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Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
Trailing Behind Europe in Employment Growth Wed Nov 26, 2014 15:32 | Michael Taft
Latest Issue of People?s News is Out Now Wed Nov 26, 2014 15:26 | Irish Left Review
Make the Economy Better ? Abolish Zero-Hour Contracts Tue Nov 25, 2014 09:02 | Michael Taft
From Alpha to Omega Podcast #56: Essence and the Philosophy of Science Mon Nov 24, 2014 22:53 | Tom O'Brien
Progressive Film Club: Films on Conflict Around the World Mon Nov 24, 2014 22:08 | Irish Left Review
Legislating for Surrogacy. Thu Nov 27, 2014 09:00 | admin
Book Launch 11 December 2014: Ireland and the ECHR 60 Years and Beyond Tue Nov 25, 2014 15:58 | Liam Thornton
We Won?t Back Down Sun Nov 23, 2014 16:59 | GuestPost
Future Voices Ireland Volunteer Group Leaders Wanted Thu Nov 20, 2014 18:31 | GuestPost
Our Voices, Our Rights: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Ireland Wed Nov 19, 2014 08:00 | GuestPost
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
Is there a democratic life after a dead Lisbon Treaty?
- An analysis in search of an effective defence against Lisbon
Ireland has rejected the Lisbon Treaty with a decisive majority and very high turnout, period. Yet, the Commission and the European Council declared the dead Lisbon Treaty still ‘alive’. The fallacious premise the EU has chosen as a basis for continuing to justify the unjustifiable course of Lisbon: “the Treaty has been ratified by 18 states”. The factual premise however is this: 1) The Lisbon Treaty has been rejected by Ireland; 2) The Lisbon Treaty, in its earlier form as the ‘EU Constitution’ , had already been rejected by France and Netherlands long before the said 18 countries started to ratify it under a new name. For many of the NO voters one of the main reasons to reject the Lisbon Treaty has been the fact that the Lisbon Treaty is already a dead treaty to begin with.
Authoritarianism: - Principle of unqualified submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action. As a political system, authoritarianism is antidemocratic in that political power is concentrated in a leader or small elite not constitutionally responsible to those governed. It differs from totalitarianism in that authoritarian governments usually lack a guiding ideology, tolerate some pluralism in social organization, lack the power to mobilize the whole population in pursuit of national goals, and exercise their power within relatively predictable limits.” 
This fact needs to be underlined again: neither bodies of the EU have been authorised by the electorate of Europe to exercise constitutional powers over them [4, 5]. On the contrary, the constitutional identity of the Lisbon Treaty is denied by the very same leaders who appointed themselves to exercise constitutional powers over Europe. The Lisbon process is therefore a process of unqualified submission to an antidemocratic political power that is concentrated in a small elite NOT constitutionally responsible to the governed 500 million people in Europe. The authoritarian EU-elite announced that the constitutional Lisbon Treaty is still in play after the electorate of three countries have rejected the proposed constitution and after all the other EU-countries have been denied to vote for or against the said constitution.
The federalist ruling class also bears the features of totalitarianism.
Form of government that subordinates all aspects of its citizens' lives to the authority of the state, with a single charismatic leader as the ultimate authority….“It is distinguished from dictatorship and authoritarianism by its supplanting of all political institutions and all old legal and social traditions with new ones to meet the state's needs, which are usually highly focused. Large-scale, organized violence may be legitimized. The police operate without the constraint of laws and regulations. Where pursuit of the state's goal is the only ideological foundation for such a government, achievement of the goal can never be acknowledged.”
As for a so called ‘charismatic’ leader, we can already see several candidates competing for such role. The provisions of the Lisbon Treaty are controlling all aspects of its citizens’ lives  and focussing on strengthening the EU’s institutions in a manner that would meet the state’s needs [1, 5]. The overemphasised threat of “terrorism” and “the subsequent need for strengthening internal security” are used as an excuse for strengthening the state and weakening the citizenry , by putting the entire citizenry of Europe under the micromanagement  and control of a militarised police-state 
The bottom line for preserving democracy in Europe would be to not even consider accepting such a constitution for Europe.
The Lisbon Treaty is an achievement of a goal pursued only by the officials of the federal state, formed through a process clearly contradicting the peoples’ will. As per the definition of totalitarianism, none of the achievements of the Lisbon process can ever be acknowledged in an allegedly democratic region.
In addition to the aspects of an authoritarian and totalitarian philosophy, the essential elements of absolutism are also present in the methods of the pro-Lisbon political oligarchy. The essence of absolutism is that “ruling power is not subject to regular challenge or check by any judicial, legislative, religious, economic, or electoral agency”  The EU and the pro-Lisbon nationally elected bodies have arrived at decisions regarding Lisbon in a mechanism that are not subject to regular challenge or check by any kind of independent agency. Whenever they are checked by the only independent body, the electorate agency of Europe, via a referendum, or whenever their popularity is measured by the poll opinions of the electorate (e.g. in the UK and France), they fail . Their response to such failure is not to pursue self-improvement by revising their decisions and restoring democratic legitimacy of their mandates, but to avoid being measured in the future.
With the Lisbon process the leaders of Europe – in order to avoid to be checked by the electorate – went as far as launching a grand-scale international deceit project  to overrule the former French and Dutch referendums and to avoid being measured by the rest of the 500 million voters. Since the EU did not give a chance for the rest of Europe to provide an independent check of its performance, the leaders of Europe are obliged to view the referendum of Ireland as the feedback of the entire electorate of Europe and accordingly change the course of their politics. However, instead of the self-revision as required in a democracy , the federal state officials are again exercising arbitrary powers to evade all forms of independent checks.
4. When “Plan B” equals “Plan A”; or Lisbon Treaty version 1.11x
What is even more shocking than the post-rejection Lisbon-scenario: the options of certain “new arrangements” between the EU and Ireland are kept open. There are no signs of a significant protest to demand that – after the Irish referendum – the national and Union-level political leadership would obey the law and abandon the Lisbon Treaty. With a few respectable exceptions, for example the National Platform, , the citizens of Europe seem to have become numb and largely unresponsive to the constantly bending rules aligned to the unchanging imperial ambitions of the EU-federalist elite.
The majority of the opinions in the press, even if with elements of a critical approach, are appealing to the authoritarian federal state, vaguely referring to a moral obligation of the political leadership to keep their promises. However, deceit and disrespect of the voters and breaking contracts/promises in an assumed democracy is not (only) a matter of honour and morality, but it is primarily a political-legal matter that determines if a given political system is democratic or not , if it is a system of rule of law or rule of man. Deceiving the electorate and disregarding international agreements is a method to subvert a democracy and convert it into a dictatorial system. Deceit, as a form of fraud in politics, is not a small human flaw to be 'forgiven' or not: it can only be forgiven as far as a dictatorship  as such is forgivable.
In the context of the potential reopening of the negotiations about the Lisbon Treaty, it is also worth emphasising that the Lisbon Treaty is a constitution with a built-in contradiction that it is promising to treat all member states equally but is in fact treating certain states much ‘more equally’ than the others. In addition to the evident favours granted to the large states, the several individual agreements on certain opt-ins and opt-outs with certain member states, such as the UK and Poland, the Lisbon Treaty has put the 27 member states into a profoundly unbalanced position from the very start. These deviations from the general rules indicate that the guiding principle under Lisbon is NOT the democratic principle of equality but the bargaining success, size and the powerfulness of its states. Such an unbalanced status quo is the most perfect premise for an indefinite future of creeping laws, granting privileges to certain cliques, while withdrawing rights from the others; forming new lobbies or even minor unions within the Union.
The Lisbon Treaty is a jolly-joker document with infinite possibilities to push the small countries into colony status, especially those countries in which the pro-Lisbon stance of a national parliament outweighs the leaders’ motives to protect the rights of their electorate.
But before anyone would consider new arrangements between the EU and Ireland, with bargains, allowances, special deals, opt-ins, opt-outs, etc, we should ask ourselves again:
is there any of us who would consider further ‘talks’ with a party who has repeatedly broken his word, breached existing agreements and adjusted the rules to the ad-hoc needs of the moment; who sees any former deal a ‘dilemma to find an escape route out of’? For whom the “7 years of hard work” is merely the ‘work’ to find innovative ways to override the will of the people they are supposed to work for? Would we trust such a federal leadership, would we believe any of their words? Would anyone even consider negotiating with them?
5. Why should we reject Lisbon for one good reason?
If we only focus on details and country-specific elements and enter into new negotiations regarding Lisbon, we may soon end up right where we started and may find ourselves in another unexpected trap set by the European imperial class. In addition and parallel to all the specific motives, the key reason for opposing Lisbon needs to be emphasised once again: the defence of our freedom and democracy [5, 10]. Since the EU declared the treaty alive, even now, at the stage of its rejection, Lisbon is still an open threat against the Irish constitution, rule of law, democracy and freedom. 
The issues resurfacing throughout the Lisbon process are NOT confined to Ireland and to the Irish referendum: it is an ultimately international issue. Either within or outside the Union, it would be in Ireland’s best interest if the Lisbon process would finally end and Europe would remain a stable and free region of democratic countries. For all the small countries, including Ireland, the survival kit would include a democratic European political-economic environment with opportunities of free agreements with other independent European nations, operating under truly democratic rule of law, with a supporting electorate behind their governments, and with political-economic independence to enter international agreements.
However, based on the patterns the current EU leadership has revealed thus far, especially since the EU declared the treaty alive, it is realistic to expect that the EU would resort to all methods to keep the treaty alive. Therefore the Lisbon process is expected to continue as long as:
- the EU institutions are dominated and controlled by the pro-Lisbon lobbies,
- the arrangement of the EU institutions allows for the continuing uncontrollable and unaccountable EU-rule over the member states [5, 11],
- the national governments surrender their electorate’s rights to the interests of the federal state .
The EU may proceed as long as the existing consensus within the European Council - among the leaders of the member states - can be exploited to serve the federalist interests. In reply to any criticism and demand for revision of its politics the EU is likely to continue to pass the ball of responsibility to the national governments, pretending that the national governments would be some kind of ‘external objects’ outside the EU. However, in reality, the main bodies surrendering 500 million people under the rule of the federal state are the national governments of the member states, i.e. the Council and the European Council . Without the full collaboration of the national political forces to draw the main bulk of Europe under the core bodies of the EU: the Commission, the ECB and the Union Court, none of the EU’s plans would be feasible. Without the electorate, consisting of 500 million voters, the bulk and the very content of Europe, whose will is consistently overruled by the will of a small minority of the political class, the political class remains an empty shell. Even if the federalist political lobbies are supported by the global financial lobbies owning all the digits sitting on the bank servers, these digits remain electronic scars on a surface, and would not deliver any tangible value to provide food and clothing for them without the productive power of the European citizenry .
6. In search of an effective defence against Lisbon
In order to prepare for the next stage of the Lisbon process we need to consider the following facts:
- Currently the democratic forces both on state level and Union level are in a small minority. The only pseudo-democratic body of the EU, the elected European Parliament, is under a central control  and only a small minority obey the rule of law, while the large majority of the representatives blindly follow the streamlined central directives of the EU. Even if the European Parliament would be a decision body operating under the rule of law, its democratic power would remain virtual, as it is NOT empowered to perform legislative decisions [1, 9].
- The implementation of the Lisbon Treaty has already been in progress even at the pre-ratification stage. The implementation of the EU laws in the member states has been the practice without any former agreement on such practice in the treaties (Final Act, Declaration 17) . The EU Court of Justice misuses the concept of “case law” and empowers itself as the law-making body of the EU.
- As we repeatedly emphasised, the continuing ratification of Lisbon after its rejection by Ireland is an open violation against the most fundamental international agreement regarding the required unanimity among 27 member states. After a long process of misinterpreting the concept of “case law” and misusing the concept for arbitrarily imposing the laws of the hidden federal state over sovereign countries , now the EU has entered the novel stage of openly breaching international agreements. Since the Irish rejection the leaders of Europe - with the honourable exception of Václav Klaus– have not yet declared to step back from the ratification process.
At this point we should finally raise the question: how could the sovereign countries of Europe achieve an effective self-defence against such an utter violation of international law? How to initiate an international litigation case to stop the described illegal process pursued by the EU, as it has been admitted even in the Lisbon Treaty, in Declaration on Primacy ? If we do not initiate court actions against such unlawful practices we would allow the very basis of international law to be abolished, which will in theory enable any political forces to interpret “case law” in a manner that an act of a group of individuals making and enforcing laws in any country would be viewed as a ‘precedence’ that makes such act legal even without a contractual basis and as such is a practice that can be followed in the future without legal consequences. If the practice of the EU Court of Justice is considered lawful, should we consider it lawful for a group of trespassers to occupy someone’s house and keep it in their possession, as long as the trespassers are coming in through the back door, and -rather than rushing through the front door with noisy weapons- are using silent methods of violence?
In view of the findings of this analysis, the next period is likely to make us face the following main two alternatives:
1) Since the implementation of the EU laws in the member states has been in practice without including such provision in the treaties, the Union may continue to implement the laws and the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty behind the scenes, while seemingly declaring to withdraw from the ‘de iure’ Lisbon process. If the primacy of the Union law is already in practice without contractual basis, why would the Union bother to obtain an agreement on it?
2) The ‘renegotiation’ case. The most likely alternative is that the EU would simply continue to build on its declared fallacious premise: “the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified by 18 states”. In this case the end-product of a renegotiation with Ireland would be estimated as one not requiring a change to the Irish constitution, therefore the pro-Lisbon Irish parliament would empower itself to ratify a negotiated version of the treaty without consulting the people. (This may be the underlying reason why the Commission has promised “not to bully” the voters into a second vote. ‘Never mind, we will do the voting for you’, they may think.) Then later down the road the process would still return the same stubborn provisions of the old EU Constitution and overwrite the Irish constitution, bit by bit, step by step .
In the “renegotiation case”, following the example of Ireland, the member states that have not yet ratified the Treaty, may also reopen their negotiations in order to gain more allowances and freedoms, thus drifting away from the obligations the other states are bound by. Then, those states having ratified an earlier, more binding version of the treaty, may revolt for justice, if their parliaments would dare and bother to move a finger to protect their voters’ interest.
On a final note regarding the prospect of reopening the Lisbon question in Ireland: any renegotiation regarding a next treaty for Europe would need such a profound modification with so many patches to the Lisbon Treaty that it would essentially be a different document and would require a brand new process of discussion with all the 27 member states. So here we are again at the point where there is a need for a plan B that would finally equal plan B: the one the EU consistently refuses to give to Europe.
7. Democracy and freedom: not a free gift but an earned reward
If the Lisbon Treaty is still ‘alive’, as the EU-leaders say, democracy, freedom and the rule of law in Europe are deader than the dead. Then we are left with only one major task: to resurrect democracy in Europe.
Because the Lisbon process is continued, we remain in the middle of the transition from being converted from sovereign countries into a federal union of non-sovereign states . This transition inflicts more obscurity and allows for an increased non-transparency of the EU’s institutional structures and decision mechanisms , therefore the complete denial of responsibility both by the core EU bodies (the Commission, and the EP), and by national-level politics can also be expected .
The corresponding ambiguities and lack of political responsibility therefore call for our defence on two levels:
1) Within each member state we should restore democracy and rule of law and put these into practice, i.e. to recall all governments which have performed and are determined to perform the act of overthrowing the national constitution  and disregarding international agreements.
2) On an international level to initiate a litigation case against the international group of politicians assisting one another in overthrowing the national constitutions of the member states and abolishing the extant basis of international law .
Democracy and freedom are not free gifts: the level of these in a country is the aggregate indicator of the joint efforts of the citizenry, the moral strength, wisdom, courage and political awareness of the majority of a society. Democracy is ultimately the achievement of the people of a democracy, for whom and by whom such a political system is assumed; therefore a politically aware and active civil sphere with everyone’s voice and participation is the ultimate condition of any functioning democracy:
“Diamond (1999:70) puts it this way with respect to democracy: “Only when citizen commitment to police the behaviour of the state is powerfully credible...does a ruling party, president, or sovereign develop a self-interest in adhering to the rules of the game, which makes these constitutional rules self-enforcing”. Citizens must have the ability to defend principal institutions of the rule of law.” 
Ireland, the last fortress of democracy within the EU has proven - despite the unprecedented mass-media propaganda, threats, lies and manipulations performed by the pro-Lisbon groups – that a strong, politically clairvoyant civil sphere still exists in Europe. This may give us a shred of hope, but not much more than that. After the EU’s contract-breaching response to Ireland’s rejection to Lisbon the main conclusion we had to arrive at: the courage, wisdom and determination of the Irish NO voters have marked a turning point in the Lisbon process but apparently may not be enough to protect Europe from the intensifying imperial ambitions of the EU. The Lisbon process has remained an international concern calling for a vigorous and effective international alliance of the civil sphere to restore the freedom and democracy in Europe .
 Comparison of the Lisbon Treaty and the former EU Constitution:
Jens-Peter Bonde’s book on the Lisbon Treaty:
Index with more than 3,000 alphabetical entries to search the Lisbon Treaty by topics:
 “These Boots Are Gonna Walk All Over You”
An analysis by Prof. Anthony Coughlan
 Bonde’s Briefing 19.12.07: Born in sun and sin
"The EU’s Prime Ministers met Thursday 13 December 2007 11.30 in Lisbon to solemnly sign the Lisbon Treaty which none of them has had time to read.
The text has on purpose been made totally unreadable, and the numbering system has been changed time and time again, Bonde, who was present at the signing ceremony, writes."
 "The main constitutional aspect of constitutionalisation"
 Our future under a ratified Lisbon Treaty
 “Too COSI: what are they hiding? (on the EU’s Standing Committee on Internal Security)”
 Encyclopædia Britannica
 “Data Watchdog Questions EU’s Controversial Fingerprint Plan”
 “Alert: Euro-Federalists already planning to subvert Irish Referendum results”
 “Voting No for a reason: Lisbon Treaty OR a Europe of democracy”
 The institutional construction and decision mechanisms of the EU are similar to the ex-communist regimes, such as the former USSR:
“Former Soviet Dissident Warns For EU Dictatorship”
 "Voting NO to Lisbon: to avoid the collapse of economy"
(Final countdown: myths versus facts regarding the Lisbon Treaty)
 Parliamentary democracy and rule of law are abolished by the EU:
“Power Grab by EU Parliament President (updated)”
 Helga Zepp-LaRouche: “Abolishing Democracy by Stealth:
Constitution for Feudalism in Europe”
 “Lisbon Treaty explained by political science: an equivalent of coup d’état”
 Adam Przeworski, José María Maravall: “Democracy and the Rule of Law”, Cambridge University Press; 1 edition, p. 96, Jul 21 2003
"Voting NO to Lisbon: to keep our homes, families and economic strength"
"What does the government hide by hiding the Lisbon Treaty?"
“Top Reasons to Vote NO to Lisbon Treaty”
“Summary of the Lisbon Treaty research”