Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Portugal Chickens Out

The Jerónimos monasteryMaria José Figueiredo, a reader in Portugal, wrote several weeks ago in this space about the chance that his country’s government would submit the Treaty of Lisbon to a referendum. It seemed that there was a slim hope that the EUSSR freight train was not entirely unstoppable.

But now, alas, we learn that Portugal will be no impediment to the consolidation of European power in the hands of the unelected tyrants in Brussels.

Here’s the latest news, sent to us today by Maria José Figueiredo via email:

You may recall that a few weeks ago I wrote to tell you that José Socrates, the Portuguese prime-minister, was still considering the possibility of ratifying the Treaty of Lisbon through a referendum.

Well, he is not anymore.

His party has decided, and he plans to tell Parliament today, that the Treaty is going to be nationally approved only in Parliament.
- - - - - - - - -
He is going to give four reasons for that, two concerning internal politics, two others rather peculiar and telling: first, that the Treaty of Lisbon is a different document from the one he has repeatedly committed himself to ask the people’s approval to — namely, the European Constitution — so he is not bound by any promises to consult the people about this one; and second, that going for a referendum would inevitably create a “contamination effect”, likely leading to the non approval of the Treaty, e.g. in the United Kingdom — and we don’t want that, do we?

I’m sorry about all the false hopes I have helped to create, none less in myself, believe me.

The fate of Europe now hangs on the slenderest of threads: ratification by the Danish parliament (all but certain), and a promised Irish referendum. Labour earlier promised the UK a referendum, too, and we saw what happened to that idea.

Gates of Vienna has plenty of European readers, so I’ll put the question to them: what else is left that could possibly stop the EUSSR train wreck?

14 comments:

Paardestaart said...

Silly coward..His wife has probably been telling him that 'one person's steadfastness is not going to make a difference after all; that everybody seems to be decided and so there is no use beibng served by his jeopardizing his standing in the party ..He's forgotten that in matters of justice one man's only one vote sometimes can make the difference between life and death...

ProFlandria said...

If the Irish rejection by referendum fails, there is no legal recourse left to prevent the Lisbon Treaty from becoming effective.

The only remaining course of action, should anyone wish to attempt to organize this, is civil disobedience on a massive scale.

To organize a truly huge international action in Brussels, the capital of the EU, seems a bridge too far to me - if only for the expense of travel and lodging, and the attended administration and logistics. However, acting on the local level organization and coordination would be both faster and easier streamlined.

One possibility for specific action is to mobilize large numbers of people to picket their national Parliament and block access to those who work within - this would have to happen early in the morning, say 08:00. It has the advantage of impacting the country's legislators directly, and confronting them with appropriate slogans etc.

Remember, I'm talking about civil disobedience here. Those who participate would have to expect and accept arrest and detention if it should come to that.

I'm ambivalent on requesting official permission to protest because the security services would be forewarned, and could provide alternate means to ensure access to Parliament. On the other hand, a formal request for permission would likely be picked up in the MSM which could provide free publicity.

Any other ideas out there - short of calling a massive "Former Citizen" strike?

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

It's illegal to protest within 1 perfidious french kilometre of parliament these days. That particular law went on the books to stop the actions of one man who had been stood outside parliament for most of the previous year reading a list of names of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. It wasn't a long list at the time but he kept reading it... a law to stop one man. It was ruled that a law couldn't be retroactively applied so that guy is still there, but nobody else is allowed to have any sort of protest or demonstration near the commons. Do it and you're in the nick faster than you can say "right to free speech".

kepiblanc said...

The situation in Denmark is a bit more complicated: We are not allowed the promised referendum on the constitution, eh... Lisbon Treaty, but if 60 MEPs (33%) sign a petition for a referendum, it's a given. Some MEPs - both right and left - are working on it.
But even if we don't get a referendum on the constitution, eh....Lisbon Treaty we certainly will have one on all or some of our opt-outs. And if all of those existing opt-outs stand, it's essentially meaningless to stay in the union. In fact, a Danish secession from the union has been seriously debated lately. Unlikely yes, but so they said about the wall coming down...

ProFlandria said...

Graham,

Hmmm... I was thinking about No. 10 Downing Street as an option, but that is well within the 1 km range - as is the Treasury, the Foreign Office, and Whitehall.

Instead of a "protest", with all its connotations of verbal belligerence - why not an "appeal for relief" at Buckingham Palace? The distance from Parliament Square to where Buckingham Palace road runs into the Birdcage Walk - close to the gate - is just over 1000m as the crow flies, according to the ruler tool in Google Earth...

Henrik said...

We did a demonstration outside Downing Street 10 2½ years ago, on July 21st. Just a couple handful people, delivering a letter to Tony Blair (it was about Turkey). I actually don't recall if we got a formal response, but it's very doable.

If the slogans are worded in a constructive way, the message easily gets absorbed by the politicians. We saw that after our demonstration in Klosterneuburg, where we got this one on BBC World: "Solidarity with Cyprus - Turkey to Hague". Just a few days after that, Cyprus put down its heels over Turkish accession, and the following summit meeting went completely our way.

I think demonstrations, even small ones, can be very effective at catapulting a message into the somewhat alternative world inhabited by our politicians :)

Henrik said...

More on topic, I don't see much of a chance to block the EU Constitution. Almost everyone have been talked, won or paid over to not stand in its way.

I still see Morten Messerschmidt banging away at getting the Danish referendum in place, but even the people he chastisizes for their lack of integrity don't seem to care. I.e. we had a couple Social Democrats and others who during recent elections promised to vote in favor of a referendum. Elections won, they simply changed their minds. No wonder people detest politicians...

Realistically, I think we will have to deal with it. Which means undermining public confidence in the system at large. With facts, lots of them. Like this one:

The fact that no reputable accounting firm will have their reputation stained by signing off the EU books ought to be a major embarrasment. It's been running 13 years in a row by now - noone seems to worry 'bout it.

The Framework Decision is another tough bite.

The whole process surrounding the Constitution is in itself voiding it of democraticy legitimacy.

More will follow, of course, But I don't believe the EU is poised to fall down hard anytime soon. It will take years of raising public awareness of the wrongs of the system.

kepiblanc said...

The EU is a dead man walking. It's only a question of how many appeals it will lose before the people of Europe will say 'enough' and grab the axe.
Perhaps it will speed up the inevitable that Pres. Bush and Mr.Erdogan are so close buddies: the lefties over here aren't especially fond of George W. and the grown-up's - like us here - aren't especially fond of Recep Tayyip. Anyway, each and every time Turkey and EU are mentioned in the same sentence, we're one step closer to its grave.

Afonso Henriques said...

Portugal's greatest Portuguese. My own vision of them. And I am not lying.

1st- Oliveira Salazar, fascist ditactor from before the WWII to his death in the late sixties. He ascended from a poor family in the country (rural areas) to one of the best academic personalities of Portugal, and to the fascist leader of the Nation and Empiere. He survived WWII when all other fascists had been ripped out of Europe (excepting Spain's Franco)

2nd- Álvaro Cunhal, the communist who fought "for freedom" to impose a Sovietic style "free" dictatorship state in Western Europe. He never succeeded. He got free elections at the fall of the ditactorship but lost. He fought in the terrain, side by side with the defavoured people and got beaten and encarcerated too many times by the fascists. Despite all, he was a Communist, and had a well defined agenda. He was from one of the wealtiest families too.

3rd- Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a diplomat during the WWII who helped thousands of Jews fleeding the Nazis (remember the Shingler'w list? this fellow saved more Jews than Shingler!). He did it against orders of Salazar and did what he thought was the "right thing to do". He has a museum in Tel Aviv. Fortuately, Hitler did not attacked Portugal because of this and fortunately, the Jews were able to fleed to the Americas, mainly the U.S.

4th- D. Afonso Henriques, first King, founding Father of the modern Nation of Portugal (unfortunately without Galicia) in a war agaist the muslims who were slaugthering us. He conquered more muslim land than every one else. He forged our first flag when his small army, defeated an army of 5 powerfull muslim Kings. I could go on and on... Not even ten men could hold his sword up, so strong he was... In the XII century he lived to eighty two eyars old and was killed in battle, not by a muslim, but because he fell from his horse, etc, etc... (Only the sword is a legend... or so it seems)

5th- Luís de Camões, the biggest poet of the Portuguese language.

6th- D. João II, the King who built what would become the first European colonial Empiere and that would, in the future, bring wealth to one of the pooreest and weakest European countries at the time.
(The Empiere was built, mainly by conquering muslim lands in Africa and Asia)

7th- Infante D. Henrique the navigator.
The infant who really and pratically made the colonial empire. Before 1415 he had the Colonial Empiere all well drawned in his mind. Mainly gatting land in Africa from the hands of the muslims.

8th- Fernando Pessoa, a great wild writer of the late XIX early XX century. He was a nobody, a crazy, esquizofrenic man who had an irrelevant job in Lisbon. He was a failure as a person. When he died, it was found almost all his taughts written in a sort of box.
He was kind of gay too.

9th- Marquês de Pombal, the man who lifted the Nation after the 1755 earthquake and tsunami that devestated the Portuguese Capital, Lisbon. He reconstructed Lisbon and in the way he killed all the nobility who oposed him.

10th- Vasco da Gama, the guy who discovered the maritime route to India and got the richesses of India directly to Europe, ending the muslim monopoly to India's goods and starting the colonization of India.

11th- Salgueiro Maia, a young militar who made a revolution that brought Democracy and end the fascist rule in 1974. He died few time later.

12th Mário Soares, first Prime Minister, First non Militar pos fascist President. A man who is son of one of the ones who murdered the Portuguese last king (remember Kennedy?) and who fought the fasicst rgime in Portugal standing in the great hotles of Paris, where it is said he burnt the Portuguese flag many times. He is a Socialist (he was expelled from the Communist Party) and he does not belive in God. He is also a freemason and was the one who got Portugal in the European Union. You can call him a Eurocrat. For me, he is nothing.

13th- Saint António, a medieval Portuguese saint, who arranges marriges and who is the honourable saint of Lisbon.

14th- Amalia Rodrigues, the best singer of the National (traditional) song, the Fado.

15th- Eusébio, a black football player. He was the best of all times back in the sixties. Now, I don't think so.

16th- Sá Carneiro, the first right wing politician to win an election in pos fascist Portugal, in the eighties. He was murdered few days after. The case is unsolved, nobody was convicted. He died in a plane which exploded. Some argue (quiet convincently) that he was murdered by muslim iranian extrimists soon after he has exposd that the U.S. were providing weapons to Iran. It sure was profitable to the Portuguese all mighty left.

17th- Pinto da Costa, a man who made FC Porto an European top football club. It was a poor regional club. It has ever since won a lot of championships.

18th- D. Nun'Álvares Pereira, the general who saved Portugal for being anexated to the then all mighty Spain. He had a few army but kicked the Spaniards ass.

A country with this heros can not be a good one fighting Europe.
Portugal is not the solution, it is part of the problem, once the left runs this hard.

islam o' phobe said...

Gates of Vienna has plenty of European readers, so I’ll put the question to them: what else is left that could possibly stop the EUSSR train wreck?

*Sigh* I really don't know. So far I haven't been any able to convince a single person, even my girlfriend and best friend to vote No in the Irish Referendum. The EU bureaucracy is so incredibly convoluted that even when I try to convince people I feel like I'm giving a lecture on political science to bored students.

The one thing that tends to gets a response is immigration. There was a referendum immigration in Ireland a few years ago. The result was that 90% of people voted to limit it. Then the government decided to import tens of thousands of immigrants anyway, including many Muslims. Why they even decided to hold the referendum in the first place is a mystery.

The Muslim immigrants were all admitted post-9/11, presumably as the beneficiaries of some bizarre white guilt complex which need hardly apply to the most persecuted white nationality in history besides the Serbs.

Irish Nationalism is very strong so if this worthless treaty is understood as a betrayal of the founders of the State (which it is) it can be defeated. Wish me luck boys.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Simple, then. Tell them that the EU holds absolute power over immigration and that they're the ones forcing your government to let these people in. Tell them that Lisbon will grant them that final sliver of control over immigrants coming directly to Ireland from outside the EU, so that they will never again be able to even have a say on the subject.

Anonymous said...

OT but did anyone see the Daily Mail story linked in the latest post on Kepiblanc's page? I have seen numerous accounts like this posted in the British press and on British blogs.

It seems very likely to me that genocide is slowly being perpetrated on the native European people -- and that the rate of killing will get faster and more intense as the ratio of natives to invaders continues to decline.

But protesting against your own genocide is, of course, "racist."

Afonso Henriques said...

"Gates of Vienna has plenty of European readers, so I’ll put the question to them: what else is left that could possibly stop the EUSSR train wreck?

*Sigh* I really don't know. So far I haven't been any able to convince a single person, even my girlfriend and best friend to vote No in the Irish Referendum."

I know, it is to dificult. It is exasperating. You have to talk only with peple who know you good, who know you are not a racist and who feel betrayed by the "establishment". If you read it again it will sound paranoic so you bettet talk only to close friends or girlfriends, those you know you can influence.
Then, you talk about Nationlism in a soft way, how a non European immigrant will never be the same as a National. You then talk about how the country was great when it was united and how bad it is with all this multiculturalism. Than you blame hard the left and the E.U.

You can also say that Europe does not exist and those who wanted an European Union were Napoleon and Hitler. Europe is a civilisation, nothing more.

You have to (I know in America is different, don't blame me please...) know that Nationalism is the only weapon against the E.U. but European Nationalism is so tainted that...
A strong image is violence. Check out sites like Novopress to find violence commited by the colonisers on Europeans.

I do belive it will get messy, and we will all suffer more.
Good luck trying convince your girlfriend!
Try to convince well (maybe convert) your girlfriend and two close friends, they will than try to convinve one close friend and a wave is created. I have faith in you, Irish Celts!

Henrik said...

OK, here's the real reason that Portugal capitulated:

Direct pressure from Sarkozy, Brown - and no help from Merkel:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article3162632.ece

It has *zero* to do with the treaty being identical or not. It has everything to do with Sarkozy and Brown fearing the popular opinion on the treaty - in their countries, not in Portugal.

This style of doing politics - pressure here, pressure there - is revolting to me. What happened to the good old-fashioned "Let me see the reasoning and let that convince me"?

Head of the Times article:
A referendum on the controversial redrafted EU constitution was ruled out by Portugal yesterday after pressure from Gordon Brown and President Sarkozy.

The Prime Minister and Mr Sarkozy called José Sócrates, the Portuguese Prime Minister, to insist that a popular ballot was not necessary.

The decision by Portugal not to hold a referendum but to ratify the treaty through its parliament will come as a huge relief to Downing Street and the Élysée Palace, which feared extra pressure on them to hold a public vote. The revelation of top-level phone calls will, though, only increase suspicions that the European political elite have coordinated efforts to avoid a repeat of the referendums in France and the Netherlands in 2005 that sank the proposed constitution and plunged the EU into a two-year crisis.