So, apparently if we are to vote 'No' in the upcoming vote on the Lisbon treaty we will "pay a price", or so says the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Mr. Barroso's comments made front page in yesterday's Independent and are sure to be another headache for the 'Yes' campaign.
And the 'Yes' side is right to be worried, for it is this kind of arrogance, and contempt for the voter, which is beginning to turn the average punter away from Europe, and I for one wouldn't blame them.
What exactly is this "price" and why must we pay it? In typical Eurocrat fashion we are being bullied into voting a certain way, rather than being presented with reasonable and concise arguments. We are being treated like naughty children who persist in misbehaving, having the audacity not to acquiesce to Europe's will.
One only has to look back at the shameful lack of regard for democracy which we were shown in 2005 for the Nice treaty, take one. I say 'take one' because somehow these referenda can be rescheduled depending on the result; we can all rehearse our lines till we get them right, so the charade seems to go.
Now, it would be foolish to vote 'No' purely (I say purely, not that it may not be a factor, which is reasonable) because of contemptuous politicians, what matters here is the content of the treaty. I am voting 'No' because of the various undemocratic and super state processes enshrined in the treaty. It may be argued that the treaty is good for Europe (although I don't think it is), but it is certainly not good for Ireland, and that is what matters to me as an Irish citizen.
However, even you were to think that ratification of the treaty is a good thing, this EU intimidation is sure to irritate. The EU commission is doing itself no favors in passing this treaty by belittling the Irish people. I'm sick of it, and I'm sure many others are as well. We decide what is best for us in a democracy, and our decision is automatically the right one; if you believe in democracy, these notions are to be accepted.
By all means vote 'Yes' in June if that is what you think is best for the country. Vote 'Yes' if you believe we will all benefit. Hell, even if you vote 'Yes' only because you like that blue flag with all those little golden stars, that's fine.
But don't vote 'Yes' just because Europe says so.