Statement from Irish Socialist Network on Lisbon treaty result.
Unlike the political establishment parties, the Irish Socialist Network accepts the outcome of the second Lisbon referendum just as it had accepted the outcome of the first Lisbon referendum result. Lisbon 2 was exactly the same treaty put to the Irish people as Lisbon 1, which is precisely the reason why the Irish Socialist Network actively campaigned again for a “no” vote.
The Irish Socialist Network campaigned for a second No Vote on the Lisbon Treaty on four key issues: democracy, defending public services, workers’ rights and opposition to the militarisation of the E.U. The fact Irish citizens were the only citizens of the 27 members states of the EU that were given the right to vote on this treaty was grounds enough to reject this treaty outright.
The Lisbon Treaty is a Treaty that promotes the policies of the free market: the very same free market philosophy that has led Ireland and Europe into the worst economic crisis in modern European history. We also believe the fact that Lisbon now will open essential public services such as health and education to tender to the private sector, which will seriously undermine the provision of these public services. Once in the hands of profiteers and multi-nationals the provision of these services will become unaffordable to working class citizens.
The entire political establishment, corporate media, business class and elements of the trade union leadership backed this treaty. When Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, head of one of the most anti-trade union companies in Ireland is calling for a “yes” vote on Lisbon, that tells you what Lisbon will not deliver in terms of workers’ rights. The SIPTU leadership in the first Lisbon Treaty refused to call for a “Yes” vote on Lisbon. It is beyond belief that in the second Lisbon referendum the SIPTU leadership then changed its position to a “Yes”. This despite the fact absolutely nothing in the second referendum had changed from the first.
The Irish Socialist Network was encouraged by the fact that trade unions representing significant numbers of trade union members such as Unite and the TEEU actively called for a No vote on Lisbon 2, on the grounds Lisbon does nothing whatsoever to advance or improve the status of workers’ rights. Time and time again in significant European Court of Justice rulings on disputes involving employers and workers, the ECJ has ruled in favour of employers. Nothing whatsoever in the Lisbon Treaty does anything to reverse this trend.
The Lisbon Treaty makes it quite clear that the militarisation of the EU is a significant part of its agenda. States are legally bound under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty to invest significant resources to improve their military capabilities. This increased military spending will come at a time when ordinary working people are experiencing redundancies, a serious deterioration in their living standards, cuts in wages, erosions in social welfare payments and cuts in public spending. The larger states in the EU such as Britain, France, and Germany have a shameful record of engaging in imperialist wars, illegal invasions and atrocities. This treaty gives more power to these states who simply want to use the EU to create a new military alliance, with close ties with NATO.
The Irish Socialist Network are proud to have played an active part in campaigning on a socialist agenda for a rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. We are also heartened to have seen large numbers of working class voters still reject the Lisbon Treaty, despite the vast financial resources ploughed into the Yes campaign by the political establishment, corporate media, and big business. The Irish Socialist Network will and always has campaigned for a better society, a better Europe and a better world based on socialist principles. We fundamentally reject capitalism, the free market and any notion that the “market” can be given a social conscience. The Irish Socialist Network will continue to work alongside other socialist and progressive forces to work towards a socialist Europe where the rights of ordinary people are to the fore at all times.