On Prime Time last night Declan Ganley of Libertas and Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin made interesting points against the Lisbon Treaty, but they were full of contradictions.
Declan Ganley decried the loss of Ireland's veto in a number of new areas. Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan retorted that the vast bulk of EU measures are in Ireland's interest and therefore it is better they get passed. Mr Ganley replied that yes, but two big powers plus two smaller ones can block such a measures.This is blatantly contradictory. How can one argue in favour of a veto for single countries but lament the fact that now four countries can block a measure? (Incidentally the blocking threshold was increased from 3 to 4 in the negotiations to stop the three biggest states from blocking measures agreed by the smaller states)
The other interesting point was made by Mary Lou McDonald. She reluctantly admitted that Ireland's veto on taxation is safe in Lisbon but that our corporate tax might be undermined by back-door measures. This is extraordinary stuff from a party whose policy on taxation until recently advocated that corporate tax should be hiked up to 40% for some sectors, which would make it the highest in Europe. Sinn Féin's dpolicy documents until recent years deplored the lower tax regime in Ireland, in particular the lower capital gains and corporate taxes. Are these lower taxes now sacerd all of a sudden or is Sinn Féin setting aside its core principles for the sake of expediency in campaigning against a Europe that it so much loathes?