Wednesday 13 December 2017

The Government, the EU and a great swindle

In a massive shafting of the Irish people, our own leaders and those in Europe threw away our democracy, writes Brendan O'Connor

Let's play a simple game. Let's put together three stories that emerged last week. And when we do this we will see, more clearly than ever, that we were royally screwed, that we are victims of one of the biggest stitch-ups perpetrated on a country since the heyday of colonialism in Africa.

We were stitched up by an unholy alliance of our own Government and autonomous undemocratic institutions within the EU, who seem to be answerable to no one, and other institutions within the EU that are supposed to be answerable to us. Each of these stories, if you read them, will have angered and astounded you. But put the three of them together and you will be fit to be tied. Again.

The great swindle begins with the European Commission. You probably don't know exactly what the European Commission is. You are vaguely aware that it is one of those fat-cat institutions in Europe, that is not quite the European Parliament, but that seems to wield enormous power over our lives. The Commission is roughly speaking the executive wing of the EU Government. The critical things you need to know are that they look after the interests of the EU as a whole rather than the interest of individual countries. They are supposedly above national politics and each country nominates a member. Ours is currently Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

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