Sunday, 3 May 2009

Declan Ganley & Libertas: A question of credibility

Since I am for democratic EU reform, I should welcome the general drift of chairman Declan Ganley’s statements about what Libertas stands for.

Why do I need convincing?

It started with the campaign against the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland.

Their ‘8 reasons to Vote No to Lisbon’ were:

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

I was writing about a number of the relevant Lisbon Treaty provisions at the time, and I found a number of Libertas’s justifications and assertions distortive and manipulative.

This opened up a credibility gap.


Alleged Irish interests, most narrowly defined, seemed to fuel the campaign.

Where were the pro-European or pan-European visions for a strong and prosperous Europe?

The better deal for Ireland was quickly discarded after the referendum.

Ireland has been given political assurances by its EU partners, but Ganley has expanded his anti-Lisbon campaign to the whole European Union, ahead of the European elections.

Was a better deal ever a serious option or just hogwash?


Veracity and credibility are the most important assets of a political party in its quest for hearts and minds.

The claims, programmes, recruitment, financing and procedures of a political party – especially on a moral crusade - require analysis and constructive criticism.

The right way for Libertas is not to lash out at critical comments, but to show tangible proof of improvement.

I checked Libertas’ web site this morning to find new and positive signs, but there was nothing of the kind.

Ralf Grahn