Looking at the left and right wing (The Gurg) hysteria over the last few years about the E.U, something has been blocked out entirely. That is, Ireland has benefited greatly from E.U membership. Now, anyone on here familiar with my republican views and even going by my avatar may by a bit surprised at my positive views regarding the European Union.
I was going to do an infamous book length thread, but I'll try and keep it short.
Before Ireland joined the E.U, we were a backward country, economically and politically. Centuries of colonisation, which destroyed our language, culture and lobotomized our population (mainly Catholics), created a servile and slothful populace. Along with the malign Catholic Church, we also became an anti-intellectual country.
An ostensible War for Independence, lead to the partition of the country and the perpetuation of the British capitalist system, as well as the abandonment of the Proclamation of 1916 and the egalitarianism of the first program of the Dail in 1919. In hindsight, a pointless war was fought and James Connolly's nightmare became a reality.
Poverty, an uneducated populace, a weak infrastructure and social infrastructure, Ireland was basically a kip. With such a backward country, unemployment was high which lead to emigration. All of this was before we joined the E.U.
When we did join, we were bombarded with frivolous propaganda from the provo's and Labour. One was conducting a campaign in the North which I have made my views clear about, the other was running around North Korea praising a tyrannical dictatorship. I distinctly remember during the Fiscal Treaty, when Tommy on here had as his sig a quote from PSF about a referendum(can't remember which one) and PSF saying basically if we vote yes, the E.U will take over Ireland militarily. This sort of propaganda was put out by nationalists who believed joining the E.U would be detrimental for Ireland. I'll return to those quack assertions in a few.
But what has happened since we did join? Well, it has not been perfect and I could rant about the wrongs of the E.U more than the rights, but let us look at a few quick examples.
The E.U is the cesspit which was helped fund nearly every major motorway in Ireland such as the M50, as well as our railway transportation systems, such as the Luas.
The E.U is the cesspit that has championed equality in the work place and greater rights for women, races, sexuality in the work place.
The E.U is the cesspit which has set a maximum of 48 hours a week work limit (one of the first things Connolly demanded in the ISRP's first manifesto) as well as ensuring that there are sufficient breaks in the workplace.
The E.U is the cesspit which has put in law that there be paid annually leave.
The E.U is the cesspit which has sought to improve workers' conditions in the workplace and looked to protect workers from toxic hazards in the workplace with regulations.
The E.U is the cesspit which has driven home to our government that education is of the most importance and as part of their 2020 employment strategy, is looking to meet deadlines by 2020, such as getting 75% of 24-65 year olds working in good jobs as well as looking to reduce the school drop out rates (something badly needed in this country).
The E.U is the cess pit which helps funds Ireland's education system through the European Social Fund.
The E.U is the cesspit which has, as part of the Erasmus Programme, allowed our young people to engage in student exchange programmes across the E.U.
The E.U is the cesspit which has allowed children from poor backgrounds to attend Ireland's best university, Trinity College through the Trinity Access Programme.
The E.U is the cesspit which condemned the British government for their use of torture during internment.
The E.U is the cesspit which has helped our agricultural sector.
The E.U is the cesspit which has demanded greater food regulation, such as there must be identification of where the food came, what seeds where used and on from there.
Since joining the E.U, we have seen an augmentation of foreign investment.
Need I go on? There are ways to counter some of those points, particularly the last point, but What was Ireland like before this? As already stated, a country riddled with the virulent Catholic Church which engaged in a campaign of gleichschaltung, savaged our education, while discouraging any plausible reforms, even things such as divorce. No different to the days of following William Smith O'Brien like a cat and telling the crowds after he was finished speaking to ignore what he said.
Infrastructure? Before the 70's, we were a backward kip. Let's be honest.
Political parties with vision? Ah yes, visionaries such as the Cosgrave government, which ignored what had been fought for and perpetuated even the British dress code in the courts. De Valera? Ah yes, the man who was lambasted by Joe Clarke for his actions of ignoring the programme of the first Dail which he was President in, whilst people were on hunger strike starving themselves in Dublin because of the draconian conditions in the tenements. Who else? Haughey? Reynolds? Costello? Lynch? Please, we never had anything but a shower of gombeens and cute hoor's.
Parties that stood up for the people? While the E.U, in my opinion, did nothing in stopping imperialism in the likes of Indonesia at the hands of the Brits, at least they condemned the actions of the Brits in the North. Our tedious and cowardly parties encouraged young men to get their heads smashed in during Civil Rights marches and denounced republicans who stood up to unionists, whilst never denouncing the unionists and the Brits themselves.
Read this and ask yourself. Who has done more to implement some of the following: the Irish governments or the E.U?
I have voted NO to every EU Treaty since 2008 and I was strongly opposed to the last. I admit, the E.U has been acting egregiously over the banking system and it is by no means perfect. But lets cut the crap, the EU has benefited Ireland.It shall be the first duty of the Government of the Republic to make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter, but that all shall be provided with the means and facilities requisite for their proper education and training as Citizens of a Free and Gaelic Ireland.
The Irish Republic fully realises the necessity of abolishing the present odious, degrading and foreign Poor Law System, substituting therefor a sympathetic native scheme for the care of the Nation's aged and infirm, who shall not be regarded as a burden, but rather entitled to the Nation's gratitude and consideration. Likewise it shall be the duty of the Republic to take such measures as will safeguard the health of the people and ensure the physical as well as the moral well-being of the Nation.
It shall be our duty to promote the development of the Nation's resources, to increase the productivity of its soil, to exploit its mineral deposits, peat bogs, and fisheries, its waterways and harbours, in the interests and for the benefit of the Irish people.
It shall be the duty of the Republic to adopt all measures necessary for the recreation and invigoration of our Industries, and to ensure their being developed on the most beneficial and progressive co-operative and industrial lines. With the adoption of an extensive Irish Consular Service, trade with foreign Nations shall be revived on terms of mutual advantage and goodwill, and while undertaking the organisation of the Nation's trade, import and export, it shall be the duty of the Republic to prevent the shipment from Ireland of food and other necessaries until the wants of the Irish people are fully satisfied and the future provided for.
It shall also devolve upon the National Government to seck co-operation of the Governments of other countries in determining a standard of Social and Industrial Legislation with a view to a general and lasting improvement in the conditions under which the working classes live and labour.
The counter arguments from the ULA, PSF and others show that it has been good. I remember the conscription, EU super armies and all of that from Richard Boyd Barrett. I remember being told abortion was on the way. None of this happened, at all, and it never will.
Here's to the E.U! If not for them, who knows what this kip would be like, with a population driven to insanity by the Church and imperialism. I hope we do not leave. I couldn't imagine Ireland's hand being let go and Enda Kenny on his own. A scary thought, indeed.