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Voting NO to Lisbon: to keep our homes, families and economic strength

category national | eu | opinion/analysis author Wednesday June 04, 2008 09:46author by Howard Holby Report this post to the editors

Lisbon Treaty: a flawed constitution for Europe

Continuing the topics of our former essay “Our future under a ratified Lisbon Treaty” http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87683 [1],
this analysis presents some of the further major negative effects expected within a unified Europa under Lisbon.

Contents:

Lisbon Treaty: a flawed constitution for Europe
Nomad lifestyle, uncertain future, low efficiency
Low wages with no freedom to negotiate
The main victims of Lisbon: the young generations
“Efficiency” à la Lisbon - No, thanks!
NO to Lisbon = yes to economic strength

Lisbon Treaty: a flawed constitution for Europe

Europa is not America. At the time when migration to America began, America served as a melting pot for the migrants because the continent was largely a virgin land waiting to be made by its inhabitants. Approximately equal citizen rights and the right to free movement and settlement on the entire continent was already a given before the industrial revolution and the consequent social developments could take place.

Brussels consistently ignores the fact that Europe has already been made. Europe is a region of diverse and fully developed cultures with diverse historical and cultural heritage, languages, educational systems and very different economic and social backgrounds, rooted much deeper in the past than what can be transplanted by the coercive top-down approach of Brussels. The idea of one united Europe under Lisbon is ultimately flawed; flawed not only from an economic perspective but also by consideration of the deepest social-human values.

The social, territorial and economic cohesion of Europe targeted by the Lisbon Treaty [1] would entail a very serious consequence not discussed before: it will no longer be possible to pursue the equilibrium within any domestic market place of an EU-country, because such equilibrium will be assumed within the entire EU, comprising all of the 27 member states. This furthermore entails that everyone would have to work wherever he or she would be most “wanted” within the whole of EU at a certain point in time. Therefore the citizens of any EU-country should no longer assume that their homeland would be the place of work opportunities.

Nomad lifestyle, uncertain future, low efficiency

According to the above, the citizens of the EU, both as employers and employees, would have to be constantly prepared to move from one EU-country to another, in order to adjust to the aggregate rules of supply-and-demand within the whole of the EU, or simply to obey whatever the EU-leaders will declare “efficient” and beneficial to the “greater good of Europa”. The constant and intense influx and outflow of new migrants into and from the EU-countries would create an eternal state of transition, and accordingly the demand for one’s profession at a certain location will rapidly and constantly change. Within an empire of unprecedented size, heterogeneity, complexity and uncertainty, only a very thin layer, the very rich and the highly privileged classes will enjoy a sense of certainty and safety, while the rest of the overwhelming majority of 500 million citizens will be forced to live like nomads, under the constant burden of eternal transition, ever changing conditions and laws, creeping rules and demands, directly or indirectly imposed on them by the federal EU. First, they will have to live far from their parents and friends, and then away from a place that almost felt like home for their children.

As we can see from the following example, the idea of mixing different cultures within Europe is not feasible even at the pre-Lisbon stage, because of the existing different historical-cultural background, the different levels and different kinds of skills present in the different countries of Europe. Immense idle time, effort and human suffering have already been invested in the forced migration within the EU:


“The research looked at migrants who came from eight countries that joined the European Union in May 2004 - Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.”
“The research by the IPPR, a Labour-leaning British think tank, estimated that about one million migrant workers had come to the UK from 2004 accession countries, but that about half this group had already left the UK.” [2]

“But when it came to reasons for coming or going, the report said “the vast majority of Polish migrants come to the UK for economic reasons, but leave because they miss home or want to be with their friends and family in Poland”.
Other findings included:
* Three-quarters of all nationals from the 10 countries resident in the UK in 2007 were aged 16 to 39
* At 84%, the employment rate among post-enlargement migrants is among the highest of all immigrant groups, and is nine percentage points higher than the UK-born average
* Very few post-enlargement migrants claim state benefits (only 2.4% of those registering for National Insurance numbers between May 2004 and December 2007 claimed benefits)
* East European migrants work on average four hours longer per week than UK-born workers (46 hours compared with 42 hours) [3]


These findings clearly indicate that the idea of a permanent redistribution of the population over the nations of Europe is a deeply flawed idea. Neither the West nor the East part of Europe can ever benefit from a utopia cherished by ivory-tower politicians, who fail to see and consider the actual reality of Europe. It is neither the ‘fault’ of the West or of the East that they are unable to form "one big happy and efficient family” upon the directives of Brussels; it is merely the fault of Brussels to demand what’s impossible economically and what’s against the basic sense of humanity.

First, Europa is not another America with one official language to be accepted everywhere in the EU. The Lisbon Treaty, being a hybrid constitution in disguise, fails to specify one language as the official language for the entire EU , yet the entire EU is perceived as one unified labour market. The consequent requirement to be “competitive” on a unified marketplace with so many different and dominant official languages will impose a unique extra demand on the EU-citizens. To be multi-lingual by itself is not an added value; imposing such selection criteria for competitiveness within the EU-empire, is a profoundly unfair, redundant and unjustified burden on the citizens of Europe and as such will drastically reduce the overall performance of the European economy. The demand of learning several languages on a proficient level, along with the demand of constant adaptation to new cultural environments, will use up most of the migrants’ and their families’ time and energy otherwise used for what genuine productiveness and efficiency would require: quality time with one’s friends and family, and/or time to be spent for continuing education to advance in one’s own profession.

Second, the enormous amount of idle time and effort invested in migration and attempts of adaptation are evidently factors to reduce efficiency in any economy. These findings predict that under Lisbon the whole of Europe would be forced into the “efficient” lifestyle of constant migration, with the very same economic reason for leaving our homeland, and for the very same human reasons for wanting to come back.

Third, the new labour market equilibrium to be approached within the 27 EU-countries will converge to a level largely set by the massive effect of the migrants from the poorest EU-countries (see the research data above), and the age of the employed will necessarily tend to be between 16 and 39. The native citizens of Ireland accordingly will have to be content when not receiving state benefits, when their salaries will converge to the compensation level the migrants are satisfied with, and when they will have to accept the new standards of longer work hours. (The so called “reforms” in France due to the “necessity to work longer hours for lower compensation” are the prelude of such a general trend to be expected under Lisbon.) Then those who are largely dissatisfied with the domestic circumstances may join the migrants and try to find their “European dream” elsewhere within Europe, but what they will find is just another part – either in the same or even worse conditions - of the very same EU-country.

Low wages with no freedom to negotiate

The compensation of the domestic workers of the highly developed countries, such as Ireland, will necessarily approximate the minimum salaries accepted by migrants from the low-economy EU-states. The consequent low salaries, low work ethics, loss of work incentives and the overall increasing social tension are bound to inflict an overall serious economic setback in the developed countries like Ireland – i.e., the exact opposite of what the pro-Lisbon camps are citing 24 hours a day: “enhanced efficiency in Europe”.

When considering the future wage levels under Lisbon, it is important to keep in mind that wage negotiations in an EU-country, even at the current pre-Lisbon stage, have been made impossible under the central regulations of the ECB:
“Up to 100,000 workers have held warning strikes in recent days. Verdi wants 8% pay rises for two million federal and local government staff, including public transport workers and kindergarten staff.”
“ECB warnings: “It is turning into a tough year for wage negotiations, with the European Central Bank warning governments against giving inflation-busting pay-rises.”
[4]

On one other hand, this example brings the issue of national sovereignty [1] again into focus. How can we assume that we would keep national sovereignty after Lisbon, if the Central Bank of Europe, even at present warns that a national government cannot freely negotiate wages?
On other hand this example is another clear indication that the unified internal regulations of the federal EU are considered an ultimate necessity to gear the EU toward economic cohesion, which is the main mission of the Lisbon process. [1] If not even the salaries can be negotiated independently in the EU-states, not even today, how can anyone believe that a post-Lisbon economic cohesion would not require a complete tax-harmonisation within the whole of EU?

The main victims of Lisbon: the young generations

The majority of the youngest generations, who are supposed to be the main catalyst of this new European “melting pot”, will become the first rootless migrants of Europe. Most of the young will have to settle, if they can settle at all, far away from their homeland, families and friends, until they will lose the memory and meaning of ‘home’ altogether.

The coercive integration forced by the pro-Lisbon federalist political class is a process equivalent with dismantling and mixing families, expelling them from their properties, forcing them to give over their produced values, properties, lands and houses to other families, forcing their children to leave their homes and join strange communes in remote countries and forcing the next generations to sacrifice their future for the children of unknown families with unknown moral values. Due to the constant changes within the empire the current young generations will not have enough time to find their new home within the entire region. Before they could settle, they will be considered ‘too old’ to continue their ventures. They may want to stay eternal wanderers within the EU to constantly adjust to the changing demands of the “greater good” specified by the EU-leaders, but much sooner than they may expect they will no longer be wanted anywhere.

One consequence of the migration – as we have seen in the former chapters - is that only the very young and inexperienced – especially the migrants with expectations of the lowest income will be favoured by the employers. The young generations are however the favourite “pets” of the EU for further reasons as well: the young are adventurous, pliable, adaptable and inexperienced enough to believe in the “grand new European dream” on one European promise land with “enlarged potentials”. However the very purpose of the EU-enlargement and integration is only to protect the potentials of the established global businesses against the “threat” of the powerful youth. The aim is to keep everyone’s salary and economic potentials always as low as what is due for an entry-level professional. Similarly to the US “success”, where the domestic salaries are kept low by ensuring the constant influx of young, brilliant and highly qualified yet low-paid immigrants from other continents, the constant replenishment of new beginners into the EU-countries, along with the forced immigration from outside the EU, will keep the salaries low EU-wide at all times.

However the time under Lisbon will work against all generations. If the current inexperienced generations take over leadership in Europe, this will naturally imply the elimination of the existing leading generations in the EU, whose many years of invaluable experience will remain a surplus. When they retire – due to the privatisation of public services and the consequent erosion of social security - they will remain without social care, healthcare and pension. However, the very same process will similarly struck the current young generations as well. After the youngest “competitive” generations pass the age of 40, or even earlier, they will also be replaced by the succeeding youngest generations. They will be forced out of the game, without ever getting a chance to grow as a professional and accomplish their life-goals.

Under the constant threat of changes and the consequent changing requirements imposed on them, the young generations will not be given enough time and the sense of security offered at one location to stay, grow and provide a safe background for their families. The overemphasis of the EU on the “competitiveness” of the youth will actually lead to their burnout at a very young age, and as a result of the upcoming privatisation reforms only a small fragment of them will be able to afford health care and secure a pension.
This common "European playground" offered for the youth of Europe [5] will not be so much fun after all. The overall long-term consequence is that under Lisbon a much shorter average lifetime can be expected than it is today. Ironically, the very same young generations who are now the main target of the Lisbon-seduction, will be the main victims of the forceful EU-integration.

“Efficiency” à la Lisbon - No, thanks!

The EU’s continuing reforms to “streamline” Europe will rapidly eliminate public services [6] and will result in the overall privatisation of the healthcare systems. The reform process is likely to end up with a profit-based health insurance system similar to that of the US, which has left one-fifth of the Americans without affordable healthcare, and which has failed to provide the insured with the necessary medical care or insurance coverage (see Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko”). Without the necessary coverage for medical treatments, millions of those with insurance died and/or ended up with financial bankruptcy. Many millions fell victim to the fatally flawed profit-based healthcare system in the US, which however is the very same system that Brussels intends to adopt in Europe after Lisbon. Closing hospitals in Ireland [7] may be due to the expectations that only a fragment of the citizens will afford healthcare anyway.

On a unified and “efficient” market place for a privatised multi-billion euro health insurance industry, the profits will override all "unnecessary blunders and excesses", such as the human aspect. Those who will afford the health insurance rates will be forced to seek the cheapest available hospitalisation, medical treatments and other health services within the entire EU - if necessary, somewhere in a distant corner of Eastern Europe. Under the privatisation reforms of Lisbon, every aspect of our life would be aligned to streamline profit accumulation. Without a social security system, as we know it, the strictly profit-based system under Lisbon would trigger similar effects as the main trends of the US: a mindless and endless chase of material wealth, not to improve the quality of our life, but to achieve at least a minimum sense of security for the future.

Quoting these parts of our former publication [1]:
- The main reason of all economic downturns and political suppression is the loss of democratic transparency, responsiveness and accountability of the political and economic leadership.
- The bigger the size of the territories of an empire, over which centralised state powers are established, the less transparent and less accountable the ruling system becomes. The greater the economic-cultural-ethnical diversity within a political unit, the more social conflicts and cultural tension will necessarily prevail; more interests will be suppressed by force rather than reconciled by democratic means.
- In any empire of great size and heterogeneity an “efficient” decision-making mechanism can only be realised through a top-down approach, which however is the exact opposite of the structures assumed in democracies.
- The very objectives of democracy, on the other hand, can be most efficiently realised in societies with a structure of leadership allowing for transparency, accountability and responsiveness with manageable economic units of a manageable size of territory, for and by its citizens with mostly shared interests, potentials, cultures and languages. These functioning political-economic units are currently known as the nation-states of Europe.

What the Lisbon Treaty attempts to undermine is the mission of the nation states to safeguard the interests of their citizens: “Small wonder that Europe’s monarchies are particularly enthusiastic about the EU Treaty: a Europe of regions and cities, without sovereign nation-states to defend the general welfare, but rather an imperial structure, a new Middle Ages, with a life expectancy, population, and poverty to match. No, thanks!” [8]

NO to Lisbon = yes to economic strength

The current signs and effects of the continuing Lisbon process seem to cover all aspects of colonialism:
“Colonalism: The purposes of colonialism include economic exploitation of the colony’s natural resources, creation of new markets for the colonizer, and extension of the colonizer’s way of life beyond its national borders.”
“Reasons for colonizing included expansion of trade, acquisition of raw materials, resolution of political unrest or overpopulation, and craving for land and rewards.”
(Encyclopædia Britannica)

If the current EU integration process would continue as it is, it would only trigger a natural bitter reaction in each EU-country against the intensifying EU-invasion. This natural reaction will be suppressed as a crime-form punishable under Lisbon as "xenophobia" [1]. To suppress the social tension and the desperate national self-defence against the EU migration, the EU federal state will have to - and will be more than willing to- introduce new Union laws, directives, incentives and/or central regulations, including literally forcing companies to employ a certain number of immigrants from other EU countries. However, these drastic government interventions in business will further undermine the economic performance of Europe.

A NO vote to Lisbon would allow the nation-states of Europe to keep their economic strength and develop free agreements among them depending on their given conditions and opportunities at a certain time.

In free economic settings the domestic marketplace of each EU-country could stay an independent economic unit. The country-specific monetary and budgetary regulations could ensure macroeconomic equilibrium on a national level, rather than on the level of the entire EU-region, within which the interests of the citizens in each member state would inevitably be surrendered to the illusion of "the greater good of whole Europe".

As sovereign, economically strong and free economic units, the EU countries could form free alliance upon free choices and could enter individual agreements with other countries either to fill work-force or product shortages or to offer superfluous values. Without the flawed EU Constitution renamed as “Lisbon Treaty”, the interests of Europe’s citizens could be reconciled without any painful economic and social compromises, therefore producing overall results of a really enhanced economic efficiency. Only those who would specifically choose to leave their homes would settle down in another country, and yet with a chance to freely return to their childhood memories, under the shelter of their homeland.

References

[1] “Our future under a ratified Lisbon Treaty – I.”
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87683

“Our future under a ratified Lisbon Treaty – II.”
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87712

“Our future under a ratified Lisbon Treaty – III.”
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87730

[2] "Half EU migrants ‘have left UK’
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7372025.stm

[3] "EU migrants ‘settling across UK’
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7373552.stm

[4] “Union talks break down in Germany”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7283954.stm

[5] “Les médias nationaux contre l’Europe”
http://www.lemonde.fr/cgi-bin/ACHATS/acheter.cgi?offre=...NC_01

[6] “Lisbon: liberalisation of health services”
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87776

[7] "Hospital protestors urge No to Lisbon"
http://www.rte.ie/news/features/lisbontreaty/

[8] Helga Zepp-LaRouche: “Abolishing Democracy by Stealth:
Constitution for Feudalism in Europe”
http://www.larouchepub.com/hzl/2008/3509referendum_lisb....html

Related Link: http://howardh.wordpress.com/
author by Stuartpublication date Thu Jun 05, 2008 21:31Report this post to the editors

I'll only pick one false statement from the litany above: "This natural reaction will be suppressed as a crime-form punishable under Lisbon as "xenophobia" [1].

Please back this statement up with the relevant clause of the Lisbon treaty that criminalises legitimate free expression. Enough of all these lies and distortions.

author by Pierre Fairviewpublication date Thu Jun 05, 2008 22:44Report this post to the editors

The French daily Le Monde reports from Tullamore about misgivings about the Lisbon treaty and then looks at the poster saturation in Dublin:

" Dans les rues de Dublin, les affiches sont presque toutes en faveur du oui, à l'image des forces politiques qui le soutiennent. Le "yes" est partout... trop : institutionnel, défendu par les ténors des partis et des syndicats, quand le "no" émane de personnes ordinaires de la société civile, gratifiées a priori d'un accent de vérité. "

["The Yes poster is everywhere...excessively: institutionalised, voiced by the spokespersons of the mainstream parties and trades unions, while the No springs from ordinary people in civil society, expressed a priori in an accent of truth."]

http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2008/06/05/ces-irl...32345

author by french leavepublication date Fri Jun 06, 2008 07:36Report this post to the editors

Here's what a gaullist republican blog asks us -

" Citoyens d’Irlande, s’il vous plaît, votez non en notre nom !
A l’approche du référendum en Irlande sur le Traité de Lisbonne, vous avez la possibilité d’écrire aux électeurs irlandais pour les prier d’exprimer le refus unanime des peuples européens d’une UE antidémocratique et antisociale."

( Irish citizens, please vote Non in our name! In the runup to the referendum in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty, you [continental readers] can write to Irish voters asking them to express the unanimous rejection by the European peoples of an antidemocratic and antisocial EU." )

Read more, avec dictionnaire Francais-Anglais, here -

http://debout-la-republique.fr/Citoyens-d-Irlande-s-il-vous-plait.html

author by Howard Holbypublication date Sat Jun 07, 2008 08:47Report this post to the editors

This is how the EU understands "democracy" and "national sovereignty".

"Fishermen clash with police at EU"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7435831.stm

"However, the EU officials stressed that any fuel subsidies would be illegal under European law and unsustainable in the long term.
EU rules state that the value-added tax (VAT) rate on fuel cannot be less than 15%. Member states are free to set VAT rates at or above that minimum."


This is the very end of democracy and national freedom as we know it.
This is Ireland's future as well in the case of a 'yes' to Lisbon.

Ireland, please send a large NO VOTE to Lisbon to save yourself and Europe from such an EU.

author by Howard Holbypublication date Sat Jun 07, 2008 09:17Report this post to the editors

Read my former publications. There I also quoted the parts of the Treaty regarding the EU's threat to punish "xenophobia."

It is an unclassifiable rubbish that you dare to claim that my statements are "distortions." If you have not noticed: it has been the NO camp, including myself, who provided ample evidence for our statements with the treaty itself and with the facts of reality. However no one from the "yes" camp has even attempted to do so.

What we have got enough of is the empty statements and distortions flowing endlessly and shamelessly from the "yes" camp. Not one of you has ever even attempted to quote the treaty, exactly because every quote of the treaty would just disprove your claims. All you guys can do is blindly repeating the EU's false claims, without any substance whatsoever. That is what's boring, my friend, or would be, your blind repetitions, if they would not also signify a very grave danger for all of us.

In addition to your inability to prove your statements with the treaty, this is the point where you and the "yes" side in general will NEVER get beyond:
Not one of you could ever prove that it fits into the concept of democracy and rule of law to throw away referendum results and govern a region against the people's will.

It is about time that the "yes" camp would give up believing that we are a mindless mass of 500 million people.

author by Stuartpublication date Sat Jun 07, 2008 22:03Report this post to the editors

I haven't seen an actual, unaltered quotation from the Treaty in your "former publications", by which you mean internet postings. Of course I dare to claim that you are writing unsubstantiated distortions because you are unable to quote the Treaty's "threat to punish xenophobia" . It doesn't exist.

author by Miriampublication date Sun Jun 08, 2008 09:39Report this post to the editors

Stuart, I dont think you are talking about the same thing that most of the No people here are talking about. Nobody denies that in the past the EU has had some positive influence on working conditions and entitlements.

There is no question but that this Treaty representes a seriously dangerous lurch to the right, that it further weakens the already weak democracy within EU administration. The Treaty rids the EU of as much of the tiresome necessity for democratic consultation as possible.

This video is a good one - it points out, for example, that there are 68 new areas of QMV, 105 new areas of competence - a massive increase in power over individual states - and all of this is encompassed by some extraordinary ammendments to who makes decisions - and how they are made:

http://www.bebo.com/FlashBox.jsp?FlashBoxId=6998602492&...18708

When IBEC are jumping up and down with glee at the prospect of this Treaty being ratified (and conversely raging in fury that it might not) alarm bells should be ringing all over.

author by ordinary manpublication date Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:56Report this post to the editors

The Yes camp seem not to want to divulge the full facts and implications of the Lisbon Document.

Whether this is because they themselves do not understand what is what or more seriously that they do not want the ordinary citizens to know.

I have reached these thoughts because of the gobbledegook style of the Government information leaflet that has been delivered to the home.

I have also seen the Eirigi pamphlet suggesting a No vote, on reading it I found it to be intimidating and based on rising fear, in fact it almost made me want to vote in opposition.

So it seems to me that I m being asked to agree with what in effect is a blank documennt, which will restrict my life and that of future generations for centuries to come And This I Cannot and Will not Do.

author by Stuartpublication date Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:20Report this post to the editors

The "full facts and implications of the Lisbon Document" are widely available (http://www.lisbontreaty2008.ie/) with an easy-reader guide (http://www.lisbontreaty2008.ie/lisbon_treaty_terms.html) and the full text (http://europa.eu/lisbon_treaty/index_en.htm), including links to every preceding act that is amended.

The No material I have read, in excessive quantities, is invariably distorted, out of context or plainly untruthful. After this is over everyone will remember the No campaign as anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, ultranationalist, unreconstructed reactionaries, funded entirely by the United States, arms dealers, Gaullists and Austrian fascists.

Alarm bells should ring that the US military's untrammelled war on Islam feels so threatened as to fund the No to Lisbon campaign.

author by a common man - Biffo land No Campaignerspublication date Sun Jun 08, 2008 23:22Report this post to the editors

Interesting that " the No campaign is funded entirely by the United States"

Then perhaps we can be informed on how to receive a payment for the Biffo land No Campaign

author by Stuartpublication date Sun Jun 08, 2008 23:46Report this post to the editors

And interesting that you write 'Interesting that " the No campaign is funded entirely by the United States"', cutting off the remainder of the sentence ("the US, arms dealers, Gaullists, ...") and distorting the meaning, as the No campaign seems so insistent upon.

For instance Frederick Forsyth of Aegis Defence Systems fame (amongst other achievements) and the BNP are not American nor resident in the US, but are actively contributing to the No campaign from the UK. The (UK) Sunday Times is pushing a strong No. Go figure.

author by We the People.publication date Mon Jun 09, 2008 00:34Report this post to the editors





Here are a number of different NO groups that are doing something about something and funded by themselves.

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