward. That they refuse to do so and instead thumb their noses at democracy and international agreements, says much more about their bona fides than anything uttered by a private citizen.

I thought the Lisbon process and Treaty was a horrific episode of bureaucratic bungling and was profoundly undemocratic in intent. I voted against the Treaty and would like to see a completely different kind of Europe to the Merkel/Sarkozy hybrid model. However this thread is specifically about Declan Ganley, so I don't think it isn't unreasonable of Ibis to give his opinions of Ganley in the thread, from his perspective.

Declan Ganley is a politically active private citizen who set out to influence the Lisbon vote (within his rights) and who spent a vast amount of money (a minimum of €206,000 acknowledge so far, so far as I am aware). He has set up an organisation, Libertas, with the express view going back many years that this should become a pan-european political party. I am not aware of the Austrian contacts to which Ibis refers. The Austrian parties are economically right wing anti-immigrant parties that would send a shudder down the spine of anyone with awareness of Austrian 20th century history. After the Irish Referendum, it was notable that Declan Ganley's first reflex was not to hold a meeting in Dublin or Brussels but to run over to Westminster for a highly publicised meeting with the right wing Tory eurosceptics.

Ganley's history prior to the referendum is opaque in detail, but generally is given out by him to have entailed aquiring extensive personal wealth through aquisition in his teens or early twenties of a rake of privatised Russian natural resources. He was also involved in business dealings in Albania, with his colleague Liam Lawlor, that left a lot of people there feeling sore.
His company Rivada Networks has on its Board a squadron of recently retired US military and Homelands Security personel. He has run a number of conferences on security attended by military and security personel. There appeared to be no very substantial deals done until the very recent announcement of a €200 million contract that I haven't yet read any detail of.

Ideologically Ganley gives a line in high flown patriotic and religious rhetoric along with a zeal for economic deregulation. He goes in for strutting and posturing without producing anything of substance and his presentation of Libertas as an "Institute" is laughable - it has produced no publications that could be taken as a serious piece of research or analysis.

For someone who wants a new right-wing movement in Ireland and Europe headed up by someone of this character, I presume this would all be fine. In my book, EvotingMachine described the whole thing in a four words, accurately. I am not calling Ganley a Nazi, but that doesn't stop me hearing distant sound of jackboots whenever I see him in action.

The speech Ganley made is clearly in the context of preparation for a potential run by Libertas at the European Elections.

I don't think there is any subject under the sun that Ibis and I agree about, apart from this one. Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:06 pm

Good points Cactus. I've no liking for the individual but the Lisbon treaty isn't about Ganley. It's about the Treaty. But, as you state, this thread is about Ganley, so crucify him if yees want. No skin off me nose.

But I plead re: the "other" reference. I could, through personal experience, raise specific examples from the british military and their hencement in the UDR that would address such activity. I choose not to do so. They weren't, from what I can gather from history and tv programs, anywhere near the levels of that "other" things. They were nasty, brutish and decidely undemocratic in their handling of many people during the war/troubles or whatever. So were some of my own people. Neither side descended into the nazi philosophy nor did any side intend to do so.

One could couch allegations about the use of propogandisitic terminology, denying the will of democratic process, and the perceived or real lack of accountability on how power will be exercised in Europe in such terminology just as easily. I do not think that's the case as I don't think its the case for the "no" side.

However, who am I to say what other people should say or do? Methinks the Lisbon II debate might just decend into total farce.


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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:16 pm

rockyracoon wrote:
Good points Cactus. I've no liking for the individual but the Lisbon treaty isn't about Ganley. It's about the Treaty. But, as you state, this thread is about Ganley, so crucify him if yees want. No skin off me nose.

But I plead re: the "other" reference. I could, through personal experience, raise specific examples from the british military and their hencement in the UDR that would address such activity. I choose not to do so. They weren't, from what I can gather from history and tv programs, anywhere near the levels of that "other" things. They were nasty, brutish and decidely undemocratic in their handling of many people during the war/troubles or whatever. So were some of my own people. Neither side descended into the nazi philosophy nor did any side intend to do so.

One could couch allegations about the use of propogansitic terminology, denying the will of democratic process, and the perceived or real lack of accountability on how power will be exercised in Europe in such terminology just as easily. I do not think that's the case as I don't think its the case for the "no" side.

However, who am I to say what other people should say or do? Methinks the Lisbon II debate might just decend into total farce.

I agree with you very much about misuse of the term Nazi which is wrong under any circumstances. I wouldn't call a government Fascist unless it had broken democracy and illegalised independent trade unions. I'm also against throwing around of personalised abuse at Ganley in a mudslinging way - for example the business about him holding a British Passport - surely a tidy portion population holds dual passports? But I do have finely atuned attennae for threats to democracy, and in my view they don't all come from the Yes side of the Lisbon argument. Economic crisis is a dangerous time politically as well as financially.

The "No" vote was made up of two very different groups of people, coming at the issue from opposite sides.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:28 pm

D.Harry wrote:
Ganley is not an elected politician. He is a private citizen doing what he is entitled to do.
He is not responsible for the future of the EU and it is disingenuous to demand of him to present an alternative to Lisbon if he wishes to condemn it. I voted No. Do I have a better plan? No I don't but that doesn't mean that Lisbon isn't a rubbish plan.
It is up to our highly paid, elected representatives to come up with an acceptable way forward. That they refuse to do so and instead thumb their noses at democracy and international agreements, says much more about their bona fides than anything uttered by a private citizen.

Meh - this is the second plan they've come up with, and it famously bears a strong resemblance to the first plan. If they have to come up with a third, it will be similar, because it will address the issues they think need addressing, and proffer the solutions that they can mutually agree on. If you have different concerns, it's up to you to put those forward.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Declan Ganley that Irish?   Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:34 pm

rockyracoon wrote:
Moseley was a nazi. The propogandistic or rhetorical mis-use of the term whether by a German MEP, McAlise (spelling) or treaty supporters should not be so lightly bantered about. Imo, this devalues the significance of what was truely the most evil ideology in history - bar none. Enough on that topic from me.

I've no intention of calling Ganley a fascist at all. He is, however, very like Oswald Moseley. His politics may not be like Moseley, but he is like Moseley in certain ways. I'm not sure why this is so difficult to grasp - if I said he reminded me of Gay Byrne, would you assume I meant politically?

Moseley started off in the Conservatives, became an Independent, migrated through Labour, and formed the New Party before creating the BUF. The constant threads were his charisma, his rhetoric, his conviction that he was right, and that he was fighting a lone battle against the elites of whom he was a member to clean up fundamentally broken politics. He also had some worthwhile ideas, which were largely overshadowed by his methods.

rockyracoon wrote:
Me and yee are never going to agree on this fatally flawed treaty (sorry, had to get dig in). A microscroptic examination does nothing to alter the larger deficiencies. We have the resources and the historical knowledge to forge a far better framework for Europe. Why should be expect anything less? In the name of expediency?

There is a general feeling among populaces that our democracies/governance should work better. Maybe we should spend some time on getting the local situation corrected to a majority consensus before we rush off into a continential-wide crusade.

I have no doubt in the fullness of time that Lisbon will be passed. But, is it going to be passed because the underlying unease which the majority expressed in the referendum will have been addressed? Or because a new PR position will be spun?

My own personal bias is for less governance and more localised accountability. This outlook is distinctly at odds with the majority view in my estimation. This is always going to be hard to square with a pan-contiental project. If, however, a greater good is accomplished through an EU government, like all decent Democrats/Republicans I'll accept the outcome. Even if the Lisbon yoke is enacted, I'll live with it. What choice do I have? There's the rub. I'll have seen my democratic voice (via the referendum) repealed or negated by a juggernaut. The game won't appear to have been played on a level playing field. It will be a pup that I can't love nor respect fully. I suspect many other European citizens will feel the same. And, by god, if the EU starts playing super-power like the yanks or even the Chinese, the poor pup will become un-loved altogether.

If your vote is overturned by anything other than another vote, you'll find me on the same side as you. If the referendum result you favour is overturned by another referendum result you don't favour, you'll be in the same position as I am now - and if you want a third referendum, you'll have to work on persuading people that's what's needed, just as those of us who want a second referendum have to do now.
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