Lisbon: Where Next?

5 10 2009

First Reaction:
A delay to Lisbon now depends on the timing of decisions by Poland, the Czech Republic and Britain. A mismatch of timing will allow the Treaty to be passed much earlier. President Klaus should declare that he will delay a decision until after the UK General Election, when Britain’s final verdict will be clearer. Yes, it has been signed by the Labour Government. But it is not final until the Czechs say yes. And that ambiguity will allow David Cameron to effect a change of mind. Of course, I am assuming that Klaus, Kaczynski and Cameron can demonstrate some political courage in the face of enormous pressure from the EU core and a likely legal crisis should they stand up to it. Political courage in the heat of an EU crisis. Now, there’s an idea!


Guide to Irish Media for Foreign Observers of Irish Vote

2 10 2009

If you are going to rely on Irish media outlets, it would be useful to know their political color before accepting what they say with blind faith. So, here’s a quick tour:

RTE, Radio Telefis Eireann: public broadcaster. Like BBC but has advert funding alongside viewing tax (license). Nominally neutral but ideologically closest to Labour Party in practice. Unrelentingly hostile to current Irish Government.

Irish Times: Prestige paper of record, like New York Times. Nominally “liberal” – actually leftist in ideological orientation. Somewhat like Guardian in UK, which it copies. However, on EU, militantly pro-Lisbon and very hostile to most vocal anti-Communists and new conservatives in Eastern Europe.

Irish Independent: conservative on economics or law and order, liberal, though not radical, on social poilicy. Pro-Lisbon but offers more space to critics than Irish Times. Hostile to Fianna Fail, more sympathetic to Fine Gael. Style is less elitist than Irish Times, slightly tabloid.

Irish Examiner: nominally representative of a different voice from Cork and the South. In practice, apes values and concerns of the Irish Times. Liberal/left.

Newstalk: Some very professional broadcasting here, esp. by Claire Byrne in morning. But many presenters are either RTE or Irish Times old hands. Result: Newstalk is less politically diverse than it could have been.

Slow Turnout

2 10 2009

A relatively low turnout was the picture in rural regions this afternoon. However, some experts predict a surge as people get home from work in the evening. Polling ends at 2200 Irish Summer Time, 2100 UTC.

So, You Are a Fascist, Then?

1 10 2009

The Charter on Fundamental Rights looks like a relatively innocuous document. However, there are several causes for concern.

Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Posts

1 10 2009

These have been deferred until later this evening (Thursday)


30 09 2009

CFSP– Eastwesteurope Analysis (September 30, 2009)  [PDF file]
A late exchange that highlighted the poor quality of the debate on both sides of this year’s Lisbon 2 campaign.

Coming Up …

30 09 2009

Postings on the rights charter, an important part of the Lisbon process that has not been subjected to any really critical academic or journalistic scrutiny in the Irish debate.