Sitting tight as the Eurocrats pull the strings
OUR European masters doubtless never gave it a second thought when barely 50% of the Irish electorate thought it worth their while voting in last week's fiscal treaty referendum.
Quaint little notion anyway that the Irish should still need asking whenever something significant is being inserted in their constitution. Fancy leaving something so important to pure chance!
How the politburo in Brussels must have scratched their pointy heads at the thought of the Irish again putting themselves through the referendum wringer, particularly knowing that when they have the temerity to vote 'no' they're simply bullied into doing it all again until they get the 'right' answer. It happened with the treaties of Nice and Lisbon, to the horror of the Brussels barons who'd always viewed the Irish as loyal, better than average little Europeans and couldn't believe such acts of open disobedience. What they hadn't reckoned on was that Ireland's loyalty to the European ideal has always come as much, if not more so, from the wallet than the heart and, with the removal of a few subsidies and the loss of influence from a widening EU membership, the faux romance would never quite be as ardent. While the Merkelites and most main political parties celebrated a 60.3% to 39.7% 'yes' vote, the 50.6% turnout would suggest the voice of the people was grudging rather than full-throated.
The 'yes' campaign on this occ-asion had no intention of losing and with the principal 'no' voice coming from Sinn Fein, whose choice of enemy is never quite what it seems, it had the publicity firepower to use words like investment, stability, recovery, and getting Ireland back to work, and scarily spell out the alternatives.
Mind you, many young Irish people are back to work. Sadly, however, the nation's latest generation of wild geese has again had to take its skills, craft, imagination and diligence to the far flung corners of the globe to find that work, and God alone knows when they'll return
Many Irish believed Eurozone membership would protect them from those who burst its financial bubble. Until it didn't. Now the Brussels and Frankfurt bankers run the place and Ireland's deep in hock at the EU's godforsaken heart.
Whether she'll ever truly rediscover the independence paid for with so much blood, sweat and tears is anyone's guess. But there comes a time when you're caught between a rock and a hard place and the only solution is to sit tight.