Cultural Revolutions

The Fainting Irish

Yes, the Irish caved in and reversed their vote against the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty.  Gutless?  Of course.  But I’ve spent too many years in Dublin and Cork to be surprised.  The Irish did the same thing when they voted no to an earlier treaty in June 2001.  The next year they gave in to bullying from Brussels and returned to the polling stations to vote yes.  If you are looking for some Fighting Irish, you won’t find them in Ireland.

As I write this, the European Union is within one signature of the treaty being ratified and established as a European constitution.  The treaty will for the first time make the European Union a “legal personality” or, as the headline writers have it, “a country called Europe.”

This new country will have a president, a foreign secretary and diplomatic corps, armed forces, a supreme court, and a criminal-justice system.  It already has a parliament that is based on population and omits any representation of sovereign states: The European Union will not be a federal system.

Since the Irish voted yes all that has been standing in the way of this “European country” has been the refusal of Václav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, to sign the treaty.  He is utterly opposed to it.  Even after the Czech parliament ratified it, he insisted he must wait until a challenge...

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