Water charges and now bin charges threaten to topple our new fragile Government and the various parties have been trying to tippy-toe around both issues until they get themselves organized. I've written about it here already. This lunchtime the EU's (non-elected), Commission has spoken and they've said that Ireland MUST impose water charges on their citizens or risk their day at the European Court and millions in daily fines thereafter for not doing as ordered. It leaves our EU supportive Government between a rock and a hard place. If they bow the knee to these anti-democratic Commissioners then they risk the dole for themselves. Worse still, if the Commissioners stick with this line it will be doing so in the atmosphere of the departure of the UK from the Union. All sides after the last election agreed that water charges ended up being the central issue for voters and the governing coalition was decimated as a result. The result meant that our own Government could no longer bully us and water charges were suspended. Now the Commissioners are attempting to bully our weak new Government against the expressed will of the Irish people.
I've heard all sorts of bullshit about why the British voted to leave the EU but I think democratic representation was always the main objection to membership. Today's statement from the Commission on Irish Water is yet another example of the dearth of democratic values in Brussels. They got us to sign up to some 'article' or other and having been bullied once into applying water charges, this so-called article has no mechanism for reversal. Such nonsense! Apparently it is written in stone.
And as per my last article, the EU is again grumbling about our rate of corporate tax, the very source of the income necessary for us to be able to even pay the interest on our imposed debts. And make no mistake, those arrogant Commissioners may soon simply instruct our leaders to put that rate up with the inevitable departure of many major overseas employers from these shores. No amount of official spin could disguise the reasons for unemployment should that happen. Ours is a small vulnerable economy and locally here in Cork, the potential departure of Apple, EMC and Pfizer would put the city on the breadline in months. Would our politicians throw their hands up then and claim they had no other choice?
The UK has made its choice and has democratic accountability back under local control as a result. But there are many that do not understand the importance of democracy. To explain it better, as things currently stand, Leinster House may as well close its doors for all the real relevance it has. If it can be ordered to do what the voters here don't want then it simply has no function. They may as well cut out the middle-man and let Brussels order us around directly. But given the unelected status of the Commissioners and their control and veto over everything, it's beginning to look also that the EU Parliament itself has become irrelevant as well. The litmus test of this is that the Commissioners always get their way so that's where the real power resides. They can overrule their own Parliament and those of the member states so even your right to vote becomes meaningless. By extension too your MEP is redundant and a waste of money, your money.
The next big debate, not too far away, will be on Nationalism I believe. Currently people here like to think of themselves as both Irish and European but that can't last. One will have to go because you cannot serve two masters. If the Commissioners have their way then there will not be Nation States and therefore no Irish either. There will instead be a United Europe with a handful of masters determining life from the North of Sweden to the South or Greece, (or Turkey?) One currency, one army and one border anyone? Claiming to be Irish in context would be most unsuitable though where the real choice would be to claim to be British or European. Some readers at this point may be shaking their heads thinking, "John, you've had enough to drink." But the trends are there and if anything they are accelerating. The BREXIT vote will cement the thinking in the EU Commission because it will force their hand.
I suspect they will not have learned anything from the British vote other than they need to act quickly and decisively to promote their New World Order and impose it on us. In the coming days and weeks, if you see our Government being systematically forced into a corner by Brussels, you'll know then that democracy as a concept is in its last days. Directives from the Commission may just become more strident and urgent all across the Union and over here that will impact water, refuse collection and the corporate tax rate for starters. For me at least, I believe the blame for BREXIT lies in Europe not the UK itself. Britain has rightly been referred to as the cradle of democracy and the vote last week was a vote for its own Parliament and self-determination. It will not happen now without a price but freedom won't be a part of any price to be paid.
The UK has voted for freedom, democracy and independence and that alone should give us here pause for thought. I hope I'm wrong but I believe in the coming months that a harsher line from the EU will prompt debate about Ireland's future in that institution and we may have to, for once, be mature enough to ask ourselves, "Do we truly want to Irish and free?"
It has become that serious!