More Lisbon

By | May 26, 2008

The original post is getting old (and with 90 comments too much to scroll through!) though those interested should read them as there are most enlightening.

However, I thought I’d start a fresh thread with news that the highly knowledgeable if alarmingly tall Alan Dukes got back to me with regard to a query someone made about Joe Higgins’ point that Lisbon allowed for the mandatory privatisation of public services. Dukes says:

“Joe Higgins claims that the Lisbon Treaty provisions on services mean that Member States have to open up all service markets to competition from imports (from other Member States). He claims that this means that private operators can thereby get into service markets in health, education and other public services. He goes on then to say that this means that we would be forced to allow privatisation in these sectors.
He overlooked the fact that the Treaty provides that Member States can make exceptions in the case of public services. I understand that he agreed, on a Prime Time programme with Lucinda Creighton on Thursday, that the exception is there, but he did not understand its significance.
The actual position is that each Member State can make its own decisions about whether or not to open up public service sectors to competition from other Member States. There is no compulsion involved.
Here, for example, the Government has already allowed private sector participation in the provision of health services, in the form of private hospitals and now with the co-location of private hospitals on public hospital campuses. This has been an independent position of the Irish Government.
There is already a substantial element of private participation in the education sector (e.g. Griffith College, a multiplicity of grind schools at second level, etc.). Once again, the decision to allow these was a sovereign decision of the Irish Government and the Lisbon Treaty would not affect it one way or the other.
In general, Joe Higgins misinterprets the Treaty, either inadvertently or deliberately.
It is worth noting that the Referendum Commission has confirmed
(a) that the Irish veto on tax matters (or, more accurately, the requirement of unanimity in any decisions on tax matters) remains, and
(b) the Lisbon Treaty does not prejudice Irish neutrality.
These two declarations are significant in themselves and also because they confirm that elements on the “NO” side are either misreading or misrepresenting provisions of the Treaty.”

I see The Irish Times continues to push the FF line that a defeat of the Treaty will be Fine Gael’s fault. If the “loo-las” vote No to smite the government, is that really Enda Kenny’s fault, or the bully boy, ignorant, alienating tactics of the FF leadership?

61 thoughts on “More Lisbon

  1. crocodile

    So basically all condemnation of Bertie is anti-FF bias and there is no such thing as morality in politics, only which side you’re on?

  2. The Crewser

    Still cleverly dodging the issue Crocodile. Clearly you are quite happy with Enda’s handling of the whole affair.

  3. crocodile

    I see FF TD Christy O’Sullivan was arrested for drink-driving. Crewser will say that’s ok,though, because Fine Gael Tipperary councillor Michael Fitzgerald has a drink-driving conviction. Nobody can criticise O’Sullivan because that might make us guilty of ‘hypocrisy’ which is a bigger sin than endangering peoples’ lives on the road, or curruption, or lying under oath….

  4. The Crewser

    Dont get me started Crocodile. As you well know being arrested for drunk driving is not the same as being convicted of anything. But thats typical of you and your cronies, convicting and judging people before they get due process unless of course their name is Devitt of course. Interesting though that you and those same cronies had no problem with Tom Gilmartin attempting to frame anybody and everybody because of his own failures as a developer. Oh and thats right, the Mahon Tribunal made him their star witness and gave him immunity. Noteworthy too that neither you nor Sarah had the slightest problem with Enda Kenny’s apparent condoning of Ms Devitts taking of money for “work done” But you said it Crocodile, Hypocrisy is the word.

  5. The Crewser

    Not really, just more of the same old stuff I have come to expect. But really Crocodile you must be a particularly boring old fart if you never drove your car when you had a couple of glasses of Wine. But then maybe you are perfect like Enda Kenny.

  6. crocodile

    Never driven at all, actually, and doubt if I ever will, now that I know the rules of the road apply only to FG voters.

  7. The Crewser

    Easy to be critical then I guess.

  8. Joe

    A bit late, but this point by Alan Dukes was answered at the time.

    “Lisbon removes this veto. Lisbon says: ‘For the negotiation and conclusion of the agreements referred to in paragraph 3, , the Council shall act by a qualified majority.’ Veto gone!

    There are two exceptions where the Veto would remain: ‘in the field of trade in cultural and audiovisual services, where these agreements risk prejudicing the Union’s cultural and linguistic diversity; and ‘in the field of trade in social, education and health services, where these agreements risk seriously disturbing the national organisation of such services and prejudicing the responsibility of Member States to deliver them.’

    These are exceptions written into Lisbon, not a continuation of the existing comprehensive veto which the ‘Yes’ side is trying to maintain”. Full post on this issue on candidate watch:–f190140.html#q190140

  9. R E Thornton

    What about the 28th Amendment of the Irish Constitution (section 4 subsection 10) to wit “No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State which are necessitated by the obligations of membership of the European Union or of the Communities,or by institutions thereof,or by bodies competent under the Treaties establishing the Communities,from having force of law in the State”

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