Irish ayes smile on Europe as Farage cries “fix”

Nigel Farage has described the Irish referendum result - in which twice as many people voted ‘yes’ to the Lisbon Treaty as ‘no’ - as a “fix”

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has claimed the referndum campaign in Ireland was “a fix” following the 2:1 vote in favour of ratifying the Lisbon Treaty.

Speaking on the BBC News Channel he said:

“The Irish have been bullied into voting yes. This is a fix. They’ve had a wall of money thrown at them, and the broadcasting rules have been changed, we’ve not had equal coverage, the State broadcaster changed its rules.

“I have to say while I’m disappointed by the result, I think the whole thing has been an absolute travesty of democracy. The way this thing has been conducted is more akin to Zimbabwe or Afghanistan. This has not been a free and fair referendum.”

Mr Farage’s remarks are in sharp contrast to those of the leader of the ‘no’ campaign Declan Ganley, who praised the ‘yes’ campaign for a “masterful campaign”, conceding the result was an “overwhelming endorsement” of the Treaty.

The result will concern Tory leader David Cameron on the eve of his party conference, with a poll on ConservativeHome this morning showing 84 per cent of members want a referendum on the Treaty. Mr Cameron has repeatedly refused to say what his policy would be should the Treaty be ratified in all 27 member states.

In an email today, before the Irish result was announced, he wrote:

Referndum dilemma: David Cameron has refused to commit to a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty“I want to make one thing clear: there will be no change in our policy on Europe and no new announcements at the Conference. There will be no change in Conservative policy as long as the Lisbon Treaty is still not in force. The Treaty has still not been ratified by the Czechs and the Poles. The Czech Prime Minister has said that the constitutional challenge before the Czech Constitutional Court could take 3-6 months to resolve.

“I have said repeatedly that I want us to have a referendum. If the Treaty is not ratified in all Member States and not in force when the election is held, and if we are elected, then we will hold a referendum on it, we will name the date of the referendum in the election campaign, we will lead the campaign for a ‘No’ vote.

“If the Treaty is ratified and in force in all Member States, we have repeatedly said we would not let matters rest there. But we have one policy at a time, and we will set out how we would proceed in those circumstances if, and only if, they happen.”

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12 Responses to “Irish ayes smile on Europe as Farage cries “fix””

  1. Paul Hughes

    I wouldn’t laugh too loudly or for too long. All this will do is highlight how Brown reneged on the promised British referendum. It will cause Cameron a headache for a week but Brown will be the ultimate loser.

    And for those of you who support the EU, you really do need to think long term. The peoples of Europe were largely denied their say because their political masters knew what their answer would be. The Irish said “no.” They were told to vote again and every tool in the armoury of the political elites was used to strong-arm them into the subsequent “yes.” This wasn’t democracy. It was the victory of advertising and EU interference in Irish domestic politics.

    The wider the democratic deficit, the more likely it is that the whole rotten edifice will come crashing down. Everything which is good about European co-operation will disappear along with the bad aspects of a remote, oligarchic technocracy.

    Of course, if you value a USE above democracy, keep going. You’ll achieve your aim whilst destroying the longevity of what could have been a great common market. This castle is built on sand. Enjoy it whilst it lasts.

  2. Shamik Das

    Ireland, Ireland! 2:1 in favour of Europe!! Nigel Farage, David Cameron, Dan Hannan, your boys took a hell of a beating!

  3. Will Straw

    RT @shamikdas Ireland 2:1 in favour of Europe! Farage, Cameron, Hannan, your boys took a hell of a beating!

  4. Matthew Taylor

    Like it: RT @wdjstraw RT @shamikdas Ireland in favour 2:1 Farage, Cameron, Hannan, your boys took a hell of a beating!

  5. Democratic Society

    RT @wdjstraw Ire 2:1 in fav of Europe! < Link shows extent of UKIP belief in ref’s – ‘only fair when they agree with us’

  6. Swagata

    Why are you giving a voice to Farage and the Tories? Surely they’re not the story today?

    Why does this “evidence-based” blog repeat Farage’s hollow claim that “this has not been a free and fair referendum”. Is that your view Shamik? Progressives should certainly challenge this view instead of relaying it! I’d challenge the idea.

    I know that lots of interests backed the yes campaign, from US business like Intel to funding from Brussels but surely the vote was fair?

  7. Nils Boray

    Paul Hughes : – Not sure anyone’s laughing at all here – remember this is not a party political web site. I do wonder about the legitimacy of holding 2 referenda so close together (but also remember that the UK voted yes to EU membership in 1975 in a remarkably similar 67.2% YES vote, with over 64% turnout) – I haven’t however followed the run up to this in Ireland – presumably it’s been entered into constitutionally, and presumably the “No” campaign have had as much opportunity to advertise and interfere.

    So I’m not sure why you think this isn’t democracy. If the Conservatives win the general election next year, will Labour complain that this isn’t democracy this advertising and Rupert Murdoch interfering ? Well they may, but it won’t do them any good.

    What do you mean by a democratic deficit – this was a 2:1 majority in favour – that’s the only deficit that counts.

    I’m not sure what effect this will have on the Tories – it may well identify splits – but may also identify them in Labour too. Personally I’d welcome a referendum, because I think a Yes vote is very winnable, and that’s what I’d vote

  8. Rory

    I think this blog misrepresents Mr Ganley’s position

    “We had a dishonest ‘Yes’ campaign – and I’m not going to be gracious about it because it doesn’t deserve a gracious response,” were his words earlier today.

    He also said it was ‘politically’ a masterful campaign, which I think is quite telling.

  9. Shamik Das

    Looks like Declan, upon reflection, has changed his opinion from his more measured response in the immediate aftermath of the vote. Swagata – shining a light on Farage’s slightly bizarre comments and repeating them is not in any way an endorsement of them, they need no rebutting nor explanation, any right-thinkinf person reading them, I’m sure, will come to the same conclusion as you.

  10. Swagata

    Shamik, glad to here it. But UKIP came second in the last European elections, with Eurosceptic Tories in first. There’s the risk the majority of British voters agree or sympathise with Farage’s position so I’d be more trenchant. I’d use evidence to demonstrate he’s wrong.

  11. Rory

    I would suggest that Mr Das does not refute much of what Mr Farage says because he cannot.

    Were the Irish bullied into voting yes? Well, they were ludicrously threatened with economic collapse and ostracisation by European elites (despite the fact majorities in other European countries are opposed to further political integration), which is certainly a form of intimidation.

    Did the ‘no’ side get equal representation on Irish TV, in newspapers etc? I would say they didn’t.

    I think it is a travesty of democracy when political elites manipulate the media as happens in Ireland and in this country. Just look at the way New Labour manipulated the media here(such as by giving The Sun scoops in exchange for favourable treatment). Do you think this sort of thing does not happen in Ireland?

  12. Luke

    Farage has a point though. There were some tricks involved. The Irish were promised ‘jobs and employment’ if they voted ‘Yes’ to the Treaty. As any person with common sense knows that a Treaty alone cannot promise anything. Only political will from a national Parliament.

    Just have to wait until what the Czech courts decide to do now.

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