Sunday 15 March 2009

To Minister Roche: Please just shut up. Please?

I have often complained at Libertas' conspiracy rhetoric: it's Brussels, out to get us; it's the Irish establishment - they hate us, etc., etc. Look, it's politics - a battle of ideas. If you can't make a case, then how can you win support. Obviously, you must know what your case is first, but you can't plead conspiring elites hate you and the "silent majority" support you (and the not-so-silence majority in Ireland, if you believe that the No voters will translate into Libertas voters), if you can't get even the minimum 7 MEPs/MPs to support you in a Europe full of eurosceptic/euro-reformist parties.


There are those who give Ganley & Co this drum to bang in the first place - and first among these is Irish Minister for Europe Dick Roche. EUobserver has reported another twist in the Libertas referendum funding saga - Libertas hasn't fully co-operated with the Standards in Public Office Commission (Here in the Irish Times, with Libertas' response here). Naturally, Roche pounces on this as an opportunity to attack Libertas. It's not proof of anything except a lack of openness on Libertas' side (this is the party of transparency remember, who don't like unelected elites from manipulating the democratic process), yet Roche bangs on about conspiracies too.

Why? It's so easy to attack Libertas over its ideas and its membership. Not only is it made up of far-right and ultra-conservative eurosceptics, but Ganley has lurched to the right himself. Libertas will be against the Lisbon re-run even if the concerns it raise are met through protocols, etc. (though I personally don't believe the Lisbon Treaty affected these areas of concern apart from the Commissioner point) - why? If amendment is as good as drawing a new treaty from scratch, why do it when our leaders have enough on their plates with the economic crisis? If our parliaments re-wrote from scratch every piece of legislation when it was amended, we'd be rightly furious in the costs of time and money. And alternatives? Libertas still hasn't come up with anything.

Fight Libertas on its ideas (or lack thereof), don't play into its demented and self-centred paranoia trip.

So Dick Roche: give the pro-Lisbon side a chance, and shut up.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you, and I reacted the same when I saw Roche's comment.

    There is no need to create conspiracy theories, when Libertas is hard at work to undermine its own credibility at every turn.

    In addition, the political messages pouring out from different corners of Europe are contradictory and the programme for the next five years is practically non-existent.

    The Libertas line of defence was extremely thin: They were not aware of the exact dead-line for publishing the SIPO report.

    They don't even try to contest that they have failed to give the information required.