Thursday, 17 July 2008

EU Lisbon Treaty: The incredible Mr Ganley

Do you remember the Libertas ‘no’ campaign spearheaded by Declan Ganley? Can you still recall the main reasons they put forward to vote ‘no’ on the Lisbon Treaty in the Irish referendum?

Here is their ‘8 reasons to Vote No to Lisbon’ (with, in my view, distortive and manipulative reasons added):

1. Creates an unelected President and a Foreign Minister of Europe
2. Halves Ireland’s voting weight while doubling Germany’s
3. Abolishes Ireland’s Commissioner for five years at a time
4. Opens the door to interference in tax and other key economic interests
5. Hands over power in 60 areas of decision making to Brussels
6. Gives exclusive competence to Brussels over International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment
7. Enshrines EU law as superior to Irish law
8. The Treaty can be changed without another referendum

Incidentally, the latest on Libertas’ web site is still their thank you note from 17 June 2008. The eight reasons are accessible here:


Compare this with Declan Ganley’s appearance at the US Heritage Foundation, where he is introduced as a modern-day freedom fighter.

Yes, the Heritage Foundation, where the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom has been on a long crusade to drive a wedge between the US administration and its European allies.

What did Declan Ganley tell his hosts on 15 July 2008? Hardly anything to please his anti-European hostess:

Ireland and he are no Eurosceptics, but pro-European.
We need a strong and prosperous Europe.
The fundamental point of the ‘no’ campaign was democracy.
The European leaders have to offer Europe’s citizens democratic accountability and legitimacy.
The have to sell the vision of a democratic Europe to the people in order to succeed with the people.
Europe needs a 20 to 25 page Constitution, which can be read and understood by a 15 year old.
The Constitution has to be approved by the people.
If not, the politicians have to go back to the drawing-board.
A second referendum in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty would result in a bigger ‘no’.

You can look up the hour long event on the Heritage Foundation’s web site:


Which Declan Ganley are we supposed to believe? The one spreading nationalistic fears before the referendum? The apostle of European level democracy and a strong Europe after the plebiscite?

Ralf Grahn