Before the first shots are fired in the upcoming humdinger of a 'Yes' versus 'No' debate on the fiscal compact, could I just try to make a simple point about what I think is really going on here.
I am an enthusiastic supporter of the EU insofar as it represents a common marketplace for inter-trading without barriers. Where I stand up to get off the bus is at that fork in the road where EU fundamentalists decide they want the common marketplace to morph into the United States of Europe, with the single currency being the very flawed stalking horse for such an evolution.
To sign up to this fiscal compact is to say 'Yes' to a United States of Europe, although thankfully there will be less than the full deck of EU members in the ranks, as Britain and those prudent Scandinavians (who still have their own currency) retain some semblance of sovereignty over their own affairs.
I have observed clearly how institutionalised, advanced socialism has made establishing businesses in most other EU countries outside of Britain and Ireland a weak prospect.
The longer-term capacity of this country to continue to attract and sustain multi-national enterprises is absolutely compromised if we go down this road of signing up to the ever-tightening circle of eurozone membership.
Within a few short years we will be forced into adopting the very same advanced socialism that breeds oppressive anti-employer labour laws that render countries impotently uncompetitive.
Ireland is not part of old Europe. We do not have the legacy of long-established indigenous heavy industry built originally on a platform of natural resources from colonial conquests. We are a small, young country with the wit to be agile, flexible and enterprising.
We cannot be forced into institutionalised socialism, which is what awaits us within the blink of an eye of signing up to an ever-deeper level of membership of this ill- founded euro fiscal club.
Goatstown, Co Dublin