user preferences

Ireland: Another working-class "No"

category ireland / britain | imperialism / war | opinion / analysis author Monday July 14, 2008 20:44author by Mathias - Alternative Libertaire Report this post to the editors

Article from Alternative Libertaire, French anarchist communist magazine

On 12th June, the Irish sent the media and the boss class into despair when 54% of Irish voters said "No" to the Lisbon Treaty, a re-working of the European Constitution. Libertarian communists mobilized in order to tinge this rejection with a social and anti-capitalist hue. [ Français]

Ireland: Another working-class "No"

On 12th June, the Irish sent the media and the boss class into despair when 54% of Irish voters said "No" to the Lisbon Treaty, a re-working of the European Constitution. Libertarian communists mobilized in order to tinge this rejection with a social and anti-capitalist hue.

In 2005, the "No" in the French referendum on the European constitutional treaty had clearly been a social "No", with supporters of French sovereignty unable to make their voice heard above the clamour of the anti-liberalist and anti-capitalist campaign. In the case of Ireland in 2008, the various types of opposition to the Lisbon Treaty makes analysis a little more complex.

One thing, however, is sure - this referendum marks the divorce between "civil society" and the political elite. The "Yes" camp was filled - as in France three years ago - with the main government parties: Fianna Fáil (centre-right party currently in power), Fine Gael (another centre-right party) and the social democrats of Labour.

Supporters of the "No" vote could be divided into three main areas. The first two are familiar: on the one hand the supporters of Irish sovereignty, nationalists and Catholics, hostile to the European Union for reasons of identity (1); on the other hand, the anti-liberalist left and the far left, in defence of class interests. The third area is more typically British - the Atlantists, who seek to maintain the privileged alliance with the United States rather than with the European Union. This current was mainly led by businessmen and reminds us in passing that there sometimes exist strategic contradictions within the European boss class, with regard to the commercial interests at stake. While French, German and Italian capitalists may have thrown their weight behind the EU, others (for example in Eastern Europe and the Anglo-Saxon countries) may have other preferences.

The wealthy neighbourhoods vote "yes"

The libertarian communists of the Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM) did not use this opportunity of a complex situation merely to sit back and commentate from afar. They involved themselves in the fight against the Lisbon Treaty while at the same time denouncing the doubtful motives of certain elements of the "No" camp, such as Libertas, a lobby founded by industrialists linked to the American armed forces.

The WSM also distributed over 50,000 pamphlets and 2,000 stickers to publicize the libertarian communist alternative to the Europe of capital. Unlike the situation in France where Alternative Libertaire alone mobilized against the Constitutional Treaty, the 2008 "No" campaign saw the entire libertarian movement in Ireland in action.

The sociology of the vote can, however, throw some light on the reason for the success of the "No" vote, which enjoyed large majorities in rural and working-class areas, whereas the trendy neighbourhoods of South Dublin voted in favour by 60%! The middle classes, on whom those in power were counting, mostly decided not to vote at all, accentuating even more the class gap between those in favour of Lisbon and those against.

The victory of the "No" vote in the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty can therefore be seen as a victory for the Irish and European social movements which, once again, have raised a barrier to the construction of a liberalist Europe. It also reflects a certain disenchantment on the part of the working classes with the political and economic regime, represented by the parties promoting a "Yes".

Matthias (AL Orléans)

Translation by FdCA-International Relations Office

(1) The Catholic Church warned of the danger that accepting the Lisbon Treaty would lead to the legaliztion of abortion.

Related Link:
author by Peter Egan Jrpublication date Wed Jul 16, 2008 18:06author email peganjr at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

If anyone should have to "vote again" it should be the French --- the majority of whom have now realized the monumental mistake they made in electing this blithering idiot!

The Irish people are smart enough to realize that passage of the Lisbon treaty would effectively spell an end to democracy in Europe, and we're having none of it!

If the Irish were to vote again, the only thing that would be different about the outcome is that more than 60% of Ireland's voters would reject this stupid treaty the second go-round.

Mr. Sarkozy, on behalf of all my Irish brethren, pog mahone you SOB!

This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
Revolutionary Trade Unionism: The Road to Workers’ Freedom

Latest News

Ireland / Britain | Imperialism / War | en

Fri 25 Apr, 16:15

browse text browse image

Image:The Old Ruler, New Rulers Class War Continues.. banner being prepared the evening before the protest imageBritish Queen's Dublin Castle banquet protested by a few hundred as Garda harass activists 22:16 Fri 20 May by Andrew 0 comments

article00c143e5900000578109_468x313.jpg imageWhy we don't welcome the visit of the British Queen 06:40 Fri 20 May by WSM 0 comments

blairprotest.jpg imageHundreds protest war-criminal Tony Blair in Dublin 21:09 Mon 06 Sep by Julian & Andrew 0 comments

e988dfebd315da.jpg imagePublic Meetings in Ireland - Haiti: Catastrophe and the legacy of imperialism 22:45 Wed 03 Feb by WSM PRO 0 comments

notolisbon.jpg imageLisbon treaty and Democracy - Do We Really Have a Say? 18:21 Fri 04 Sep by James O'Brien 0 comments

berlusconi.jpg imageNo to Lisbon - A Treaty for the Rich 17:41 Thu 03 Sep by WSM 2 comments

May 17th, Limerick. early days in the campaign imageWSM Vote No campaign on Munster's streets - 17th May to 7th June 18:45 Thu 12 Jun by Ray 1 comments

250_0___20_0_0_0_0_0_20050723191234.jpg imageSinn Fein Vote To Back PSNI 20:16 Mon 29 Jan by W. 3 comments

Red & black flags of the anti-war anarchist block imageAnarchist Block on anti-war demonstration in Britain 17:55 Fri 29 Sep by Northern Anarchist 0 comments

textNot Guilty - Shannon Five war resisters acquitted on all charges 22:25 Thu 17 Aug by Sovietpop and others 0 comments

more >>

Opinion and Analysis

imageInto the Shadows - Britain’s dirty war in Ireland Dec 28 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

imageInternment, parading and the politics of class Aug 28 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

imageNuclear weapons and Scottish independence May 21 by Eric Chester 0 comments

imageWorking Class Unity, Not Sectarian Diversions Dec 24 by Workers Solidarity Movement 0 comments

imagePat Finucane murder - British state sweeps the dirt under the carpet Dec 19 by Sean Matthews 0 comments

more >>
© 2005-2014 Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]