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 Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour

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PostSubject: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:53 am

I saw this headline on Breaking News and thought, just for one moment, that the Taoiseach was going to talk to the people of Ireland.
But no Sad . He is doing a pan-european trip, and leaving us again. Apart from anything else, this must mean a bank crisis is about to occur.

Is there any hope for Cowen, or for us, with him at the helm?


24/11/2008
Taoiseach Brian Cowen will fly to Scandinavia this week to discuss the Lisbon Treaty with other European country leaders.

Mr Cowen will depart for Sweden and Finland on Thursday, where he will hold talks with Prime Ministers Fredrik Reinfeldt and Matti Vanhanen ahead of December’s European Council.

A government spokesman said the Taoiseach will first meet Mr Vanhanen in Helsinki, where climate change, energy package and the international financial crisis will also be tabled.

Mr Cowen plans to see President of Finland Tarja Halonen while in the capital.

On Friday, the Taoiseach will travel to Stockholm where he will have consultations with Mr Reinfeldt.

“Discussions are expected again to centre on the Lisbon Treaty, the international financial crisis and the climate change and energy package negotiations, as well as on Sweden’s priorities for the Presidency of the European Union which it is preparing to assume next July,” said the spokesman.

Mr Cowen will return to Dublin on Friday.

The European Union reform was plunged into chaos in June when the Lisbon Treaty was rejected in an Irish referendum by 53.4% to 46.6%.

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin previously said the Government will decide on whether to hold another referendum on the Lisbon Treaty before the summit in Brussels on December 11.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:22 am

One can perhaps understand him not wanting to talk to the voters right now, but this generates the usual feeling of "aargh" in me.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:54 am

says an awful lot, doesn't it.

In Swedish, though. We wouldn't understand.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:55 am

Sounds like the time is ripe for a coup...
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:49 pm

I wonder why he's not going to Prague, to return the favour?

Incidentally, the Czech courts have delayed their ruling on whether the Lisbon treaty fits with the constitution. We'll find out tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:53 pm

905 wrote:
I wonder why he's not going to Prague, to return the favour?

Incidentally, the Czech courts have delayed their ruling on whether the Lisbon treaty fits with the constitution. We'll find out tomorrow.

lol!

Who would he have to go to dinner with ? Putin ?
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:55 pm

Cactus, what's the problem with Cowen visiting other countries?
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:31 pm

evercloserunion wrote:
Cactus, what's the problem with Cowen visiting other countries?

There is none. It would be a good thing, in the normal run of things. But what I think is that Cowen needs to visit us (people/voters) first. FF members acknowledge that they did very little door to door cavassing for Lisbon. Government then said, after the No vote, that they needed to find out what it meant. The obvious thing to do was to send their people around to ask us - meetings, door to door, whatever. Instead they got consultants in to find out. The consultants found, amongst other things, that we have an information deficit about Europe. The obvious thing to do then was start an information campaign - if you like an ABC of the EU, so that people would be in a better position to judge on Lisbon. That has not been done.

When I saw the headline about Cowen's Lisbon tour, I genuinely had a moment's belief that he had seen the light and was going to talk to us, and listen.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:33 pm

Fair enough cactus. But diplomats are diplomats. We elected Cowen to perform certain duties for us, and he must now do them.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:26 pm

You're right Cactus that there was a dire lack of canvassing by FF in the run-up to Lisbon I.

But I'll never forget an acquaintance of mine complaining that a leaflet should have been sent out explaining the treaty, while behind her, I could see on the window sill the unopened letter from the Referendum Commission.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:28 pm

eoinmn wrote:
You're right Cactus that there was a dire lack of canvassing by FF in the run-up to Lisbon I.

But I'll never forget an acquaintance of mine complaining that a leaflet should have been sent out explaining the treaty, while behind her, I could see on the window sill the unopened letter from the Referendum Commission.

Your point is very valid. Pieces of paper are usually taken to be this weeks Lidl offer and binned. Its face to face that people like to get their politics.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:48 pm

http://www.breakingnews.ie/World/mhidqlsngbid/

The Czech courts have ruled in favour of the Lisbon Treaty. All that remains now is for that president of theirs to sign it.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:07 pm

905 wrote:
http://www.breakingnews.ie/World/mhidqlsngbid/

The Czech courts have ruled in favour of the Lisbon Treaty. All that remains now is for that president of theirs to sign it.

He'll put it off as long as possible you can bet - but technically speaking that is 26 out of 27 who have ratified by the end of the year - as I said they would - now things will get interesting - I really hope that the rest of my predictions are wrong as to what happens next.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:43 pm

Mr Czech President may not leave it at that... I'm sure he'll throw a few more spanners in the works.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:44 pm

Kate P wrote:
Mr Czech President may not leave it at that... I'm sure he'll throw a few more spanners in the works.
I think he said he won't oppose it if it's only his personal opinion that stands in the way.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:46 pm

On the topic, there shouldn't be an either -or decision to be made in terms of the general public and the big fishes re Lisbon.

The reason why there was - and will be - no knocking on doors about Lisbon is because the vast majority of those who were knocking on dooors don't actually know what the treaty involves. They only know what their particular party wants - and I'll exclude Edo from that immediately but he is the exception rather than the rule.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:03 pm

Kate P wrote:
On the topic, there shouldn't be an either -or decision to be made in terms of the general public and the big fishes re Lisbon.

The reason why there was - and will be - no knocking on doors about Lisbon is because the vast majority of those who were knocking on dooors don't actually know what the treaty involves. They only know what their particular party wants - and I'll exclude Edo from that immediately but he is the exception rather than the rule.

That wasn't true of the leftwing grassroots campaigners - who based their claims on close examination of the text and who were responsible for much more of the no vote than Libertas etc. In fact the no side went to far more trouble about investigating and presenting the treaty than the yes people did. Pro Lisbon people were for ever saying it was being misrepresented etc etc but never explained why or how with reference to the text itself - and even when they did try that, the evidence didnt support their claims. Brian Cowen hadn't even read it The yes side played the players and not the ball in other words. Same thing is now happening with Declan Ganley, The Irish Times attack on the editor of The Sunday Times and so forth. We can expect to see more of the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:06 pm

eoinmn wrote:
You're right Cactus that there was a dire lack of canvassing by FF in the run-up to Lisbon I.

But I'll never forget an acquaintance of mine complaining that a leaflet should have been sent out explaining the treaty, while behind her, I could see on the window sill the unopened letter from the Referendum Commission.

That was a completely useless document - she wouln't have learned anything from it other than the most superficial impressions of what was at issue - it was also clearly biased in favour of Lisbon.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:21 pm

Kate P wrote:
On the topic, there shouldn't be an either -or decision to be made in terms of the general public and the big fishes re Lisbon.

The reason why there was - and will be - no knocking on doors about Lisbon is because the vast majority of those who were knocking on dooors don't actually know what the treaty involves. They only know what their particular party wants - and I'll exclude Edo from that immediately but he is the exception rather than the rule.

Perhaps a first step would have been a "teach in" for party activists, who could then have been sent out door to door?

If FF had got out around the place canvassing, would they have been so wrong-footed with the budget? Their once supreme knowledge of voter thinking seems to have evaporated without warning.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:24 pm

Aragon wrote:
That was a completely useless document
The point is there was information "out there" and one didn't have to go to much bother to access it.
But loads of people I know didn't vote based on the notion they felt they had not been informed.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:44 pm

eoinmn wrote:
Aragon wrote:
That was a completely useless document
The point is there was information "out there" and one didn't have to go to much bother to access it.
But loads of people I know didn't vote based on the notion they felt they had not been informed.

The surveys that were carried out post-Lisbon did show that we have on average less knowledge of the EU structures and functioning that many other states. I found that I had to spend a good bit of time fathoming how the EU works now before I could even start looking at the Treaty. Then there was the difficulty of reading the Treaty as a series of amendments.
The responsible thing to do would surely be to start addressing the information/knowledge deficit now, and not wait for another last minute rush job of a referendum which would be divisive and deeply annoying.

People would undoubtedly shout "propoganda", but provided the material was accurate and neutral, let them shout.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:56 pm

cactus flower wrote:
eoinmn wrote:
Aragon wrote:
That was a completely useless document
The point is there was information "out there" and one didn't have to go to much bother to access it.
But loads of people I know didn't vote based on the notion they felt they had not been informed.

The surveys that were carried out post-Lisbon did show that we have on average less knowledge of the EU structures and functioning that many other states. I found that I had to spend a good bit of time fathoming how the EU works now before I could even start looking at the Treaty. Then there was the difficulty of reading the Treaty as a series of amendments.
The responsible thing to do would surely be to start addressing the information/knowledge deficit now, and not wait for another last minute rush job of a referendum which would be divisive and deeply annoying.

People would undoubtedly shout "propoganda", but provided the material was accurate and neutral, let them shout.

They will undoubtedly claim that it is propaganda, and inaccurate, and biased. I look forward to it already.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:36 pm

cactus flower wrote:
eoinmn wrote:
Aragon wrote:
That was a completely useless document
The point is there was information "out there" and one didn't have to go to much bother to access it.
But loads of people I know didn't vote based on the notion they felt they had not been informed.

The surveys that were carried out post-Lisbon did show that we have on average less knowledge of the EU structures and functioning that many other states. I found that I had to spend a good bit of time fathoming how the EU works now before I could even start looking at the Treaty. Then there was the difficulty of reading the Treaty as a series of amendments.
The responsible thing to do would surely be to start addressing the information/knowledge deficit now, and not wait for another last minute rush job of a referendum which would be divisive and deeply annoying.

People would undoubtedly shout "propoganda", but provided the material was accurate and neutral, let them shout.

I agree with this completely. The thing is so serious that whatever view is ultimately formed, Cowen and the government should be putting a big effort into doing what they did not do the last time. In fact, it's such an obvious and odd omission it tends to confirm what many thought at the time: that in fact the text of the treaty confirms what the no side are saying and so it is impossible for them to engage in any genuine information campaign without giving the game away. We saw all of the candid statements about the treaty from EU leaders - about how it was indeed the constitution in another guise, how it had deliberately been made incomprehensible and even how they knew it would never be agreed to by the vast majority of EU country citizens if they truly understood it and were given a direct vote. A lot of thought was therefore given to how they could bypass the requirement for Europe-wide referenda - and again there are many candid statements and admissions about how they simply re-labelled the failed constitutions as a series of amendments for procedural purposes.

To all of this we might now add that there is an additionallly urgent reason to vote NO this time: if we vote yes, no citizen of any EU country will ever again be allowed to vote directly on any EU constitutional matter. Tatooed on my brain are the words of the arch EU supporter and Bilderberger Peter Mandelson: 'democracy is an idea that has had its day'. That's what it's all about.

They deliberately tried to deceive us in other words. Many people have been deceived - they still trust government and big business in this and in every other matter despite all of the hard evidence.
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:19 pm

Aragon wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
eoinmn wrote:
Aragon wrote:
That was a completely useless document
The point is there was information "out there" and one didn't have to go to much bother to access it.
But loads of people I know didn't vote based on the notion they felt they had not been informed.

The surveys that were carried out post-Lisbon did show that we have on average less knowledge of the EU structures and functioning that many other states. I found that I had to spend a good bit of time fathoming how the EU works now before I could even start looking at the Treaty. Then there was the difficulty of reading the Treaty as a series of amendments.
The responsible thing to do would surely be to start addressing the information/knowledge deficit now, and not wait for another last minute rush job of a referendum which would be divisive and deeply annoying.

People would undoubtedly shout "propoganda", but provided the material was accurate and neutral, let them shout.

I agree with this completely. The thing is so serious that whatever view is ultimately formed, Cowen and the government should be putting a big effort into doing what they did not do the last time. In fact, it's such an obvious and odd omission it tends to confirm what many thought at the time: that in fact the text of the treaty confirms what the no side are saying and so it is impossible for them to engage in any genuine information campaign without giving the game away. We saw all of the candid statements about the treaty from EU leaders - about how it was indeed the constitution in another guise, how it had deliberately been made incomprehensible and even how they knew it would never be agreed to by the vast majority of EU country citizens if they truly understood it and were given a direct vote. A lot of thought was therefore given to how they could bypass the requirement for Europe-wide referenda - and again there are many candid statements and admissions about how they simply re-labelled the failed constitutions as a series of amendments for procedural purposes.

To all of this we might now add that there is an additionallly urgent reason to vote NO this time: if we vote yes, no citizen of any EU country will ever again be allowed to vote directly on any EU constitutional matter. Tatooed on my brain are the words of the arch EU supporter and Bilderberger Peter Mandelson: 'democracy is an idea that has had its day'. That's what it's all about.

They deliberately tried to deceive us in other words. Many people have been deceived - they still trust government and big business in this and in every other matter despite all of the hard evidence.
No results found for "democracy is an idea that has had its day".

Link please?
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:43 pm

A selection of Google references to it at this link:

"It may that the era of pure representative democracy is coming to an end'

http://www.google.ie/search?hl=en&q=mandelson+pure+representative+democracy&meta=
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PostSubject: Re: Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour   Today at 7:03 pm

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Cowen's Lisbon Treaty Tour
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