Saturday, June 14, 2008

Not Fair: Guido Resents BBC Op-Editor Having Opinion

That opinion being that 1% of the European electorate are now perceived as having stymied the Lisbon Treaty, with only about it 0.25% of the Europe-wide electorate having voted against the thing. 0.75% (i.e. 75% of the Irish electorate) being content either way or actively in favour.

The margin of votes against was in fact 109,964, approximately 7%, or some 0.03% or the European electorate.

Guido is of course absolutely right that careless, statistically inept reporters HAVE expressed the Irish electorate vs the European population which exaggerates their minority status somewhat. Bang on. Exactly the sort of statistical ineptitude or deliberate obfuscation that Guido holds a starred first and PhD in himself!

But the rest of his post seems to completely ignore the mechanism of representative democracy most of us enjoy or at any rate accept.

9,000 or so parliamentarians, all, barring their UK Lordships, accountable to around 80,000 electors and 100,000 populations (see what I've done there Mr GuF?), have already decided or will decide on behalf of their constituencies.

Unlike the vast majority of the NO campaigners in Ireland, barring a few Sinn Fein TDs - the rest being mostly SWP trots, billionaires, and religious fundies - these parliamentarians are ultimately accountable.

They cannot, as alleged of the NO crew, suggest that another referendum will be along in a minute so "go on, go on, go on, make a protest against Bertie in the first", or that good Irish Catholic girls will henceforth be forced by Brussels to have abortions, or that the whole Irish sea cucumber crop will have to be thrown back into the sea for being too bendy.

Guido, wise up! And be prepared for the situation to be somehow fixed ... to your complete dissatisfaction.


Jon Worth said...

Fundamental error here Chris - you assume that logic and reason is part of the way that Guido (or any centre-right person in the UK for that matter) might write about the EU. Forget it.

The Amazing Toad said...


Where to start? There were a couple of hundred odd million "no" votes last night, but only the Irish had ballot boxes in which to put them. If you doubt that, then just look at the weight of *public* opinion (as opposed to the MSM and BBC/Left politik opinion) which is plastered all over the blogosphere and MSM online comment sections, from all corners of the EU.

The dishonesty of the BBC and of this blog, in only counting the Irish vote and ignoring that of the French and the Dutch, is telling. And yes, of course it is the same treaty.

In case you've forgotten, the only reason the French and Dutch were given a vote in the first place, was because their politicians could not conceive of them voting "no". Only, something went wrong; the electorate *read* the treaty. Contrary to what you people think, it is those who avail themselves of the facts who vote "no". "Yes" voters are characterised by their having been seduced by slogans and "dreams", none of which have any substance. So when people were made aware of the actual content of the treaty, they voted against it. Imagine what the three counts would have looked like if the "no" campaigns had the resources of their respective opponents?

You talk of "representative democracy". How did the French and Dutch governments represent their people in this second round of voting? They denied them their will and signalled that they would ratify. The British government know full well what *their* people think, that's why you and I couldn't find a ballot box last night!

The EU is a rotten, corrupt edifice which makes ludicrous claims about its achievements, ludicrous claims about its future and pretends its failures don't exist. Britain would lose nothing by leaving it altogether and judging by people's worsening mood toward the EU, we may have >50% of our MEPs in UKIP by Autumn next year. Just right for Cameron to promise a referendum on membership "in light of the obvious public feeling expressed in the Euro elections".

Telos said...

the MSM and BBC/Left politik opinion

I love this new lingo of the crazy conspiracy theorists.

Chris Paul said...

Welcome the amazing toad.

I don't think you have sufficient evidence to impute a Europe wide rejection of this treaty or Europpe in general from a vote involving 0.03% of that electorate edging the No position in Ireland.

The various problems with the Irish vote include the truly weird alliance of No-sayers and the complete absence of transparency on what people actually voted against - probably at least half a dozen disparate issues, some unfounded - and thence well-founded concerns that many of them were misled in the extreme.

25% of the Irish electorate rejected the Treaty. 75% were either content (either way) or wanted it to proceed. That's where we're at. Stuck because of an absolutely bizarre all or nothing rubric from Europe and an opaque vote of bash-the-man from the Irish plebiscite.

Who knows how France and Netherlands would have voted if they had referenda? I don't and you do not either Mr Toad.

Anonymous said...

but of course - the rules of the club require all to agree and ratify - to change those rules because Ireland became pesky and decided 'No' is to become arbitrary ... something that the EU has done before, requiring Ireland to vote again over Maastricht and Denmark to vote again over Nice (or was it the other way round) and then to re-write the 'Constitutinal Treaty' as an amending treaty.

The problem with the EU is in part its deliberate refusal to be held to account - whether in refusing to accept a no or in its inability to be accountable financially - and that goes for the MEPs in my party too!

The Amazing Toad said...

Hold on a minute...

"25% of the Irish electorate rejected the Treaty. 75% were either content (either way) or wanted it to proceed." What sort of statement is that? If they're content as things are, then surely they'd be more inclined not to wish for change. Your statement is classic Blair-speak. Wouldn't it be more valid to say "23% wished for the treaty and 77% either wanted it rejected or were happy with the state of things as they are"?

You *know* how France and Holland would have voted and so do I, because they already did vote and as I stated earlier, they voted on the same issue. The Constitution *is* the Lisbon Treaty. But don't take a lowly blogger's word for it;

"Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly ... All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way."
V.Giscard D'Estaing, Le Monde, 14 June 2007, and Sunday Telegraph, 1 July 2007


"France was just ahead of all the other countries in voting No. It would happen in all Member States if they have a referendum. There is a cleavage between people and governments... A referendum now would bring Europe into danger. There will be no Treaty if we had a referendum in France, which would again be followed by a referendum in the UK...
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, at meeting of senior MEPs, EUobserver, Telegraph, 14 November 2007


"The substance of the constitution is preserved.That is a fact."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speech in the European Parliament, 27 June 2007


"The substance of what was agreed in 2004 has been retained. What is gone is the term 'constitution' "
Dermot Ahern, Irish Foreign Minister, Daily Mail Ireland, 25 June 2007


"The aim of the Constitutional Treaty was to be more readable; the aim of this treaty is to be unreadable ... The Constitution aimed to be clear, whereas this treaty had to be unclear. It is a success."
Karel de Gucht, Belgian Foreign Minister, Flandreinfo, 23 June 2007

And you maintain Chris, that the *no* voters were misled!! May I suggest that "truly weird alliance" were none other than those who have read the some of the duplicitous statements above and quite rightly, "bashed the man", because "the man" is a confidence trickster.

And today's news from Holland;

"A majority of the Dutch is (sic)against the Treaty of Lisbon, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond. But the Netherlands is going ahead with its ratification.

If the Netherlands were to hold a referendum now on the new EU treaty, 54 percent would vote against it, De Hond reported. He polled the views of the Dutch after the Irish rejected the treaty last week.

A majority (56 percent) wants the Netherlands to also hold a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. It is an adaptation of the European Constitution, on which a referendum was held in the Netherlands in 2005 - which rejected it by 62 to 38 percent."