Tuesday, July 21, 2009

No to Lisbon to keep Blair out

I voted YES on the Lisbon Treaty last time: this time I will be voting NO. Not only has the EU not addressed the issues of Irish citizens concerning the Treaty after more than a year, but the news is fraught with backroom deals 'guaranteeing' Ireland who knows what! If the the EU wanted Lisbon passed by Irish voters, it should have answered their questions and made the Treaty more understandable. It should have come clean about NATO obligations, about data privacy, about policing functions which may violate the Irish Constitution and many other issues.

I conclude the EU does not want its citizens to understand the most important treaty Ireland will ever ratify....it just wants Lisbon passed. This will not increase the soldidarity of EU citizens or member states.

Although this is a serious telling clue that the Lisbon Treaty is just too important to inform or consult the common people by discussing the real issues, the coup de grace is that Tony Blair has been a shoe in for the role of EU president for some time now - and this time it will be for 2 1/2 years. Imagine the mess he could make of the EU and world after the fiasco of his last six month presidency. Let's not mention Iraq, Afghanistan or the unquiet death of Dr. David Kelly.

I am voting NO on Lisbon....keeping Tony Blair (or Nicholas Sarkozy) from directing the fate of the EU is quite a sufficient reason for me. Until the EU gets serious about respecting its citizens as equal procreators of the union, it will not have my support.

Downing Street admits it backs
Tony Blair for EU Presidency

By Andrew Porter and Bruno Waterfield in Strasbourg
15 Jul 2009

Tony Blair claimed £7,000 for new roof two days before leaving No.10. The former prime minister has already faced questions over his expense claims.

The intervention came after Baroness Kinnock embarrassed Gordon Brown by admitting that the Government wants Mr Blair to take up the newly created role.

Downing Street has been forced to admit that it is backing Tony Blair to be President of the European Union.The position will come into force if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified across Europe. It is expected to carry a salary and perks package worth at least £200,000 a year.

The admission came as a close ally of Mr Blair told The Daily Telegraph that the former Prime Minister is set on landing the position which would wield considerable power and influence.

Baroness Kinnock, who was the controversial choice for Europe Minister in Mr Brown's recent reshuffle, revealed Mr Blair was being supported for what will be a new position that comes into force if the Lisbon Treaty is finally ratified across the continent.

She said: "The UK government is supporting Tony Blair's candidature for president of the council.

"I am not saying there has been any formal confirmation or statement from Tony but it is certainly is the government's position. I am sure they would not do it without asking him."

Downing Street was then forced to admit that they would back Mr Blair.

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said: "We have always made clear that if Tony Blair chooses to stand for the Presidency of the European Council then of course the Government would support him.

"It is a matter for Tony Blair to say whether or not he wants to put himself forward as President of the European Council."

A senior Labour MP who is close to Mr Blair and aware of Mr Brown's thinking on the issue, said: "Tony wants it. He still loves being close to the action and everything that goes with it.

"A while ago, and certainly in the old days, Gordon would have done everything to block it but he now accepts that having him there could be a good thing."

One stumbling block could now be a growing reluctance on behalf of some of the European leaders to support Mr Blair. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, is understood to be lukewarm on him taking the newly created post.

But others, including President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, see Mr Blair as an international statesman who can help boost the EU's presence on the world stage as its official global representative.

Baroness Kinnock added: "Blair is seen by many as someone who has the strength of character, the stature, people know who he is and he would be someone who would have this role and step into it with a lot of respect and I think would be generally welcomed."

Mr Blair, currently working as international envoy to the Middle East, has never ruled himself out of the EU job but has stressed that the Lisbon Treaty must enter into force before a presidential contest can begin.

Baroness Kinnock, the wife of Neil, the former Labour leader, was the surprise job for Europe Minister in last month's Cabinet reshuffle. The vacancy arose when Caroline Flint stormed out of Government over her lack of promotion.

Mr Brown was criticised for giving the job to someone whose family has been immersed in the European political culture for years. She is still a serving MEP and her husband served as a European commissioner.

William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, reiterated Conservative opposition to the position of President.

He said: "The creation of a new EU President could be enormously damaging for Europe. Any holder is likely to try to centralise power for themselves in Brussels and dominate national foreign policies. In the hands of an operator as ambitious as Tony Blair, that is a near certainty. He should be let nowhere near the job. It shows what a grip Lord Mandelson now has over Gordon Brown that he has been forced to support his bitterest rival.

"Appointing Tony Blair as a President in Europe would be the perfect symbol of this stale Labour Government's arrogant disregard for democracy."

A spokesman for Mr Blair said: "As we have said time and again on this, there is nothing to be a candidate for since the job doesn't actually exist."

The Lisbon Treaty, the successor to the EU constitution is awaiting a second referendum in Ireland after Irish voters rejected it last year.

A British Government spokesman said: "The Irish have yet to hold their referendum on the treaty, and if and when the treaty enters into force, and if Mr Blair decides to run as a candidate as president, then Glenys Kinnock is quite right - he would have the Government's support."

Under the treaty, the current system of six-monthly EU presidencies rotated between 27 member countries will be replaced by a "President of the Council".

The new EU president will be a full-time Brussels official for his two and half year term, chosen by Europe's leaders but unelected by voters.

The job, would involve Mr Blair coordinating EU policy and brokering agreements between leaders of the 27 member states.


smac said...

The Lisbon treaty is already passed without all the signatures of the Irish people. I'm afraid we are in the world of corrupt politics and corrupt politicians. Bliar has been President in waiting for the past two years. He is the most corrupt politician that ever walked this once great land. Once he is President his lack of morals and blatant disregard will bring about the downfall of Europe, just as he brought about the downfall of Great Britain. It beggars belief that we are still having to suffer this crooked little weasel and his dreadful wife. He should be tried for treason and fraud, instead we will see him grinning from the platform of the European parliament. That will be the saddest day in European history.

irish4palestine said...

This is just awful is it not? I believe this was Blairs' reward from America for supporting them in the war. He is unwanted and haetd in England, but never mind he has a nwe home now in America, who have promoted him to be our "King"

I worry about Lisbon treaty as well, the South of Ireland has had time and money to work it's propaganda. Soon Ireland will be part of a huge union, which will have it's own army, where we have no real say. So much for keeping Ireland's neutrailty

Panta Rei said...

An Irish Bedtime Story for all Nice Children and not so Maastricht Adults


The Happy Family
Once upon a time there was a family treaty-ing themselves to a visit in Lisbon.
On the sunny day that it was they decided to go out together.
Everyone had to agree on what they would do.
"So", said Daddy Brusselsprout "Let's all go for a picnic!"
"No", said Aunt Erin, "I don't want to".
Did they then think of something else, that they might indeed agree on?
Oh yes they did?
Oh no they didn't!
Daddy Brusselsprout asked all the others anyway, isolating Erin, and then asked her if instead, she would like to go with them to
the park and eat out of a lunch basket....

Kids, we'll finish this story tomorrow, and remember, in the EU yes means yes and no means yes as well!


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