Ireland's place is at the heart of a strong Europe
Posted by Tom Duke on October 27, 2008 at 07:00 PM
I am really concerned that the national conversation on Europe is leading us away from the EU. Disappointment at the loss of the Lisbon referendum is being replaced by creeping defeatism in the pro Europe camp while the personalities associated with the 'No' campaign are feted like celebrities.
Those of us who believe in Ireland's place at the heart of a strong Europe should stop apologising for our existence in the face of the articulate and well heeled Eurosceptics hell bent on derailing our European journey. We need to be clear about our vision for a cohesive stable EU in light of the rise of new global superpowers.
We also need to be clear about the long-term aims of the people who are leading and driving the Eurosceptic agenda in Ireland. Most of the better-known champions of this agenda turned up at the much publicised dinner for the Czech President hosted by Declan Ganley; no doubt the main topic for discussion was the final dissolution of the EU.
A quick look at the guest list reveals that while these characters come from very different stables their long-term aim is the same, the end of the EU. It is galling to hear them proclaim their belief in Europe while it is patently obvious they are committed to reducing the Union to a loose free trade alliance that is powerless and toothless in a world where size and critical mass matter.
It is time the Eurosceptics began to come clean about their agenda for Europe. Questions need to be answered by Declan Ganley about Libertas funding, where the money was sourced from - its time to come clean.
MEP Kathy Sinnott was prominent at the Ganley affair. Ms. Sinnott is a product of the same right wing social stable as her host. While she is happy to give the impression that her views on social issues are left of centre her opinions on an array of these are really to the right. A neo-con in liberal clothing, she sees the EU as a real threat to her narrow social agenda. Ganley and fellow travellers like Sinnott are like all predators, they like to isolate their targets and for their purposes individual isolated European states are far easier to influence and manipulate that a strong cohesive Europe.