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 The behaviour of President Klaus

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PostSubject: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:38 am

Klaus is an idiot. I am not saying that because I disagree with him on Lisbon. I disagree with Joe Higgins but respect him. But Klaus's conduct has gone from bad to worse as president.

His antics when on a state visit to Ireland was a disgrace. In over 80 years of independence, Irish presidents and governors-general have hosted tons of state visits. Never once as a head of state in Ireland on a state visit behaved as he did.

There are three types of visits a head of state can make. A private visit. An official visit. A state visit. Each one is surrounded by more restrictions than the other with state visits the most restricted by a mile. The diplomatic rule is simple: you are in a country as the head of the native head of state. So you strictly avoid intervening in political matters. If you comment at all, you use very carefully coded language, once, with that language approved by your own country's government and they in drafting it will have informally consulted the country being visited. Diplomatically, a state visit is so carefully orchestrated it is like a ballet. Everything you say, everything you do, everywhere you go, is carefully scripted. For a state visit is not about politics. It is about building connections between the two states - economic links, social links, cultural links, etc. Politics is kept far away from it. That is why when the Irish president pays a state visit she is accompanied by the head of the IDA (to establish business links), representatives of prominent Irish companies, people from the arts, etc. State visits simply do not happen. They are extraordinary carefully arranged and choreographed. The planning often starts years in advance (the British queen's state visits are arranged up to 3 years in advance. She knows who will be her guests in 2009, 2010 and 2011, where she will go, who she will meet, what she will say. Every word she utters is written by the Foreign Office and Downing Street with anything she suggests or Buckingham Palace suggests requiring Foreign Office or Downing Street approval.)

So Klaus's visit was no accident. His government will have been planning it for years. Czech businesses will have been working to use it to develop business links. Every word, every nuance, every place he went, will have been carefully choreographed. Klaus in effect decided 'fuck the rules. I'll because as though I am Vaclav Klaus' when in fact he was visiting as the President of the Czech Republic and was representing every Czech person irrespective of their political viewpoint, etc.

From day 1 he decided to say what he wanted, when he wanted, and ignore his government's advice and the rules on state visits. If he wanted to comment on Lisbon (and it would normally be something not commented on in any detailed way) under normal diplomatic rules he would have delivered a message approved by his country's elected government, written in careful language. In diplomatic terms he was supposed to have been taking part in a ballet. Instead he decided on stage to drop his pants and jack off. That is why there was so much offence caused.

He chose not to comment on Lisbon in undiplomatic language, repeatedly. He was told through his country's ambassador to cool it. He ignored him and bulldozed on. He was told by his own government that a state visit was not the place to intervene on the issue. He ignored them. He then had a dinner arranged with Ganley. Normally heads of state, even if they can have private meetings like that, don't. But if they hold one, it is an entirely private affair. You don't hold it in a major hotel next to parliament. You don't take part in a press conference and you sure as hell do not attend a dinner where many of the guests are international opponents of the elected government of the state travelling in for the event. That is so far from what you are meant to do on a state visit it is mindboggling.

If he had behaved that way on a state visit to Washington, or Paris, or wherever the state's government would have instructed the native head of state to withdraw the invitation to leave, ordered him to leave, and lodged a formal diplomatic protest. The Irish government didn't. They simply, again, let the Czech embassy realise he hadn't so much crossed a line as gone a half a mile across it and needed to get back to what a state visit is supposed to be. But Klaus bulldozed on, despite appeals from his own side to cop himself on. Eventually the Minister for Foreign Affairs in highly diplomatic language expressed surprise and unhappiness at Klaus's comment. By how most countries would have reacted, the Irish response was very restrained. But Klaus, through to form, bulldozed ahead even further, launching a personal attack on the minister. Other governments worldwide when they heard reports from their diplomats in Dublin were astonished at his behaviour.

Opponents of Lisbon claimed the outrage over Klaus's conduct was because of he criticised the treaty, and that others had praised the treaty with no outrage. They are wrong on both counts. Whether someone is for or against it is not the issue. The point is that when on a state visit you cannot behave that way, whether against or for the treaty. The fact is that no-other head of state behaved that way on a state visit. Opponents highlight comments by Merkel. But Merkel is not a head of state. If Klaus was not a head of state on a state visit he could have commented more freely. But the point is that he is a head of state and was on a state visit. Special rules apply to heads of state on state visits. ANd he knows that.

Opponents also compare comments by Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy is a head of state. But he was not on a state visit. He was visiting as President-in-office of the European Council. Anyone visiting in that role has greater freedom to comment. If Klaus had been visiting as President-in-office of the European Council he would have had greater freedom. But he wasn't.

Nor for that matter could Sarkozy if he had been on a state visit have said what he said when here as President-in-Office of the Council. That is the whole point. State visits are unique, unique in terms of what can be done. If Sarkozy on a state visit met for example pro-Lisbon campaigners for a public dinner, and given a press conference, he would have been condemned, rightly, for doing so. You cannot do that as a head of state on a state visit.

For example, the Latvian president on a state visit to Ireland was asked by the media about their views on Lisbon. They said that they believed the treaty was good for Europe, but said categorically that they would not tell the Irish how to vote. They said it was entirely a matter for the Irish to decide what Ireland should and it would be wrong of them to tell the country what they should do.

Klaus could have simply said that he believed the treaty was bad for Europe, and left it like that. But to turn his entire visit into a roadshow on the topic, to take part in a press conference on the issue, and completely overshadow all the work and plans of his own government for the state visit. just about every conceivable rule in state visits. His own people were irate - all their plans were overshadowed, all their planned lobbying for business and cultural links thrown into chaos. Imagine for example if President McAleese on a state visit to Ireland decided to endorse the Tories or UKIP and hold a news conference with them? Or if the President of Italy on a state visit here decided to endorse the the PDs? There would be outrage.

You simply cannot do that if you are a head of state on a state visit.

At home he has stirred up controversy over controversy, trying to block bills, causing rows, etc. His most recent antics involved almost getting to a screaming match with an international delegation all because an MEP gave him a present on an EU flag. Heads of state get presents they don't want all the time. They smile, say thank you, and and dump it in the basement. What they don't do is act like Eamon Dunphy in a bad mood and be obnoxious. The job of a head of state is to be a national unifier. They can hold opinions, but they are not in office to push their own personal agendas. For example, Mary Robinson was a liberal, yet hosted a reception for the Christian Brothers and spoke about their positive contribution to Ireland.

Klaus is perfectly entitled to hold his views on Lisbon. What he is not entitled to do though is bulldoze his way past all the rules of his office, and in the case of state visits ignore all the rules, directly interfering in an issue when he knows full well that is outside his job description. His antics have become so notorious in the Czech Republic that even anti-Lisbon campaigners are distancing themselves from him and describing his behaviour as embarrassing and a disgrace. Ar rate he is going he is likely to find himself removed from office, with even his own party supporters distancing themselves from him and telling the Irish government he brought shame on his office and his country in his behaviour in Ireland.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:53 am

Well, rules and protocol seem to be going out the window, left, right, and centre, nowadays. Sarkozy and Merkel can effectively tell us what to do, Cohn-Bendit can behave like a boor (as he did today when playing to the gallery), and our own elected representatives can effectively disown us, leaving a foreign head of state as the only one speaking up for our right to our opinion. The hysterical 'wrap the flag around me' performance by Crowley today comes second only to Avril Doyle's conversion to rabid Fenianism at the EP in terms of vomit-inducing hypocrisy...
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:08 am

Klaus behaved appallingly. That is not an accident, these people smell an opportunity in the current economic crisis and contempt for protocol is part of who they are.

Klaus said that the Irish government was in a ridiculous position as it was attacking someone who was agreeing with the majority Irish view.

I didn't feel that it was handled well and with dignity by the Irish side, although I was furious with Klaus.

I couldnt believe my ears listening to the Minister on RTE throwing out epithets against Klaus, whilst he was on a State visit. Should it not have been handled by the diplomatic service, in appropriate language? It ended with Klaus and Ganley playing the victim, while at the same time they were laughing at Government.

The trump card was the announcement by the Mouvement Pour La France on the steps of the Shelbourne that their MEPs would support Libertas as a European party, i.e. that Libertas EP campaign would be EU funded.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:21 am

toxic avenger wrote:
Well, rules and protocol seem to be going out the window, left, right, and centre, nowadays. Sarkozy and Merkel can effectively tell us what to do, Cohn-Bendit can behave like a boor (as he did today when playing to the gallery), and our own elected representatives can effectively disown us, leaving a foreign head of state as the only one speaking up for our right to our opinion. The hysterical 'wrap the flag around me' performance by Crowley today comes second only to Avril Doyle's conversion to rabid Fenianism at the EP in terms of vomit-inducing hypocrisy...

Merkel is not a head of state.

Sarkozy is one but was not on a state visit.

That is the point. On state visits you can never ever behave that way. If Sarkozy had been on a state visit he could not have said what he said. If Klaus had been on a private visit, he could have. The point is that on a state visit you cannot behave that way.

As to Cohn-Bendit, Doyle and Crowley, that is irrelevant. They are not heads of state. Klaus is. So he is obliged by his office to behave in certain ways particularly on state visits. He totally ignored the rules that are part of his office. If the President of Ireland or Germany behaved that way on state visits internationally they would return to find themselves being impeached and removed from office. The issue is not his views, but that his behaviour in that context was dead wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:25 am

cactus flower wrote:
Klaus behaved appallingly. That is not an accident, these people smell an opportunity in the current economic crisis and contempt for protocol is part of who they are.

Klaus said that the Irish government was in a ridiculous position as it was attacking someone who was agreeing with the majority Irish view.

I didn't feel that it was handled well and with dignity by the Irish side, although I was furious with Klaus.

I couldnt believe my ears listening to the Minister on RTE throwing out epithets against Klaus, whilst he was on a State visit. Should it not have been handled by the diplomatic service, in appropriate language?


It was repeatedly, through his own government and embassy. He ignored it. The radio interview was a final attempt to get it into his head that he had broken the rules and needed to back off.

Quote :
It ended with Klaus and Ganley playing the victim, while at the same time they were laughing at Government.

The trump card was the announcement by the Mouvement Pour La France on the steps of the Shelbourne that their MEPs would support Libertas as a European party, i.e. that Libertas EP campaign would be EU funded.

That is one of the reasons why Klaus should never have been there. A head of state should never ever attend a political meeting. Irish presidents dare not even be in a hotel where a political meeting is being held. (One Irish president when they discovered they would be in a town the same time as a major political meeting, cancelled their visit lest anyone think they had anything to do with the meeting.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:33 am

Papal Knight wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
Well, rules and protocol seem to be going out the window, left, right, and centre, nowadays. Sarkozy and Merkel can effectively tell us what to do, Cohn-Bendit can behave like a boor (as he did today when playing to the gallery), and our own elected representatives can effectively disown us, leaving a foreign head of state as the only one speaking up for our right to our opinion. The hysterical 'wrap the flag around me' performance by Crowley today comes second only to Avril Doyle's conversion to rabid Fenianism at the EP in terms of vomit-inducing hypocrisy...

Merkel is not a head of state.

Sarkozy is one but was not on a state visit.

That is the point. On state visits you can never ever behave that way. If Sarkozy had been on a state visit he could not have said what he said. If Klaus had been on a private visit, he could have. The point is that on a state visit you cannot behave that way.

As to Cohn-Bendit, Doyle and Crowley, that is irrelevant. They are not heads of state. Klaus is. So he is obliged by his office to behave in certain ways particularly on state visits. He totally ignored the rules that are part of his office. If the President of Ireland or Germany behaved that way on state visits internationally they would return to find themselves being impeached and removed from office. The issue is not his views, but that his behaviour in that context was dead wrong.

Well, as someone who no doubt argues that each country has its own procedures on such things, perhaps his behaviour should be left to the Czech people to judge upon...

As to the distinction between Sarkozy and Klaus, perhaps honour would have been preserved had Klaus stepped just across the border and said the same stuff from there? We're supposed to be mollified by Sarkozy trying to bully us from Paris, Brussels, and Strasbourg, then being a true gent once on the tarmac at Dublin? If only we had a single senior politician speaking for the Irish people's expressed wish, rather than siding with outsiders against it (I have a severe problem with Germans, of all people, presuming to tell us what to do), perhaps I'd feel a bit more outraged by President Klaus's apparent faux-pas...
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:51 am

toxic avenger wrote:
Papal Knight wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
Well, rules and protocol seem to be going out the window, left, right, and centre, nowadays. Sarkozy and Merkel can effectively tell us what to do, Cohn-Bendit can behave like a boor (as he did today when playing to the gallery), and our own elected representatives can effectively disown us, leaving a foreign head of state as the only one speaking up for our right to our opinion. The hysterical 'wrap the flag around me' performance by Crowley today comes second only to Avril Doyle's conversion to rabid Fenianism at the EP in terms of vomit-inducing hypocrisy...

Merkel is not a head of state.

Sarkozy is one but was not on a state visit.

That is the point. On state visits you can never ever behave that way. If Sarkozy had been on a state visit he could not have said what he said. If Klaus had been on a private visit, he could have. The point is that on a state visit you cannot behave that way.

As to Cohn-Bendit, Doyle and Crowley, that is irrelevant. They are not heads of state. Klaus is. So he is obliged by his office to behave in certain ways particularly on state visits. He totally ignored the rules that are part of his office. If the President of Ireland or Germany behaved that way on state visits internationally they would return to find themselves being impeached and removed from office. The issue is not his views, but that his behaviour in that context was dead wrong.

Well, as someone who no doubt argues that each country has its own procedures on such things, perhaps his behaviour should be left to the Czech people to judge upon...

As to the distinction between Sarkozy and Klaus, perhaps honour would have been preserved had Klaus stepped just across the border and said the same stuff from there? We're supposed to be mollified by Sarkozy trying to bully us from Paris, Brussels, and Strasbourg, then being a true gent once on the tarmac at Dublin? If only we had a single senior politician speaking for the Irish people's expressed wish, rather than siding with outsiders against it (I have a severe problem with Germans, of all people, presuming to tell us what to do), perhaps I'd feel a bit more outraged by President Klaus's apparent faux-pas...

Klaus is perfectly entitled to speak his mind, just not on a state visit.

You don't seem to understand how international diplomacy works. You absolutely cannot behave that way on a state visit. There are sacrosant rules that surround them, and he knows that well. His government pleaded with him to recognise the difference between a personal visit where he can speak, and a state visit where he cannot. One of the differences is that on a personal visit he is paying for his visit and is constitutionally responsible personally for his actions. On a state visit you are someone else's guest - they pay for the whole thing. You are their guest. State visits are never meant to be political.

And no, it is not up to the Czech people to decide on. If you are the guest on the state visit the onus is on you not to cause any political or other embarrassment to your hosts, just as if President McAleese went to the Czech Republic on a state visit the onus would be on her not to enter into internal controversies. For example, Mary Robinson on a visit to Chile was invited by human rights organisations to meet them. She could not on her state visit as that would have been an intervention in domestic politics. That does not mean she did not raise human rights - she did. But she raised them in face-to-face meetings with government. She knew she absolutely could not get involved in a domestic issue on a state visit, even one she felt passonately about.

As to the Czech reaction - Klaus's popularity is in freefall, with Eurosceptics publicly calling him a "disgrace", an "embarrasment" etc. The Irish government was flooded under with messages from Czech people, many of them anti-Lisbon, saying that Klaus's behaviour was outrageous and that with friends like him, who needs enemies. In comparing non-state visit comments by Sarkozy with comments on a state visit by Klaus, you are trying to compare apples with oranges. If Klaus wanted to speak his mind he could have come on a private visit. He knew full well, because his own government told him, that he could not get involved and behave the way he did on a state visit. They are by definition non-political.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:05 am

Sarkozy suggested the Irish need a private group to campaign for Lisbon, comparable to Libertas and led by a woman. I think it would be much more appropriate for people to make up their own minds on their own private vote, but we certainly do need a No to Libertas campaign.

Ganley is 'going postal' already, with threats of litigation and his behaviour on TV3 Political Party interview last night was pedantic. Clearly no statesman. He will end up single-handedly delivering the No vote next time around, without any need for an opposing group, because he has simply gotten too big for his boots...a trait the Irish are singularly adept in identifying and correcting. But regardless of the outcome of Lisbon II, he will already have taken wing across the EU, with the likes of Klaus, unless there is some direct and concerted opposition.


Last edited by Anticoalition on Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:17 pm

Anticoalition wrote:
Sarkozy suggested the Irish need a private group to campaign for Lisbon, comparable to Libertas and led by a woman.
In other words, the Alliance for Europe and Bridget Laffan.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:28 pm

I've alot of respect for Bridget Laffan, she lectured me in European Politics at UCD.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:30 pm

Paul R wrote:
Anticoalition wrote:
Sarkozy suggested the Irish need a private group to campaign for Lisbon, comparable to Libertas and led by a woman.
In other words, the Alliance for Europe and Bridget Laffan.

Your very welcome here on Machine Nation, Paul R.

Is that a serious suggestion? That is not as disturbing a thought as Ganley winging across Europe, but has might possibly tilt the balance in favour of No.

All that it would take for the Yes side to win is for Cowen to read the Treaty and for a decent consolidated version to be made available to everyone.
Plus a bit of honest education on how the EU works.

Up to now, here is not sign of that happening.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:16 pm

Czech president cuts ties with premier's party before EU presidency
Quote :

"Prague - Czech President Vaclav Klaus Saturday cut ties with the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek on the eve of the Czech Republic's EU presidency and a half year before European Parliament elections. Speaking at a key party congress, Klaus said he "definitively" yielded honorary chairmanship of the party he founded nearly 18 years ago because he could not identify with the policies of its current leadership.

"During a recent visit to Ireland, Klaus threw his support behind the eurosceptic Libertas movement of Irish businessman and anti-EU activist Declan Ganley, which successfully campaigned against the Lisbon Treaty
in Ireland.

Here we go. Libertas need elected members in 3 countries to form a pan-European party. It is beginning to look like Ireland, Czech Republic and France. God help us all.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:44 pm

Anticoalition wrote:
Czech president cuts ties with premier's party before EU presidency
Quote :

"Prague - Czech President Vaclav Klaus Saturday cut ties with the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek on the eve of the Czech Republic's EU presidency and a half year before European Parliament elections. Speaking at a key party congress, Klaus said he "definitively" yielded honorary chairmanship of the party he founded nearly 18 years ago because he could not identify with the policies of its current leadership.

"During a recent visit to Ireland, Klaus threw his support behind the eurosceptic Libertas movement of Irish businessman and anti-EU activist Declan Ganley, which successfully campaigned against the Lisbon Treaty
in Ireland.

Here we go. Libertas need elected members in 3 countries to form a pan-European party. It is beginning to look like Ireland, Czech Republic and France. God help us all.

Do they have anyone in Ireland? Sinnott, is it?
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:46 pm

One would imagine Ganley will also run... or is he above electoral politics?
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:49 pm


  • it must have legal personality in the Member State in which its seat is located.
  • it must observe the founding principles of the European Union, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.
  • it must have participated, or intend to participate, in elections to the European Parliament.
  • it must have in at least one quarter of the Member States, one or both of the following


  • either it must have received at least 3% of the votes cast in each of those Member States at the most recent European Parliament elections.
  • or it must already be represented by Members, whether
    Members of the European Parliament for those states, or Members of the
    national Parliaments of those states, or Members of the regional
    Parliaments of those states, or Members of the regional Assemblies of
    those states.



  • it must publish its revenue and expenditure annually.
  • it must publish a statement of its assets and liabilities annually.
  • it must provide a list of its donors and their donations exceeding €500.
  • it must not accept anonymous donations.
  • it must not accept donations exceeding €12000 per year and per donor.
  • it must not accept donations from the budgets of political groups of the European Parliament.
  • it must not accept more than 40% of a national political party's annual budget.
  • it must not accept donations from any company over which the public authorities may exercise a dominant influence, either by virtue of their ownership of it, or by their financial participation therein.
  • it must get at least 25% of its budget from sources other than its European Union funding.
  • it must submit its application by the 15 November before the financial year that it wants funding for

NB it was only on On 27 November 2008 the Irish Times reported that Declan Ganley had
confirmed that Libertas had applied to the European Parliament for
funding from the of €17 million it provides to promote the "European
nature of the European election
s

So they may have missed the 15 November deadline for funding for next financial year
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:41 pm

It appears that they might - but are we sure they didn't apply? They had the support of Mouvement Pour La France MEPS - that might have been enough.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:48 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Paul R wrote:
Anticoalition wrote:
Sarkozy suggested the Irish need a private group to campaign for Lisbon, comparable to Libertas and led by a woman.
In other words, the Alliance for Europe and Bridget Laffan.

Your very welcome here on Machine Nation, Paul R.

Is that a serious suggestion? That is not as disturbing a thought as Ganley winging across Europe, but has might possibly tilt the balance in favour of No.

All that it would take for the Yes side to win is for Cowen to read the Treaty and for a decent consolidated version to be made available to everyone.
Plus a bit of honest education on how the EU works.

Up to now, here is not sign of that happening.
Why would the Alliance for Europe tilt the balance in favour of a No?
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:55 pm

evercloserunion wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Paul R wrote:
Anticoalition wrote:
Sarkozy suggested the Irish need a private group to campaign for Lisbon, comparable to Libertas and led by a woman.
In other words, the Alliance for Europe and Bridget Laffan.

Your very welcome here on Machine Nation, Paul R.

Is that a serious suggestion? That is not as disturbing a thought as Ganley winging across Europe, but has might possibly tilt the balance in favour of No.

All that it would take for the Yes side to win is for Cowen to read the Treaty and for a decent consolidated version to be made available to everyone.
Plus a bit of honest education on how the EU works.

Up to now, here is not sign of that happening.
Why would the Alliance for Europe tilt the balance in favour of a No?

The Alliance for Europe didn't impinge on most people in the last campaign. Brigid Laffan on the occasions I've seen her I felt was not a good promoter of Europe. She talked down to people.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:00 pm

Bridget Laffan would be a major boost for the .no vote
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:07 pm

cactus flower wrote:
evercloserunion wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Paul R wrote:
Anticoalition wrote:
Sarkozy suggested the Irish need a private group to campaign for Lisbon, comparable to Libertas and led by a woman.
In other words, the Alliance for Europe and Bridget Laffan.

Your very welcome here on Machine Nation, Paul R.

Is that a serious suggestion? That is not as disturbing a thought as Ganley winging across Europe, but has might possibly tilt the balance in favour of No.

All that it would take for the Yes side to win is for Cowen to read the Treaty and for a decent consolidated version to be made available to everyone.
Plus a bit of honest education on how the EU works.

Up to now, here is not sign of that happening.
Why would the Alliance for Europe tilt the balance in favour of a No?

The Alliance for Europe didn't impinge on most people in the last campaign. Brigid Laffan on the occasions I've seen her I felt was not a good promoter of Europe. She talked down to people.
Well that's what happens when you're a private organization without a multi-millionaire leader. COnsidering their resources, the Alliance put forward possibly the best campaign of the lot, not in terms of exposure (which is a function of finance and nothing else) but in the quality of their presentation. Their arguments were the strongest, completely hammering down the crazy No side claims, and they also worked harder than any other organization.

I'm going to come right out and say that I volunteered for the Alliance for a couple of weeks before the referendum. But that shouldn't impute any bias on my part. I chose to work with them because they are the best organization out there, not vice versa.

In any case, Bridget Laffan is not the leader of the AfE. Brendan Kiely is the main man there. Rebelman from P.ie, Garrett Fitzgerald, Pat Cox, Ruari Quinn and Bridget all played important roles last time but Bridget is not the head of the organization.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:00 pm

evercloserunion wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
evercloserunion wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Paul R wrote:
Anticoalition wrote:
Sarkozy suggested the Irish need a private group to campaign for Lisbon, comparable to Libertas and led by a woman.
In other words, the Alliance for Europe and Bridget Laffan.

Your very welcome here on Machine Nation, Paul R.

Is that a serious suggestion? That is not as disturbing a thought as Ganley winging across Europe, but has might possibly tilt the balance in favour of No.

All that it would take for the Yes side to win is for Cowen to read the Treaty and for a decent consolidated version to be made available to everyone.
Plus a bit of honest education on how the EU works.

Up to now, here is not sign of that happening.
Why would the Alliance for Europe tilt the balance in favour of a No?

The Alliance for Europe didn't impinge on most people in the last campaign. Brigid Laffan on the occasions I've seen her I felt was not a good promoter of Europe. She talked down to people.
Well that's what happens when you're a private organization without a multi-millionaire leader. COnsidering their resources, the Alliance put forward possibly the best campaign of the lot, not in terms of exposure (which is a function of finance and nothing else) but in the quality of their presentation. Their arguments were the strongest, completely hammering down the crazy No side claims, and they also worked harder than any other organization.

I'm going to come right out and say that I volunteered for the Alliance for a couple of weeks before the referendum. But that shouldn't impute any bias on my part. I chose to work with them because they are the best organization out there, not vice versa.

In any case, Bridget Laffan is not the leader of the AfE. Brendan Kiely is the main man there. Rebelman from P.ie, Garrett Fitzgerald, Pat Cox, Ruari Quinn and Bridget all played important roles last time but Bridget is not the head of the organization.

I made the same criticism at the time of the CAEUC (is that the right acronym?) on the No side, with whom I'd have had some agreement. I was given more or less the same answer: not enough money. Plus they said the Press are biased against them.

I feel that it wasn't about the money - Libertas made the running on free media publicity mainly, the bus wasnt seen by that many and the posters were late and weak. Neither the Alliance nor CAEUC had anything like the same impact. The same could not be said of Sinn Fein, who had a strong and articulate figure head, Mary Lou McDonald, and who probably influenced more people to vote No than Libertas did. The problems were lack of a clearly identifiable spokesperson who was consistently available to the Press and lack of a cohesive and coherent philosophy (both bodies were formed form diverse groups). Members of the groups did not primarily identify with the Alliance/CAEUC, so they didn't have a presence on internet fora in the same way as Libertas and Sinn Fein. These seem to be some of the factors that reduced their potential impact.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:00 pm

cactus flower wrote:
evercloserunion wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
evercloserunion wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Paul R wrote:
Anticoalition wrote:
Sarkozy suggested the Irish need a private group to campaign for Lisbon, comparable to Libertas and led by a woman.
In other words, the Alliance for Europe and Bridget Laffan.

Your very welcome here on Machine Nation, Paul R.

Is that a serious suggestion? That is not as disturbing a thought as Ganley winging across Europe, but has might possibly tilt the balance in favour of No.

All that it would take for the Yes side to win is for Cowen to read the Treaty and for a decent consolidated version to be made available to everyone.
Plus a bit of honest education on how the EU works.

Up to now, here is not sign of that happening.
Why would the Alliance for Europe tilt the balance in favour of a No?

The Alliance for Europe didn't impinge on most people in the last campaign. Brigid Laffan on the occasions I've seen her I felt was not a good promoter of Europe. She talked down to people.
Well that's what happens when you're a private organization without a multi-millionaire leader. COnsidering their resources, the Alliance put forward possibly the best campaign of the lot, not in terms of exposure (which is a function of finance and nothing else) but in the quality of their presentation. Their arguments were the strongest, completely hammering down the crazy No side claims, and they also worked harder than any other organization.

I'm going to come right out and say that I volunteered for the Alliance for a couple of weeks before the referendum. But that shouldn't impute any bias on my part. I chose to work with them because they are the best organization out there, not vice versa.

In any case, Bridget Laffan is not the leader of the AfE. Brendan Kiely is the main man there. Rebelman from P.ie, Garrett Fitzgerald, Pat Cox, Ruari Quinn and Bridget all played important roles last time but Bridget is not the head of the organization.

I made the same criticism at the time of the CAEUC (is that the right acronym?) on the No side, with whom I'd have had some agreement. I was given more or less the same answer: not enough money. Plus they said the Press are biased against them.

I feel that it wasn't about the money - Libertas made the running on free media publicity mainly, the bus wasnt seen by that many and the posters were late and weak. Neither the Alliance nor CAEUC had anything like the same impact. The same could not be said of Sinn Fein, who had a strong and articulate figure head, Mary Lou McDonald, and who probably influenced more people to vote No than Libertas did. The problems were lack of a clearly identifiable spokesperson who was consistently available to the Press and lack of a cohesive and coherent philosophy (both bodies were formed form diverse groups). Members of the groups did not primarily identify with the Alliance/CAEUC, so they didn't have a presence on internet fora in the same way as Libertas and Sinn Fein. These seem to be some of the factors that reduced their potential impact.
I don't buy that €900k went on late, weak posters. I also don't buy that it didn't have any significant impact on Libertas' publicity.

Another thing that gave No side groups like Libertas and Cóir an advantage over the Alliance is that the formers groups made claims that people would be more likely to stop and listen to. Alarmist stories about abortion, internment of 3 year olds and losing our voice are much more likely to attract attention than more factually based claims about streamlining the institutions, inserting a commitment to fighting climate change etc. The Alliance for Europe had the unenviable task of combatting unscrupulous smear and lies with solid, objective information. Never easy.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:17 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Paul R wrote:
Anticoalition wrote:
Sarkozy suggested the Irish need a private group to campaign for Lisbon, comparable to Libertas and led by a woman.
In other words, the Alliance for Europe and Bridget Laffan.

Your very welcome here on Machine Nation, Paul R.

Is that a serious suggestion? That is not as disturbing a thought as Ganley winging across Europe, but has might possibly tilt the balance in favour of No.
It was an attempted guess at who Sarkozy had in mind with his suggestion - I presume we can rule out that he'd like Carla Bruni to lead the Yes campaign :-) To my mind, Bridget Laffan wouldn't necessarily be the worst person to lead the campaign. She isn't a politican (which is probably a plus in the current economic climate), most people would probably be willing to give her a fair hearing and she does know her stuff unlike a lot of the other campaigners (on both sides). Would she be an ideal person to lead the campaign? That I don't know, but then again who is?PS Thank you for the welcome cactus flower. For the record, I am another refugee from the endless nonsense on P.ie
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:45 pm

evercloserunion wrote:
Another thing that gave No side groups like Libertas and Cóir an advantage over the Alliance is that the formers groups made claims that people would be more likely to stop and listen to. Alarmist stories about abortion, internment of 3 year olds and losing our voice are much more likely to attract attention than more factually based claims about streamlining the institutions, inserting a commitment to fighting climate change etc. The Alliance for Europe had the unenviable task of combatting unscrupulous smear and lies with solid, objective information. Never easy.
I agree but part of the problem with the Yes campaign was it ended up always "returning serve" to the No campaign's allegations. This was largely as a result of the entire "departure of Bertie as Taoiseach" period which meant most politicans were not focused on the run up to the referendum. In retrospect, Yes supporters should have spent more time selling the positives (i.e. "serving") and less on trying to counteract a lot of the No nonsense. Much of the electorate  were I believe looking for positive reasons to vote Yes - they didn't hear them (loud enough) - and defaulted then to No.
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PostSubject: Re: The behaviour of President Klaus   Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:11 am

Paul R wrote:
evercloserunion wrote:
Another thing that gave No side groups like Libertas and Cóir an advantage over the Alliance is that the formers groups made claims that people would be more likely to stop and listen to. Alarmist stories about abortion, internment of 3 year olds and losing our voice are much more likely to attract attention than more factually based claims about streamlining the institutions, inserting a commitment to fighting climate change etc. The Alliance for Europe had the unenviable task of combatting unscrupulous smear and lies with solid, objective information. Never easy.
I agree but part of the problem with the Yes campaign was it ended up always "returning serve" to the No campaign's allegations. This was largely as a result of the entire "departure of Bertie as Taoiseach" period which meant most politicans were not focused on the run up to the referendum. In retrospect, Yes supporters should have spent more time selling the positives (i.e. "serving") and less on trying to counteract a lot of the No nonsense. Much of the electorate  were I believe looking for positive reasons to vote Yes - they didn't hear them (loud enough) - and defaulted then to No.

I think that FF instinctually felt that there was a voter resistance to the EU and were reluctant to take that on. I don't think the Bertie business can explain the weakness of their campaign.
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