This week the Irish government succumbed to pressure and accepted a whopping €85 billion bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The tough cookies from the EU and the IMF will now want to approve every line of future spending for this country; they are absolutely and utterly in charge.
That shocking development has meant we’ve spent the week listening to the most unlikely commentators bemoaning the loss of our economic sovereignty. The truth is that our sovereignty was given away a long time ago, and the Lisbon Treaty was the final nail in the coffin for Ireland’s independence. It is deeply – even tragically – ironic to see the Irish Times and RTÉ invoke the men of 1916 to lament our loss of control when the same crowd led the charge to bully the Irish people into passing Lisbon II.
As always though, it is the ordinary people who will suffer the brunt of this contraction and chaos. The heroes of 1916 sought to stop this destructive and undemocratic pattern – where the corruption and greed of the privileged few lead to the deprivation of the many. Pearse, Ceannt and their fellow patriots: they were leaders who put the people and the country first. No such leaders exist in Irish political parties today. Fianna Fáil are a disgrace; Fine Gael seem to be for business above all else; the Greens are a joke; and the blustering, power-hungry Labour Party have whole graveyards in their closets.
However, amidst the palpable chaos and the fear paralyzing our political establishment and their many quangos, there will be a few who privately see this disaster as an opportunity. For the agents of the abortion industry, who have long sought, and failed, to overturn Ireland’s pro-life laws, the more control the EU has over Ireland’s decisions, the better.
Some people will argue that, with all the country currently has to contend with, the implications of this EU take-over for Ireland’s pro-life ethos is the least of our worries. I would disagree. If we’re to learn anything from the courage of those who fought in 1916, it’s that our principles and our values are the things worth fighting for. And a great many Irish people, despite their fears for the future and for the future of their children, would still wish to protect our values. After all with unemployment heading for half a million, the IMF running the Department of Finance, and the government in disgrace, aren’t our values amongst the most precious commodities we as a people have left.
The political establishment knows how the people feel. It’s why they paraded the worthless EU ‘guarantees’ on abortion and other issues to cajole and intimidate the people into handing over the last vestige of sovereignty to Brussels.
But the EU has an extremely poor record when it comes to respecting Ireland’s right to decide on right-to-life issues; using the Parliament and a succession of political motions to attack this country and to insist that we legalise abortion. During the debate on the Lisbon Treaty pro-life groups pointed out that, post-Lisbon, it was inevitable that a case taken by the abortion industry would come before the newly empowered European Court of Justice. Yes campaigners denied that, but everything else they refused to admit would happen has since come to pass.
Now that our government has effectively relinquished control of the country’s economic policies, Ireland’s budgets – her tax policies and spending – will now be effectively decided by the EU and the IMF. Corporation tax is being targeted, the minimum wage will be slashed, our decisions-making powers have been taken over by the bigger member states. All these consequences were denied by the government and their allies, but they are now now happening before our eyes.
We should be on high alert. The global abortion industry is notorious for attempting to pressurize nations in need of assistance in similar situations. Their allies in the EU recently attempted to attach the re-introduction of abortion as a condition of approval for aid to Nicaragua. (And let’s not forget that the Family Planning Association is currently seeking to overturn Ireland’s pro-life laws using the European Court of Human Rights). Like every unethical, immoral, carpet-bagging corporation before them, they’re in a hurry to make money from the misery of others. And they have many powerful friends in the EU who believe that sovereignty cannot be allowed to interfere with their desire to see abortion normalised.
Neither should we see what has happened this week as a rescue – the EU aren’t here because they have a grá for Ireland. They’ve taken charge because they want to protect the euro and because they won’t tolerate any danger attaching to the stability of the French and German banks.
They’ll be enforcing EU policy and EU rules, and they’ll want payback for doing so.
That’s why additional vigilance is required. The government has made a shocking mess of how they’ve handled the economy, and now they’re calling in the EU to try to clean up that mess. We’re need to make sure that our pro-life laws aren’t included in the price of this take over.