Thursday, December 13, 2007


What's the difference between William Joyce, alias Lord Haw-Haw, and Gordon Brown, British prime minister? Today Brown will do it whereas Joyce only talked about it.

Before the sun sets today, the EU heads of government will have signed away much of their nations' sovereignty in the so-called Treaty of Lisbon, a document retaining over 90% of the text of the failed EU Constitution so roundly rejected by France and the Netherlands, the only two nations asked.

When we joined the European Economic Community we voted for free movement of goods, capital and people between member states, not for political union. And as successive governments have been pissing ever-increasing volumes of national sovereignty up the grey concrete walls of Brussels the British people weren't consulted once.

Thank God for Éire. Its constitution demands that all matters of national sovereignty be put before the people, and so it will (I think) be the only EU state to hold a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. And if Éire rejects it, the treaty is null and void.

In fact, Bunreacht na hÉireann (text here) is one of the finest national constitutions I've read, well structured and with specific guarantees of religious and social freedoms - the kind of constitution I could live under and feel very protected. So much better than the UK where there's no written constitution, just hazy thoughts about Magna Carta and Habeus Corpus. Of course, the absence of a written constitution is just what corrupt politicians want.

So I'm counting on the people of Éire to kick this Lisbon thing into touch. When they do, no Euro-trash politician in his/her right mind will try to resurrect an issue trounced by three independent nations on three separate occasions.


At 12:45 p.m., Anonymous Kloot said...

You have my vote BU

I believe that the Irish will vote NO in this referendum. It annoys me greatly that european governments do not give their citizens any buy in to changes along the lines of the Treaty Of Lisbon. In general im pro EU. Ill defend its good qualities but berate it for its bad ones. And a lack of proper democracy is one of its real failings in my humble opinion. A NO vote by the Irish might awaken them to this, or.. it might just lead to a lot or Irish bashing as it did the last time.

Anyway, Dick Roche is the minister in charge of delivering a Yes vote... with him in charge, the government hasnt a hope.

Im not sure if you are aware of this crowd. libertas. Worth checking out. They are leading the NO campaign

At 10:21 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a terrible way to force people into voting for a referundum, "vote Yes or you will look silly".

What are the short term and long term consequences if Ireland votes No?

The late Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh summed it up when after Ireland's rejection of Nice she said more or less, "That doesn't matter. Enlargement will go ahead anyway."

And of course she was right. They just held the vote again until they got the result they wanted!

Dude, it's a done deal!

Democracy schmockracy!

At 9:18 p.m., Anonymous Bill said...

Off topic, B.U., but I wouldn't want you to miss this letter written by John McCloskey, Professor of Geophysics:

Why Ruane has insight into failings of selection

Friday, December 14, 2007

I have read the full text of Caitriona Ruane's statement on reform of our education system and find it informed by a deep insight into the crippling deficiencies of the present arrangements which fail our children in their thousands.

It describes clearly an enlightened, egalitarian educational vision which has the potential fundamentally to boost the attainment of all, not just the few. Ruane's educational vision is based on a wide range of equally resourced, equally esteemed, high-quality, post-primary choices for all children. Education for children rather than children for schools; that is radical, that is perfect!

I have heard the criticisms of those with a vested interest in academic selection at 11, but they should not retreat into this predictable lager. Ruane's vision contains real promise for them as well.

The reassessment of all aspects of the post-primary system will provide a perfect opportunity for the abolition of the grades race and the reinstatement of education of which we in Northern Ireland were once justly proud.

As a university scientist who has watched the slide in literacy and numeracy in students with good A-level grades, including students with grammar school education, any such reassessment will be welcome. It is now incumbent on our elected representatives temporarily to forget political allegiances and to give this vision the complete cross party support it so clearly merits. Prove to the electorate that the new political structures are capable of building a new future. Prove you are capable of looking forward as well as back.

John McCloskey Professor of Geophysics, University of Ulster

At 1:40 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

While it seems that bill #2 and I are in total agreement, if we both use "bill", it may be hard to differentiate between us. Could bill #2 perhaps go to capital letters?

At 6:15 p.m., Anonymous bill (william) said...

hi bill, i can do one better, i can go to william from now on. i am glad we are in total agreement.

At 12:18 a.m., Anonymous bill said...

More than you know. I am on my son's blog site as william. Thanks for the article, I enjoyed that. It's nice to have it stated by someone much more erudite than I.


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