“Partition is still there… Maybe a checkpoint would bring back reality” #Brexit

The border hasn’t been weakened. The border is very much there. Partition is still there. The British still rule the north. Just because you can drive from Dublin to Belfast doesn’t end partition. It might make people feel better, maybe a checkpoint would bring back reality. Maybe Brexit would force the EU to bring about Irish unity.

        – Francie Molloy, Sinn Fein MP for Mid-Ulster, 6 June 2016

No need for sudden or radical change upon #Brexit vote

Tens of thousands of Irish people are living in Britain today because they could not get jobs in their own country due to the economic failures of successive Irish Governments and Dublin’s disastrous decision to adopt the euro-currency, which led to the imposition of €64 billion of private bank debt on to Irish taxpayers.

 

Having ignored the Irish in Britain for decades, Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his fellow Ministers now have the gall to go prancing around that country urging the Irish diaspora to vote to stay in the EU, even though that is against their real interests and those of both the Irish and British peoples. 

 

This interference in the UK’s referendum process by the Irish Taoiseach and his Ministers shows the moral vacuity and egregious ignorance of normal inter-State protocol that characterise much of Ireland’s political elite when it comes to EU matters.

 

If UK voters decide to regain their political independence by leaving the EU the following four steps would seem to be the appropriate legal way for easing that transition: 


  1. An amendment to the European Communities Act to prevent any new EU laws or Court decisions applying in the UK; 
  2. A special Act of Parliament to continue in being all existing EU laws, Court decisions and international agreements pending a gradual working out of which ones are worth keeping in the interest of UK citizens and which one should be got rid of; 
  3. A pause for strategic discussion with other States inside and outside the EU before the British Government formally notifies the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union; 
  4. Notification of the UK’s intention under Article 50, so setting in train the two-year or longer extended period for concluding the EU-UK agreement that is referred to in that Article.  


There will therefore be no need on 24 June for any sudden or radical change.

 

Both ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ campaigners might care to note that a new edition of  The Consolidated EU Treaties as amended by the Lisbon Treaty’, with Index and Explanatory Notes, has now been put up on the EUABC.com web-site by its editor, former Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde. This includes the text of Prime Minister David Cameron’s February agreement with the EU.

 

The fundamental choice before UK voters on Thursday week is whether they wish to be ruled for the indefinite future by these EU Treaties, which can only be changed by unanimous agreement of all 28 EU Member States, or whether they wish to be ruled by their own Parliament and Government which they can periodically elect and dismiss.

 

This is the only English-language edition of the EU Treaties with an Index.  This Index is an invaluable intellectual tool that enables people to find out for themselves how they and the issues they are concerned about are affected by the EU. All UK voters should know where they can consult the EU Treaties, so that they can find out these things for themselves.  

 

Below are ten reasons why it is in the interest of Irish people in Britain and the North of Ireland to vote to leave the EU on Thursday week.

 

(Signed)

 

Anthony Coughlan

Director

The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, 

24 Crawford Avenue, Dublin 9, Ireland 

What Peter Sutherland REALLY thinks about the EU migration crisis

Yesterday morning Ivan Yates of Newstalk 106 interviewed Peter Sutherland, UN Secretary General’s international representative on migration, on the EU migration crisis. 

Mr Sutherland’s solution is to “Europeanise” the matter by supporting EU mandatory quotas for distributing refugees and economic migrants around the EU – a policy for which the Fine Gael/Labour Coalition Government voted last September, although Ireland has a treaty opt-out from EU migration policy.  

The EU’s aim of replacing Europe’s long-established nations and national cultures with multicultural societies by encouraging population inflows was revealingly expressed by Mr Sutherland in his evidence to the Committee on Migration of the British House of Commons in June 2012 when he said  the following:

“The United States, or Australia and New Zealand, are migrant societies and therefore they accommodate more readily those from other backgrounds than we do ourselves, who still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others. And that’s precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing to undermine.”    (emphasis added)  
Source: BBC report, 12 June 2012; http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-18519395
 
Yesterday the EU Commission announced that Ireland has agreed to join an EU mechanism that will seek to relocate 140,000 asylum seekers by 2017. 

The EU Court of Justice has also just ruled that refugees granted international protection by one EU Member State can freely live and move anywhere they want in other Member States. 

Anthony Coughlan
Director
The National Patform EU Research and Information Centre
Tel.: 01-8305792 

The Left & Europe (Village Magazine)

THE LEFT AND EUROPE  by Anthony Coughlan, September issue,  Village Magazine, Dublin

The political Left, whether social democratic, communist or trotskyist,  has always found the European Union problematic. This is because  superanational EU “integration” poses the issue of national independence and national democracy so acutely, which many on the Left find embarrassing. They prefer to concentrate on economic issues, for on political ones like national independence they fear being found on the same side as the Right. Their political sectarianism makes that hard for them to cope with.

The EU shifts a myriad of government functions from the national level, where they have traditionally been under the control of democratically elected parliaments and governments, to the supranational, where the bureaucrats of the EU Commission have the monopoly of legislative initiative and where technocracy rules. Should the Left oppose or support this process?

The classical socialist position is clear. It is that Leftwingers should eschew “economism” and should seek to give a lead on democratic political questions as well as economic ones. They thereby put themselves in the best position to win political hegemony in their respective countries and to implement leftwing economic measures in due course when their peoples desire these.

Marx and Engels took it for granted that socialism could only be achieved in independent national States. In the Communist Manifesto of 1848 they wrote: “Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.” They supported Irish independence from Britain. Engels wrote to his friend Kugelman: “There are two oppressed peoples in Europe, the Irish and the Poles, who are never more international than when they are most national.”

Their Irish follower, James Connolly, showed by his political practice in allying himself with the radical democrats of the IRB in the 1916 Easter Rising that he regarded the establishment of a fully independent Irish State as the prerequisite of being able to achieve the socialist measures that he advocated. While awaiting execution he speculated on how the international socialist press would interpret the Dublin rebellion: “They will never understand why I am here. They will all forget I am an Irishman.”

Outside Europe the proposition that the Left should be the foremost advocates of national sovereignty would be taken as self-evident. The strength of communism in Asian countries like China and Vietnam rests on its identification with nationalism. The appeal of the Left in Latin America is largely based on its opposition to Yankee imperialism. Only in Europe do so many Leftwingers regard the defence of national independence in face of EU integration as “right-wing” and therefore by definition reactionary.

This is primarily due to the fact that the main countries of Western Europe – France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy etc. – were all imperial powers in their day and historically their mainstream Labour Movements identified with that imperialism and its colonial accompaniments. With honourable if marginal exceptions, the national Labour Movements in these countries supported their respective national bourgeoisies in going to war with one another in World Wars 1 and 2.

In the second half of the 20th century transnational capital became predominant over national capital in the advanced industrial world. In Europe continental social democrats now shifted to backing European-based transnational capital in supporting its main political project, the construction of a supranational power, the EU/Eurozone, in which the classical principles of capitalist laissez faire – free movement of goods, services, capital and labour – would for the first time in history have the force of constitutional law.

In Britain and Ireland Labour initially dissented. The political tradition in Britain is that all the main issues of national policy are decided inside the Tory Party, with the rest of society having bit parts. Joining the EEC became the central goal of Conservative policy from 1961. The Labour Left originally opposed this, as indeed in this country the Irish Labour Party opposed Irish membership of the EEC in our 1972 Accession referendum. Under Michael Foot’s leadership British Labour advocated the UK’s withdrawal from the EEC in the 1983 general election.

Then in 1988, with Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street, Commission President Jacques Delors, a French socialist, wooed the British TUC at Blackpool and Ireland’s ICTU at Malahide and promised them labour-friendly legislation from Brussels which they would never get at home. The Trade Union leaders embraced “social Europe” and much of the Labour Left followed them, in some cases becoming missionaries for the grand “project”. As the downside of  the EU/Eurozone became clear in recent years, Euro-scepticism began to grow on the political Right. Now some on the Left are starting to follow the Right in that too, in Southern Europe and  maybe in Britain.

In France and Italy the central role of communists in the war-time Resistance and their consequent appeal to national sentiment gave these countries mass communist parties for three decades after World War 2. A key factor in the subsequent decline of these parties was their embrace of the EC/EU in the 1970s and 1980s as one of the tenets of  “Eurocommunism”.

In France this volte-face was necessary to allow Communist Ministers join Francois Mitterand’s socialist government in 1981. I recall the labour historian Desmond Greaves remarking at the time; “This will revive fascism in France.” That was before anyone had heard of Le Pen.The French CP, which had one-quarter of the seats in France’s National Assembly in 1956, has 2% there today. Many former French workingclass communist voters now vote for the National Front.

Leftwingers in the trotskyist tradition tend to be upholders of EU supranationalism as “objectively progressive”, while stigmatising concern for national independence as nationalism and “rightwing”. This goes back to Trotsky’s famous dispute with Stalin in the 1920s over whether it was possible to build socialism in one country – that being Stalin’s view –  or whether it required a more general transformation, world revolution, as Trotsky thought.  The EU is assumed to provide a more favourable field for socialism because it is at once bigger and it is trans-national, although it is hard to see how socialist-type restrictions on capital can come from a body one of whose constitutional principles is free movement of capital.

The EU institutions and their national extensions are populated with people who were on the trotskyist Left in their youth and who feel no qualms at the EU’s assaults on national democracy. Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, Portuguese Commission President J.M. Barroso are among those with such a background who have advanced supranationalism. Left-sounding arguments for the EU go down well in circles where “socialism” is no way a realistic danger, but where “nationalism” very much is – that is, the nationalism which resists losing national independence and democracy.

Leftist rhetoric, radical-sounding,  has helped grease many a lucrative EU career path.

Leftist Europhilia of this kind has been influential in the ideological collapse of Greece’s Syriza, which made its leadership adopt policies the opposite of what they were elected on. While loud against “austerity”  Messrs Tsipris, Varoufakis and Tsakalotos continually proclaimed themselves believers in the EU, which they seemed to think could be transformed into a force for cross-national solidarity and Euro-Keynesianism by dint of rhetorical argument.

When it came to the crunch they lacked the courage to go for a “Grexit”, a repudiation of Greece’s mountainous debts and a devaluation of a restored drachma. Yet only such a policy can revive Greece’s lost competititiveness, stimulate its home demand and bring back economic growth, for Greece’s third bailout will not work.

The dissenters in Syriza are now advocating such a course, as are the Greek communists and others. The Syriza collapse is educational for Leftwingers everywhere. It illustrates the old truth that the establishment or re-establishment of national independence – which means a State having its own currency and with it control of either its interest rate or its exchange rate –  must be central to any meaningful campaign against neoliberalism and banker-imposed austerity, not to mind “socialism”, however one might define that.

(Anthony Coughlan is Associate Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin)

European Greeks, German Europe, International Class Betrayal & Global Empire Builders

  1. EU Political Union: Be careful  what you wish for. EuroIntelligence.com
  2. The Return of the Ugly German. Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor 1998-2005
  3. Moving on from the Euro. Kevin H O’Rourke, Professor of Economic History, All Souls College, University of Oxford; Programme Director at Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).
  4. Blitzkrieg? Finian Cunningham
  5. Greece should prepare for Grexit – and then not do it. Economist Charles Wyplosz
  6. Greece and the European Union: First as Tragedy, Secondly as Farce, Thirdly as Vassal State. Prof. James Petras

The next step towards catastrophe: a European Banking Union (Statement on EU summit meeting)

Media statement / Wednesday 27 June 2012

“There is no example in history of a lasting monetary union that was  not part of one State.”  –  Otmar Issing, former chief economist German Bundesbank, later governor of the ECB, c.1999

“That in what pertains to the control of credit the constant and predominant aim shall be the welfare of the people as a whole”  – Irish Constitution, Article 45, Directive Principles of Social Policy

“A federalised banking union: Europe too has a ready model across the Atlantic … The logic of federalizing this [banking] function is as powerful in Europe as is has always been in the US. ” –  Irish Times editorial, 7 June 2012

“The United States or Australia and New Zealand are immigrant societies and therefore they still accommodate more readily those from other backgrounds than we do ourselves, who still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others. And that’s  precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine.” – Peter Sutherland, House of Lords Migration Committee, BBC News, 21 June 2012

*   *   *

We live under a system of finance capitalism in which the interests of peoples and of States are subordinated to those of bankers by the bulk of national politicians.

Politicians in the peripheral countries of the Eurozone shifted the bad debts of insolvent banks on to the shoulders of national taxpayers  to prevent those banks going bust and to ensure  that the German and French banks which were responsible for most of the improvident lending would get their money back.

They now want to shift control of banks and banking to the supranational level so that the big banks in the big EU countries can more easily gobble up the small banks in the smaller, while simultaneously taking another step on the road to the fiscal and political union the Eurofanatics have been dreaming of for decades.

An EU banking union would deprive national States of the ability to make banking and credit creation serve national developmental goals.

It would make it impossible for the State to insist that Irish banks should subscribe to its State debt.

Having given up the power to issue money by joining the Eurozone, advocates of a banking union in the EU would pass control of credit in Ireland to banks outside the country completely.

Will the rest of the Irish media follow the lead of the Irish Times in supporting this latest lurch towards economic and political catastrophe?

It is par for the course that the career federalists and ex-Trotskyites who form Irish Times editorial policy on Europe should show their anti-national animus by supporting every move to strip the Irish State of all classical State functions.

With the sole exception of the great Douglas Gageby every editor of that paper has shared the national self-contempt which makes them identify with foreign rulers more than with their own people.  In the old days it was the British Empire. Today it is the aspiring Eurozone empire. They and those around them can thereby flatter themselves they are superior to the local “Paddies”.

But will the rest of the Irish media and the Irish political class follow the Irish Times further down the road to economic and political catastrophe?

(Signed)
Anthony  Coughlan
Director

The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre
24 Crawford Avenue
Dublin 9
Tel : 01-8305792

Alert: Government Attempts to Pass ESM with Minimal Public Debate

Today – Wednesday, & Tomorrow – Thursday

The Government will seek Dail approval of:
The Article 136 TFEU amendment to the EU Treaties which authorises the setting up of the permanent Eurozone loan fund, the European Stability Mechanism
+ A motion to approve the ESM Treaty which is authorized by this amendment
+ A motion to approve future Government spending on the ESM,

TODAY – WEDNESDAY, AND TOMORROW – THURSDAY.
A guillotined debate on the second reading of the latter Bill will take place TOMORROW.

This means that the whole business of signing up the Irish State to the ESM Treaty for the Eurozone and committing us to significant expenditure to help bail out Spain and other Eurozone countries in the coming period, could go through all stages in the Oireachtas BY THE END OF NEXT WEEK – with minimal debate in the Irish media over the long-term implications of these steps or awareness of what this all means amongst the general public.

The ESM Treaty can be downloaded from the internet – http://www.european-council.europa.eu/media/582311/05-t…2.pdf

The relation of the ESM Treaty to the Article 136 TFEU amendment to the EU Treaties authorizing it and to the Fiscal Treaty which Irish voters voted on last Friday is set out in the publication “A Tale of Two Treaties” by Cork solicitors Joe Noonan and Mary Linehan.

This can be downloaded from the internet at: http://taleoftwotreaties.tumblr.com

The letter below to the Ambassadors in Ireland of those EU States which have not yet ratified or approved the ESM Treaty or the Article 136 TFEU amendment sets out the reasons for regarding the ESM Treaty as it stands as illegal under EU law and in violation of the Irish Constitution.

A reformatted standalone version of this as explanatory text, is available here – https://nationalplatform.org/2012/06/06/4-reasons-the-esm-treaty-is-illegal-2/ – “4 Reasons why the ESM Treaty is illegal”.

If these measures are pushed through the Oireachtas this week and next in the way the Government proposes, the only way this profound illegality and unconstitutionality can be prevented is by President Higgins referring the relevant Bill to the Supreme Court for adjudication or by Deputy Thomas Pringle’s legal team securing a relevant injunction to stop it pending a Court hearing of the issues.

Yours sincerely

Anthony Coughlan
Director
Tuilleadh

Lean

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