No offence to any journalists out there but, when it comes to the Lisbon Treaty, the Irish media are missing the point completely. Their emphasis is on the fact that we didn't understand the importance of the vote; that we acted out simply because we don't trust our politicians, as if it was a childish attempt to get back at them or something.
Well! One thing we certainly DO understand is the crisis we are in now. Politicians in Europe - in Ireland, France, Spain, and others - are going over the heads of the people they are supposed to represent.
You know there were celebrations in the streets across Europe after Ireland's No vote? I don't see many reports of that in the media. The media are as eager to make us feel stupid and guilty as the politicians are; portraying us (as the Irish Independent's Lise Hand put it) as "a nation of ingrates" and an embarrassment to Europe. We were the only ones with a voice and We Said No. And we were under the impression that we had the right to say no. Seems not!
I think MOST people who voted No knew what they were doing. We may not trust our politicians, but that had little, if anything, to do with it. The problem was that we didn't trust the effin' Treaty! OR the direction in which Europe seems to be heading...
One good thing that came from the No vote is that it exposed the current reality of EU "democracy". No-compaigners were afraid the new EU would mean Ireland had less say and less of a voice. What better proof of those fears than Nicolas Sarkozy's respone to the result! He declared that Ireland's vote didn't matter, and would not stop what so many countries have already ratified.
This is not the EU we signed up to. This is an EU where we have no voice; where big countries change the rules when things don't go their way. The people of France's voting rights were taken away. It was originally agreed all 27 had to ratify the Treaty for it to be accepted, now it doesn't seem to matter.
With an approval rating of around 30% (on a good day), Sarkoze has some nerve to suggest he speaks for the French people.
The EU, and our politicians, only ever saw our vote as a formality; an empty formula. It seems our constitutional rights, and our opinions, only count when those in power agree (i.e. NICE) We made the "wrong" decision so they gave us a chance to redeem ourselves and, like naughty children rapped on the wrist by a government and media who insist we are ignorant, we obediently changed our minds. If we have another referendum, I pray we stick by our vote. We should not be pushed around by those who WE voted into power.
True, the EU has been good to us, but just because they helped fund our economy, does that mean they own us? Should we fall into line, blindly agreeing with whatever they put to us? It was advertised that the Treaty would make the EU more "democratic." We can already see what an absolute lie that was.