Tuesday 3 February 2009

Libertas Campaign Launched (Again?)

Libertas has launched it's campaign in Poland. I have to admit, I'm not sure if this is a recent event or not - the Irish Times has just reported it today, but the Libertas website sets Ganley's Polish rally on the 11th of January, but I think I visited the site between now and then and didn't notice it... Perhaps it was a different event.

Anyway, the candidates I've read about seem right-wing and rabidly eurosceptic, a philosophy which doesn't seem to be reflected in how Libertas likes to portray itself. And while this theoretically shouldn't impact on what is supposed to be a single issue party, Libertas' target audience in Ireland during the referendum was the wavering middle class - not a group likely to be courted successfully by the candidates and viewpoints on offer. Of course, this doesn't mean the same tactics will be used across Europe, but Ganley has shown some desire to project Libertas as a pro-European movement, if only with an eye on how Libertas abroad will reflect on Libertas at home. Though it would be the first time that the Polish resistance against the Nazis was invoked in the name of a "pro-European" cause. Isn't "Europeanism" supposed to have good-neighbourliness at its core? I wonder if his comments on the Siege of Vienna 1683 reveals anything about his views on Turkish membership prospects?

Libertas has also gained access to EU funding as it was granted pan-European party status. Ganley has stated that this money (€202,823) will not be spent by Libertas until it has gained a mandate from the voters. A German pro-Europe think tank also called Libertas is threatening to sue Ganley's Libertas for "usurping its name to campaign against the Lisbon Treaty".


  1. As long as the manifesto keeps banging about faults of the European construction it can sound like a reform movement without commitment to any solutions.

    But between the actions (recruitment) of Libertas and 'for a strong and democratic Europe' there is a chasm.

  2. I agree with Ralf Grahn.

    Key to understanding Ganley's real position is to know that he spent most of his formative years in Thatcher's Britain. His parents were strong supporters of Mrs T. Somewhat paradoxically (as Thatcher had no sympathy for Ireland), the Ganleys are all rather traditional Irish nationalists.

    As to whether Ganley himself knows what he really wants for the EU, I have my doubts.