Contempt for Democracy, EU-style

The Irish government has published the results of opinion research, carried out by the polling company Millward Brown IMS, into the reasons for the recent Irish NO vote on the Lisbon Treaty (a.k.a. the European Constitution).  And guess what.  The two key reasons why the people voted NO were that (A) they didn’t understand it; (B) they had misconceptions about it.
No one would cast any doubts on the work of a professional and independent polling organisation.  But it is uncanny the way that the research found just what the Irish government — and the EU — wanted to hear.
Every so often the Brussels institutions are brought up sharp by the dissent of the people.  The Danes on Maastricht.  The Irish on Nice.  The French and Dutch on the Constitution.  And now the Irish (again!) on Lisbon — the re-heated Constitution.  Brussels tries to ignore it.  They try to shrug it off. Their only concession to reality is to wring their hands and say “Perhaps we haven’t done enough to explain the project to the people”.  Then they vote through a budget line for more EU “information” (a.k.a. propaganda).
My own experience is that the more I explain the EU to voters, the angrier they get.
This is the EU that claims to be “a union of values based on democracy and the rule of law”.  The hell it is.  Their contempt for the voters is overwhelming.  They are determined to ride rough-shod over public opinion, and they do so again and again.  The Lisbon Treaty itself is an attempt to over-ride the French and Dutch NO votes — and there is no plan to let those countries vote again, because they would undoubtedly vote NO again.
What will they do this time?  I think they are edging towards a second Irish referendum.  They may strip out those elements of the Treaty that simply reaffirm parts of existing treaties.  They may — if they have to — get cosmetic opt-outs on, say, defence policy or abortion rights.  They may even try to slip those changes through in the Dail rather than by referendum.
But I have a prediction: if they do offer the Irish people a second chance to vote, they will get a second NO.  How they will cope with that is anyone’s guess.

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9 Responses to Contempt for Democracy, EU-style

  1. Ryan Lavelle says:

    Yes Roger, the EU is a corrupt, evil and totally out of control monstrosity.

    But what are YOU doing about the real issue – the total collapse of the world economy, that I TOLD YOU ABOUT LAST YEAR?!!!

    Stop preaching to the converted and start doing something about this GLOBAL CRISIS.

  2. Ryan Lavelle says:

    Dear Roger;

    The house of cards that is the global financial system is now in terminal collapse. Mr Darling’s recent suggestion that no-one could see this coming was typical of the reasoning that has got us to this point, and was either a simple lie, or demonstrates his complete incompetence.

    So, how did we get here? The answer is simple. We the people allowed bankers and politicians to implement policies which could only ever end one way, and, in fact, demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of economy.

    Economy is physical – it comes from the ability of a nation to generate wealth through human productivity.

    The deliberate winding down of our skilled manufacturing base, the deliberate lack of investment in basic economic infrastructure such as power stations, transport systems, water systems etc., the deliberate asset stripping of what little infrastructure we have left, to place so-called “value” in the hands of shareholders, and the insane fiscal policies which have allowed for the blowing of bubbles to sucker the mass of the population into believing that something could be got for nothing, could only ever end one way.

    It is a year since the collapse of Northern Rock, the first major sign of what was to come. What did you do? Nothing.

    You did nothing when major UK banks announced they needed to raise additional capital through share issue.

    You did nothing when the greatest bailout of all time – that of Fanny and Freddie – signaled the immediate collapse of the global financial system.

    You do nothing as the mountain of personal debt the people of this nation carry approaches twice our GDP.

    And you will do nothing, no doubt, now that Lehman Brothers is in bankruptcy, and Merryl Lynch has been bailed out by Bank of America.

    When will you admit that the collapse of this house of cards is accelerating? When will you admit that globalisation is, and always was, insane? When will you admit that free trade is by no means free? When will you admit that international action is required to save our lives?

    Because, make no mistake, unless you act, and act now, tens of thousands of lives will be lost in the UK, as a result of collapsing government finances bringing in even less money for social security and the health system.

    I am writing, therefore, to tell you what you must do.

    You must begin work, today, now, to cause the meeting, round a table, of the governments of the UK, USA, France, Germany, Russia, China, and India, and you must place the global financial system in administration. You must tell the bankers to go to hell. You must freeze all speculative debt, including mortgage debt, and you must make sure that nations have the time they need to sort out the mess. This can only be done through international treaty.

    One mess that needs to be sorted out, for example, is agriculture, specifically food production. Food production needs to be doubled in order to feed the world. Transport systems need to be built to get the food to where its needed efficiently. Power systems need to be built now in order to guarantee our needs for the next few generations.

    It’s time to act. It’s time to recognise that money does not make the world go round. The productive and creative power of the human being does that.

    I am calling on you to be productive, creative, and demonstrate you have the guts required to be a leader. Any government is only as effective as its individual MPs. If you are effective, the government will be too.

    So, act. Act now.

    Ryan Lavelle

  3. Roger Helmer says:

    One of the crosses you have to bear as an MEP is that of inflated expectations. Anyone who is exercised about any issue around the world — in China, in Iran, in South America, assumes that an individual MEP can, and should, drop everything and attend to their particular issue. Ryan is right that his issue is a big issue (although not so big as he seems to think — the end of the world is not nigh). But in suggesting that one MEP is in a position to call an international finance conference and save the world, he is so far out of touch with reality as to be risible.

  4. Mike Robinson says:


    Ryan’s demand that you act is not risible. He is not out of touch. We live in a society. A society of individuals. Unless individuals act to get people organised, nothing happens. Your response to this is typical of UKIP politicians – “what can I do?”

    Stop making excuses. Start getting your colleagues organised. Start pressuring the government, make press releases, give press conferences, get the public organised. ACT!

    And quite honestly, Roger, if you don’t realise that the end is very much nigh for this financial system, then you shouldn’t be in the job you are.

    Our only hope as a society is to CHANGE the system, because it is, quite clearly, in a state of terminal collapse. No matter how much liquidity they throw at the system to keep it alive, the situation just gets worse.

    So, act NOW. Before it’s too late. Because, the economy is not Ryan’s particular issue. It is everyone’s. And you are now on record as saying its nothing to worry about.

  5. Mike Robinson says:

    “Your response to this is typical of UKIP politicians – ‘what can I do?'”

    Just to clarify this point — this is a reflection of my particular frustration with that party and their MEPs. So it’s a bit annoying to get the same kind of response from you.


  6. Ryan Lavelle says:


    As someone who works in the city and has a lot of business contacts here, I can tell you that the mood on the street is “the world is coming to an end”, whatever you want to say about this topic.

    Face it: your ultra laissez-faire free market system has failed, and you know it.

    And as for your feeble excuse for taking no action on the financial crisis by attacking the role of the inspired individual in history, people said the same thing about William Wilberforce. So are you going to go down in history as a man who acted to save his nation, or one who stood by and made excuses?


  7. Roger Helmer says:

    Mike — I have certainly not said there is nothing to worry about. There is a great deal to worry about. But I have said that there is little I can do. However there ARE two things I can do. I can point out that this is as much a failure of government as of markets. I am thinking of interest rates held too low for too long, and of Gordon Brown’s inept changes to our regulatory framework, which failed at the first major test. And I can work for a Conservative government which will run a more responsible fiscal policy. And if you, Mike, think that an MEP can change the world by issuing press releases, then you have much less experience of politics than I have.

  8. Ryan Lavelle says:

    Yep, that’s right. When all else fails, pompous arrogance always succeeds in winning you friends and influence.

    Frankly, you are a waste of space and clearly not interested in dealing with the issues that you were elected to take care of on behalf of the British people. The fact that millions of people are going to be affected by this crisis clearly does not interest you unless you can use it to score cheap political shots at your “opponents” in the great one party state sham that you and successive generations of your fellow politicians have helped to erect around us.

    God help us if the kind of government we will get from next year bears any resemblance to your particular brand of flatulent incompetence.

    Either start doing your JOB, or we the people will see to it that you take the fall that you so clearly deserve at the next elections.

  9. Roger Helmer says:

    Ryan, It is because I am focussed on doing my job that I don’t get hijacked by issues which may well be important, but where I have no special competence and cannot make a difference. I believe that energy security is a bigger threat to our way of life than the financial crisis. There I can have some impact, and I have done a great deal on it. If you think you would be so much better at an MEP’s job, the solution is simple. Come forward and offer yourself as a candidate, and show the rest of us how it should be done.

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