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 Lisbon Activism - Perspectives

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PostSubject: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:53 am

I just lost a post I had chewed on over for half an hour. One part of it related to an article by Peter Sutherland in the Independent 4th June. Sutherland has been mentioned here as a heavyweight pro-EU advocate and debater, not to be lightly tackled, so I was expecting a serious read with a clear pro-Treaty case spelled out point by point.

The article was in two parts - the first "Europe has been good to us (me)" summarised here
Quote :
At a political level also, we are startlingly successful and, indeed, popular. I know, from personal experience, how valuable and helpful the image of Ireland actually is.

When I was made a European Commissioner I visited Jacques Delors in Paris and was offered one of the most senior posts -- that of Competition. I do not delude myself that this was due to any personal qualities -- it was our first meeting. Of course, other Irishmen have held all the other great portfolios in the Commission including Agriculture, Internal Market and Social Affairs and we also have had two Secretary Generals. Later, when I stood as a candidate to the Director General of GATT (which was to become the WTO) I had to gain the support of over 120 member states. The fact that I did so was again the result of a residue of goodwill to the Irish all over the world.
After a quick dig at the me feinism of us voters Shocked who haven't grasped the importance of this lucrative career, he moved on to the second part of the article that covered "walking into catastrophe" "its only a few adjustments" "we don't know what's good for us" etc. and a reference (lost on me) to a "Skibbereen Eagle gazing into the Atlantic".
There was not one cogent detail or argument or fact about the content of the Treaty.

I feel that his article, ironically titled "Do not be held a hostage to fortune by interest groups" reveals far more than was intended about the self-interested motivation and thinking of the people behind the Treaty.

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/do-not-be-held-a-hostage-to-fortune-by-interest-groups-1397404.html

The same paper included a report that Peter Sutherland sold 70,000 Goldman Sachs shares for €7 million, through by a Jersey registered company called Melalula Ltd, which is owned by Mr Sutherland. Is Peter Sutherland a resident of Ireland and does he pay any tax here? When he is advising us to vote Yes exactly whose economic interests does he have in mind ?

I've split this from here and think it might make a worthy discussion of the various vested interests on the Pro and No sides. Mod Kate P


Last edited by cactus flower on Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:20 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:10 pm

I've heard Sutherland on a number of occasions - and the Skibereen Eagle has been used on each occasion as a metaphor (provenance unknown to me) for an isolated Ireland, apart from Europe with nowhere to turn for support. Maybe it's Austin Clarke's Lost Heifer for the 21st Century.

Sutherland's interests are purely financial, purely formulated with the intention of supporting the big business interests which are central to his personal agenda. Perhaps it's an unconsciously developed perspective on his part but it defines his particular brand of pro Europeanism as pro-business-ism.

The following comes from the Forum gathering on 3rd April at Dublin Castle. Sutherland was an arrogant sod. And the speech that he gave differed markedly from the one that was distributed to those present. Luckily I was taking notes on what he said rather than relying on his own document. I'd venture to say it was a deliberate move. At that meeting, rather than focus on the implications of the Treaty for business, he launched a stinging attack on the no side. The speech dealt with the business but he didn't. Despite the fact that he was the Pro speaker who went first and would have had an opportunity to present material that Mary Lou McDonald would have been obliged to rebut. But he didn't. You'll hear it all on the Forum On Europe's Podcast of the event - the one that Declan Ganley pulled out of because he wouldn't share a platform with SF.


Quote :
Joe Higgins said that he would not be “patronised” by Mr Sutherland whom he called “one of the foremost representatives of big business.”

He said Mr Sutherland, who is involved with the conglomerates BP and Goldman Sachs was a member of the Round Table of Industrialists who “virtually write economic and competition policy” in the EU.

“You push privatisation at every hand’s turn in the interests of your organisation [Goldman Sachs]” with a view to “reaping greater profits.”
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:31 pm

Is anyone else reminded of the Act of Union ?

This sounds like a good read:
Quote :

The union of 1800-1801 created a single United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It lasted until the Treaty of 1922 gave birth to what is now the Republic of Ireland; it continues to obtain Northern Ireland. The author's survey examines the passing of the Act of Union in greater detail than ever before, drawing on newly discovered secret service papers in the Public Record Office in London. These papers settle the long-running controversy about government bribery and the passing of the Act of Union. Geoghegan's analysis shows beyond a doubt that there was considerable bribery involved. He also connects the passing of the Act of Union to the collapse of William Pitt's ministry in 1801. (The Irish Act of Union by Patrick Geoghegan)

I don't think this is just a question of an individual, but a caste of self interested bureaucrats and politicians who personally benefit from being part of a self-perpetuating plutocracy.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:08 pm

cactus flower wrote:
I just lost a post I had chewed on over for half an hour. One part of it related to an article by Peter Sutherland in the Independent 4th June. Sutherland has been mentioned here as a heavyweight pro-EU advocate and debater, not to be lightly tackled, so I was expecting a serious read with a clear pro-Treaty case spelled out point by point.

The article was in two parts - the first "Europe has been good to us (me)" summarised here
Quote :
At a political level also, we are startlingly successful and, indeed, popular. I know, from personal experience, how valuable and helpful the image of Ireland actually is.

When I was made a European Commissioner I visited Jacques Delors in Paris and was offered one of the most senior posts -- that of Competition. I do not delude myself that this was due to any personal qualities -- it was our first meeting. Of course, other Irishmen have held all the other great portfolios in the Commission including Agriculture, Internal Market and Social Affairs and we also have had two Secretary Generals. Later, when I stood as a candidate to the Director General of GATT (which was to become the WTO) I had to gain the support of over 120 member states. The fact that I did so was again the result of a residue of goodwill to the Irish all over the world.
After a quick dig at the me feinism of us voters Shocked who haven't grasped the importance of this lucrative career, he moved on to the second part of the article that covered "walking into catastrophe" "its only a few adjustments" "we don't know what's good for us" etc. and a reference (lost on me) to a "Skibbereen Eagle gazing into the Atlantic".
There was not one cogent detail or argument or fact about the content of the Treaty.

I feel that his article, ironically titled "Do not be held a hostage to fortune by interest groups" reveals far more than was intended about the self-interested motivation and thinking of the people behind the Treaty.

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/do-not-be-held-a-hostage-to-fortune-by-interest-groups-1397404.html

The same paper included a report that Peter Sutherland sold 70,000 Goldman Sachs shares for €7 million, through by a Jersey registered company called Melalula Ltd, which is owned by Mr Sutherland. Is Peter Sutherland a resident of Ireland and does he pay any tax here? When he is advising us to vote Yes exactly whose economic interests does he have in mind ?

I've split this from here and think it might make a worthy discussion of the various vested interests on the Pro and No sides. Mod Kate P

My intention in writing that post was not to focus on the Yes and No campaign, or on any individual vested interests, but, in the context of the "French Thread", in which it was written, on the character of the EU itself as participated in and shaped by the likes of Sutherland ( who is himself a creature created by the EU).

Sutherland's piece is revealing in that his focus is exclusively on the personal power he accumulated as a result of Ireland's participation in the EU. The Council, (with the Commission) in which EU power resides, is imho a highly self-rewarded elite that swallows up national politicians. Individuals who are part of it have every incentive not to rock the boat.

I'm not saying here that Sutherland is campaigning for the Lisbon Treaty because of any particular financial killing he hopes to make out of it. In his head, that fact of his glorious progress is clearly enough to justify that we fall into line and vote for the current EU project. What I am saying is that self-advancement, power and position gained by individuals is no kind of basis for uniting Europe.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:44 pm

Dear me. The Skibbereen Eagle is famous for publishing an editorial around the turn of last century denouncing the expansionist plans of the Tsar of Russia, which ended with the lines "The Skibbereen Eagle has got its eye both upon Lord Palmerston and on the Emperor of Russia".

Sutherland is warning not of parochialism as such* but of rather over-estimating our importance.

*the Aberdeenshire Press and Journal wins this one - its headline the day of the Titanic's sinking was the apposite "local man drowns in boating accident", and on the outbreak of WW2 "giant neep found in Banff".
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:52 pm

cf wrote
Quote :
My intention in writing that post was not to focus on the Yes and No campaign, or on any individual vested interests, but, in the context of the "French Thread", in which it was written, on the character of the EU itself as participated in and shaped by the likes of Sutherland ( who is himself a creature created by the EU).

Thanks cf - I moved it because I felt it got away from arnaud's valuable focus on all things French and to do with their attitude to the treaty and constitution. I can see what you mean about the context of the French thread being the inspiration for this, but I think it's probably better here as an opportunity to look at the differing perspectives and the character of the Union (which I think has a thread of its own somewhere?)

Quote :
Dear me. The Skibbereen Eagle is famous for publishing an editorial around the turn of last century denouncing the expansionist plans of the Tsar of Russia, which ended with the lines "The Skibbereen Eagle has got its eye both upon Lord Palmerston and on the Emperor of Russia".

Sutherland is warning not of parochialism as such* but of rather over-estimating our importance.

Thanks for the clarification re what the Skibereen Eagle is. That makes more sense than my humble interpretation.

I wasn't thinking of parochialism but of the idea of being monarch of all he surveys - like Kavanagh saying "and I am king of banks and stones and every blooming thing." The consequence of that self importance is finding yourself isolated. But I wasn't right there either. Ah well.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:57 pm

Quote :
Sutherland's piece is revealing in that his focus is exclusively on the personal power he accumulated as a result of Ireland's participation in the EU. The Council, (with the Commission) in which EU power resides, is imho a highly self-rewarded elite that swallows up national politicians. Individuals who are part of it have every incentive not to rock the boat.

I'm not saying here that Sutherland is campaigning for the Lisbon Treaty because of any particular financial killing he hopes to make out of it. In his head, that fact of his glorious progress is clearly enough to justify that we fall into line and vote for the current EU project. What I am saying is that self-advancement, power and position gained by individuals is no kind of basis for uniting Europe.

You've nailed him bang to rights there cf. There is an extraordinary disconnect between the perspective of the people he is appealing to and that of the elite world he inhabits.

Another interesting aspect of how the yes campaign is playing out is that it's a brilliant illustration of just how subservient to these same people the media is. The media are their unquestioning servant throughout. The paternalistic finger-wagging of countless editorials and condescending tut-tutting at our insolence is enough to make a person scream at times.

Other tactics are now being deployed in this last desperate effort to bring the yes vote home. This morning's Irish Examiner has a heart-rending piece about what is happening to fish stocks globally - the evils of industrial scale fishing and all that goes with it. It tries to sympathise with the effects on fishing communities and describes how in Newfoundland, 20 years after fishing was banned there, the stocks have not recovered and it seems never will. Anyway, in the final sentence the sentiment and shock of what is so well described are all trained back on the reader in an appeal to us to vote yes for Europe if we really want to do something about it. I nearly fell out of my seat when I realised where all this unusual editorial concern with environmentalism was coming from. Not least because the same article makes it very clear that the EU itself has been pretty bad about protecting fish stocks. A real corker (pardon the pun!):

Link

And again, no evidence or argument is offered to explain why a yes vote would turn this situation around.


Last edited by Ard-Taoiseach on Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to tidy Aragon's link.)
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:26 pm

Thread title changed to reflect cactus' intention

Audi, mod
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:12 pm

Well, I seem to be completely right so far that personally a No vote is commercially in my best interests! I'd like to thank the Times/MRBI poll yesterday for clinching an important sale! Still voting Yes though.

I've got to say I'm glad I'm getting something out of it either way, because I'm sick and tired of looking at lies and ignorance, and constantly having people claim I'm a government shill, or dupe, or traitor, with my nose in the trough. I've got dental surgery coming up the week after Lisbon, and I'm beginning to look forward to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:46 pm

ibis wrote:
Well, I seem to be completely right so far that personally a No vote is commercially in my best interests! I'd like to thank the Times/MRBI poll yesterday for clinching an important sale! Still voting Yes though.

I've got to say I'm glad I'm getting something out of it either way, because I'm sick and tired of looking at lies and ignorance, and constantly having people claim I'm a government shill, or dupe, or traitor, with my nose in the trough. I've got dental surgery coming up the week after Lisbon, and I'm beginning to look forward to it.

Good man Ibis. The more information, and the better quality, the better.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:17 am

ibis wrote:
Well, I seem to be completely right so far that personally a No vote is commercially in my best interests! I'd like to thank the Times/MRBI poll yesterday for clinching an important sale! Still voting Yes though.

I've got to say I'm glad I'm getting something out of it either way, because I'm sick and tired of looking at lies and ignorance, and constantly having people claim I'm a government shill, or dupe, or traitor, with my nose in the trough. I've got dental surgery coming up the week after Lisbon, and I'm beginning to look forward to it.

Im with ya Bud - Roll on the lazy days of summer - I've become the receptacle of so much anger from other people which I know is not directly at me - yet its hard to distinguish at times. Im an optimist by nature and always try to think of the positives in life and people too - Im a true liberal by nature - I can always see at least about 10 different points of view to any issue or debate - but this campaign has ground me down and I dont like what Ive been feeling and writing over the last while - Time for a break and get off the whole damn carousel me thinks.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:25 am

It is good to do that Edo. Doing something completely different is often a great release. Like the Sunscreen Song says - Do one thing every day that scares you.

You could start tomorrow by going out canvassing for a No Idea
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:36 am

Helium Three wrote:
It is good to do that Edo. Doing something completely different is often a great release. Like the Sunscreen Song says - Do one thing every day that scares you.

You could start tomorrow by going out canvassing for a No Idea

If you want an easy life I wouldn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:09 am

well im active on the yes side and i believe anyone that knows me would agree i am a long ways away from the crazy description used for people involved at a leadership level on the yes side.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon Activism - Perspectives   Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:19 am

rebelman wrote:
well im active on the yes side and i believe anyone that knows me would agree i am a long ways away from the crazy description used for people involved at a leadership level on the yes side.
You are very welcome rebelman - I don't know you but I'd guess you're from Cork straight away and you'll have to do a fair bit of convincing on the Yes side because as you see, the forum poll here shows a decided No although that could be because everyone has two votes I think - one as a guest and one as a member (oops).

Have a look to see if ye can vote a second time as a guest by going to the Europe forum and looking for the poll there...
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