Friday 21 July 2017

Bruce Arnold: The EU is changing and we must face up to the real issues at hand

Taoiseach Enda Kenny – pictured with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Dublin earlier this month – must beware the impact any
change in the UK’s relationship with the European Union would have on Ireland
Taoiseach Enda Kenny – pictured with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Dublin earlier this month – must beware the impact any change in the UK’s relationship with the European Union would have on Ireland

At a meeting in Cork last week, Declan Ganley addressed student members of three political societies: the Europa Society, the International Relations Society and the Fianna Fail Society. His speech focused on this democratisation of Europe and covered his checkered involvement in Irish politics during the two Lisbon Treaty campaigns. He developed a theory of democracy for Europe beginning with the people, the opposite of democratic gestures from those who have undermined democracy by concentrating power at the top.

It was a rousing event and ended with a student examination of Mr Ganley's intentions between now and the European elections in 2014. He concluded by countering this with a question of his own to his student audience. "If this happened and I came back, who in this room would be willing to get involved?"

A student who was there later told me up to two-thirds put their hands up in favour of direct involvement in a campaign led by Mr Ganley, who then asked the other question: "Who would campaign against?" No one responded.

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