Current Affairs Politics

Support Austerity Treaty Says Pat Cox Megarich European Politician. Sorry! I Meant, MEP

Ah, the upcoming referendum on the Austerity Treaty has the Golden Circle all of a-quiver as they face the outside prospect that the Irish citizenry, unruly rump of ignorant proletariat that they are, might have the temerity to say no to our betters in the European Union – and thereby upset the lucrative gravy train for the reborn Redmondite ranks of Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fáil and the Greens.

So what hove’s into view but the grandly titled “Alliance for Ireland”. Hooray! But who are they you might ask? Why none other than a collection of the great and the good. Well, not so great, and not so good, but what the hey: loosers can’t be choosers when you’re desperate. And boy do those Pro-Treaty folk reek of desperation.

From the Irish Examiner:

“A clutch of senior GAA figures, including Cork football manager Conor Counihan, his Dublin counterpart Pat Gilroy, and Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody, are supporting a yes vote in the fiscal treaty referendum.

They have agreed to be patrons of Alliance for Ireland, a civil society group of political, business, NGO, trade union, and sporting figures campaigning for treaty ratification.

The alliance, whose director is former European Parliament president Pat Cox, launched its campaign in Dublin yesterday.”

Pat Cox? The Pat Cox? Back again, like Lazarus from the dead. Or in his case from a cushy job in Brussels.

“Chairman Brendan Halligan said the alliance was an entirely voluntary one and that its budget would be “under €10,000”.

Mr Halligan, a former Labour general secretary, expressed himself satisfied with the yes campaigns being run by the coalition partners.

Mr Halligan, meanwhile, said that he stood over language in the alliance’s leaflet which referred to members of the no campaign who wanted to stop gay marriage and abortion as “fundamentalists”.”

Funny people these Yes-To-Poverty types but at least they can claim some fame for being on the side that is willing to stand up for the rights of their fellow citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender.

Ooops, the again, it seems not:

“Shabby Seanad antics by Fine Gael, Labour kill gay Bill.

THE sheer spinelessness of the moment was summed-up by the remark: “Would we really be wasting time consulting with the Catholic Church if they could discriminate against black people in this way?”

Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power was speaking after her bid to end the fear felt by gay teachers and medical staff who can be sacked on the grounds of their sexual orientation was voted down by Fine Gael and Labour in a nakedly cynical move.

Jerry Buttimer may be out but that did not stop his Government colleagues going in to kill a bill aimed at ending official discrimination against gay people working in schools and hospitals under the direction of a religious body.

Ms Power told the Seanad the threat of being fired is very real in an Ireland that is not as liberal as it likes to pretend.

With 92% of national schools under the direction of the Catholic Church, Ms Power revealed she had received numerous letters from teachers, as well as medical staff in genuine fear of losing their jobs.

One, who can only be named as Mary, is too frightened to even socialise with her partner in the town where they live together.

Such matters left Justice Minister Alan Shatter unmoved as he said the Bill needed to go because he was unsure it would “pass constitutional muster”.

While my view that Shatter does not pass ministerial muster would take up a whole different column, his judgment is highly questionable — especially as Senator Power merely asked for the Bill to be put forward to committee stage so that any problems with the wording could be ironed out.

Instead, Fine Gael and Labour killed it — cementing discrimination and fear in our schools and hospitals for at least another 18 months.

Shatter said the delay was needed for “consultations” with the Catholic Church and others.

The move was particularly craven in Labour’s case as it has long advocated getting rid of this clause — and its parliamentary party is made up of so many ex-teachers.

The grand sounding, but impotent bleatings of Labour Education Minister Ruairi Quinn in the Seanad only added to the spineless nature of the occasion.

Fine Gael may have a more hostile, right-wing agenda regarding getting rid of discrimination, but Labour voted the reform down simply because it did not want Fianna Fáil to be able to claim political credit for it.

Labour would rather gay people have to continue to live with prejudice at work because it suits its petty party interest.

It was the same story with the recent United Left Alliance bid to legislate for abortion rights in line with the Supreme Court’s X Case judgement.

Despite there being nothing in the ULA Bill that was not in Labour’s manifesto — not to mention the despair caused by seven successive governments failing to implement the Supreme Court ruling — Labour joined with Fine Gael in throwing out the reform to prevent the opposition getting credit for something Labour has promised, yet failed to deliver.”

The Alliance for Ireland? Or the alliance for another 90 years of the same old crap?

2 comments on “Support Austerity Treaty Says Pat Cox Megarich European Politician. Sorry! I Meant, MEP

  1. There are two issues here, which should not be confused. Excessive pay for politicians, which is a disgrace, and the Fiscal Treaty.
    If we are not going to default, then it is incumbent on those who advocate a No vote to explain who is going to finance us, instead of mumbling about growth, without having a clue as to how to fashion it, or any practical example.
    The Greeks will be forced out of the euro by this type of childishness, which rejects austerity without any workable alternative.
    Osbourne awaits us, let’s get real.


    • Fair point, Páid, and one that I will hopefully address in a future posting.

      However it hardly does the Pro-Treaty side any favours when it wheels out the likes of Pat Cox, the very embodiment of the EU’s self-interested and self-maintaining institutional decadence, to lecture the rest of us on the need for financial sobriety and austerity.

      To say that it smacks of arrogance, and an obliviousness to the real and ongoing pain felt by the citizens of Ireland outside of the Golden Circle elites, is to put it mildly.

      Finally the gay rights and abortion choice issue. Yes, those people who oppose both are wrong, though I at least understand those who are anti-abortion from an ethical point of view, even if I believe their ethics to be incorrect in this case. Opposition to gay rights in quite a different matter and most opponents usually are, in fact, “fundamentalists”. But does that point belong in the literature of the Pro-Treaty campaign: one with official backing? Is it germane to the issue at hand?

      Thanks for taking the time to Comment. All views are most welcome.


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