No to Lisbon - A Treaty for the Rich

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The WSM is calling for a No vote in the 2nd Lisbon referendum on the grounds that people in Ireland can do a lot better than a choice between the clowns in the Dáil or those in Brussels. We oppose the EU's policies of privatisation, militarisation and attacks on workers' conditions but don’t insult people’s intelligence by saying that our current society in Ireland with its severe recession, diabolical public services and corruption is anything better. The major lack of democracy in our lives is not between us and the EU but between the Irish government and us.We see issues like the democratic deficit in the EU as merely a symptom of the real problem. The real problem is in how we live our own lives. We work all day and have absolutely no control over our lives or in our workplace; we are asked to vote every five years to chose who we would like to make decisions for us. This is not democracy in any meaningful sense of the word.

There are people who do have control however; the politicians and business elites. They make money off our work everyday. A quick look over the past ten years in this country has shown they couldn’t care less about us. A massive amount of wealth was been created by workers in this country during the Celtic Tiger years, yet we have seen little long-term improvement in our lives as a result.

Anarchists believe the problem is not the treaty alone but the EU as an institution. The treaty, no matter what it contained, wouldn’t give us more control of our lives. This can only happen when we have democracy in our communities and workplaces. Thus, only a radical change in the democratic and economic structure of our society can change things so that the majority of people benefit from the resources of this country. The wealth, held now by the minority, must be used to benefit everyone.

So, why should we give them the thumbs up? Vote ‘No’ to their project for benefiting elites. But a vote ‘No’ is worth little on its own if things are not changed at home. The EU must change but so too must Irish society.


This article is from Workers Solidarity 111 September 2009

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