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WSM campaign against the Lisbon treaty in Ireland

category ireland / britain | imperialism / war | feature author Thursday June 12, 2008 19:56author by Andrew - WSM (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

On Thursday 12 June Irish citizens voted to reject the neo-liberal Lisbon treaty. They were alone among all the citizens of the EU states in being allowed a direct vote on the matter.

Over the last weeks the Workers Solidarity Movement has been campaigning across Ireland for a No Vote. 50,000 leaflets have been distributed along with 2,000 posters on top of 20,000 issues of Workers Solidarity.

Will the Lisbon Treaty vote change anything?

Last year, the EU Constitution was defeated in referenda in France and the Netherlands. Europe’s governments quickly got together and rewrote the constitution as an incredibly complicated list of amendments to existing treaties. Together these amendments make up the “Treaty of Lisbon.” Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the president of the Convention on the Future of Europe which did much of the ground work in drafting the constitution, has concluded that “the difference between the original Constitution and the present Lisbon Treaty is one of approach, rather than content”.

WSM Vote No campaign on Munster's streets - 17th May to 7th June
A photo-review of WSM activities in Munster cities during the Lisbon referendum campaign. The Cork WSM branch, with the help of other comrades from Limerick and Dublin, did 4 info stalls on the streets of Cork, Limerick and Waterford.

Vote no to the Lisbon treaty
The Workers Solidarity Movement are printing and distributing 50,000 of the following leaflets in our campaign for a 'No' vote on the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Libertas: US Military Contractors Against Lisbon!
Irish citizens voted against the EU Nice treaty in June 2001 briefly throwing a spanner into the works of the neoliberal EU agenda. The response was to force a second vote accompanied by a lot of scare mongering the following year. Shortly before the second referendum the pro-neoliberal media 'revealed' that the leader of the right wing anti-treaty campaign had been present at far right meetings in Germany, something that helped scare people into voting for the treaty second time around.

WSM say Vote no to Lisbon
Imagine that, leaving the pub on Saturday night, you find a fight outside. The Gardai turn up, grab a load of people, including you, and drag you off to the station, and throw in a beating in the back of the van. Next morning you are taken to an interview room and an old garda gives you a cup of tea, apologises for the “mix-up” earlier and says you can go as soon as you’ve signed a 6 page statement he’s prepared for you.

author by JB - WSM (personal capacity)publication date Fri Jun 13, 2008 18:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The ballot boxes were opened 40 minutes ago and a No vote looks likely. The state broadcaster is reporting "Working class areas of the capital are reported to be voting two to one against Lisbon, while the vote is more evenly split in middle class districts."

In Cork city the overall vote seems to be No with some boxes in Mayfield reported to be 5 to 1 no.

With 25% of boxes open in Laois - Offaly (home of the Taoiseach) its running 57% yes but elsewhere in the midlands (Longford) is reporting 2-1 No.

Both Wexford town and county areas going No, Wicklow going 50:50 with working class areas strongly No.

author by JB - WSMpublication date Fri Jun 13, 2008 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Louth - 50% open, 57% no
Kildare - 57% yes but small tally
Meath West - 50% open, 60% No
Cavan/ Monghan - early indications are No

author by JBpublication date Fri Jun 13, 2008 19:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Latest from the state broadcaster - these are all based on tallies rather than actual results but the class difference in the vote is interesting (although based on sociological definitions of class).

"The No vote is strong in many rural areas and in working class districts of cities, while middle class areas appear to be less supportive of the treaty than had been anticipated.

The early trend is all one way - against the Lisbon Treaty. However, it must be stressed that these are only tallies, and that the result could be tighter than indications so far.

But most rural constituencies are showing a No vote - including Mayo, where Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has forecast his home constituency will vote against the treaty.

In urban areas, middle class areas by and large appear to have voted in favour of the Treaty - but not by the normal large margin, and not by enough to counteract the large No in working class areas."

author by JBpublication date Fri Jun 13, 2008 19:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dublin - Tally figures indicating a No vote, a little less than 60-40
Cork - regional Fine Gael organiser thinks its impossible for yes side to win. Fishing areas have a very high (80%+) No vote.Only one box showed slight yes
Tipperary North South - narrow No
Limerick - 'Middle class' is Yes (55%+), Working class areas is no. Very strong rural No vote.
Galway West - 55% No
Galway East - 50: 50
Tuam - 60% No
Mayo - 60% No
Sligo North / Leitrim - 57% No
Cork north central - 65% No
Cork South Central - 55% No
Kerry - 60% No
Laois - Offaly - Offlay box complete 67% yes but Laois box to come, expected overall yes
Kildare North and South may be yes
Louth is no
Two Meaths are No
Cavan Monghan is No
Wicklow is 50:50 with very strong No vote from Arklow city, Delgany and Greystones high yes
Carlow - Kilkenny - 50:50
Wexford - High coastal turnout, looks like 3:1 no in these fishing areas

author by JBpublication date Fri Jun 13, 2008 19:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So know there wil be a big fight over why there was a No vote as the far left including the anarchists, the republican eft, the right and the USA aligned section of the Neoliberal right were calling for a No vote. Last week the Irish Times did a poll asking why people were going to Vote No so this probably gives the best indication of the probable reasons.

Why people were going to vote No
Why people were going to vote No

Related Link:
author by JBpublication date Fri Jun 13, 2008 22:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its pretty certain that the referendum has been defeated, state broadcaster reporting "It seems certain that Irish voters have rejected the Lisbon Treaty. With results in from 10 of the 43 constituencies, the Lisbon Treaty is being beaten by a margin of 53.6% to 46.4%."

The political and media elite are in turmoil, once more the people have failed the government etc.

author by Ray - WSM Cork (Personal capacity)publication date Fri Jun 13, 2008 22:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Comment reposted from

I beg to differ, I see no surprise in the No vote by Cork, nor nationally.

From my Rebel [Cork is know as 'the rebel county'] standpoint, and from all the letterboxes and doorsteps I and my comrades visited over the past month, there was no surprise at all in this result, only in the scale and the broad spread of where the No vote predominated. In everything we did during the campaign there was always the sense that we were getting across a message in voting No to Lisbon that people were prepared to entertain and in many cases even wanted to hear. Normally I don't enjoy Prat Kenny's [main Radio and TV chat show host] menagerie of establishment popinjays that he has on of a Friday, but today I cant help enjoying the delicious spectacle unfolding before our eyes, as the masks slip off the faces of our rulers in their petulant rage at an electorate that for once was not duped by them. The voice of the people as expressed in a referendum is now an obstacle to be overcome, says Fine Gael's Lucinda Creighton. Our politicians, the self-styled priesthood of 'democracy' worship only themselves and we will watch them execrate and deliberately misinterpret this result: the people have spoken and the establishment won't wear it.
Now, that's Ireland's (and Europe's) rulers for you!

author by JBpublication date Sat Jun 14, 2008 00:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"With results in from 39 of the 43 constituencies, the Lisbon Treaty is being beaten by a margin of 53.6% to 46.4%."

Official announcement expected any time now

author by JBpublication date Sat Jun 14, 2008 01:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's over - the official declaration is yet to be made but all the counts are in and the Lisbon Treaty is defeated

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