Ireland: Joe Higgins MEP defends socialist opposition to Lisbon Treaty

Lisbon "wasn’t a victory for democracy"

On Wednesday 7 October 2009, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) MEP, Joe Higgins, spoke in defense of the Socialist Party’s opposition to the anti-worker Lisbon Treaty, which was passed after a second referendum on the treaty was held in Ireland on 2 October (see previous article on In his speech (for which he is only given 90 seconds!), Joe also attacks speculation that the new office of EU president could be given to former British New Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair, notorious for his role in beginning the bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as for numerous other anti-working class policies. Follow the link below to watch the video.

Joe Higgins MEP defends socialist opposition to Lisbon Treaty

Watch the video here

Exerpt from transcript of Joe’s speech

"Chairman, I opposed the Lisbon referendum from a left and socialist perspective and reject the intervention of xenophobes and right wing forces. But it wasn’t a victory for democracy, what happened in Ireland in the referendum. The Irish people were threatened by a major coalition of the political establishment, big business, most of the capitalist press and the EU Commission, that if they voted no, they would be economically isolated, they would be punished by the European Union, there would be flight of capital and investment. And they were told that if they voted Yes, there would be jobs, investments and recovery – all falsehoods. The Irish government’s duplicity was shown by the fact that it asked the management of Aer Lingus to postpone until today, after the referendum, the announcement of 700 savage job cuts in Aer Lingus.

Now the EU commission intervened continually, interfered in the process. The three Presidents are not here, but I want their representatives to ask them for a reaction to the following scandal for me. EU Commissioner Tajani for Transport spent a full day travelling around Ireland on a Ryanair jet with the chief executive of that multinational campaigning for a Yes. He is the regulator of transport supposed to protect consumers and workers. He is hopelessly compromised by going around with the Chief Executive of one of the biggest corporations supplying transport. What is your answer to that?

Also, the last point, Mr. Chairman, there is speculation that Mr. Tony Blair will be a new President of the EU Council. Let us be clear, Mr. Tony Blair is a war criminal…. Mr. Blair must not be appointed as the President of the EU….."

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October 2009