The Lisbon Treaty is no longer a proper vehicle!

                        by  John F Higgins, Independent General and Euro Election Candidate


Hi! The convention to establish a Constitution for Europe was set up following a declaration made in Laeken in 2001. The background to when the Constitution was first formulated has change utterly. The EU and the Capitalist World are now in financial turmoil. The neoliberal free-market ideology model imposed on a rapidly aging EU society is not working. The Lisbon Treaty (TLT) is a near clone of the Constitution for Europe and does not address the problems confronting us as we approach the second decade of the 21st Century. It’s a treaty for another time, now gone!


Europe drastically needs to tap into the reservoir of knowledge that is Christianity and so give a balance to our future direction. Many leaders in Europe have expressed a willingness to engage with Christianity (in audiences with the Pope etc) but appear to be thwarted by the now “sold by date” liberal agenda. Leaders are: Merkel, a Protestant; Sarkozy; Pera, a non-believer Head of Italian Senate; Buzek who defines himself as Lutheran, and President of the European Parliament; ‘‘We all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get re-elected once we have done it’ Jean-Claude Juncker etc. These leaders need backing and we the Irish people need to think responsibly, weigh up the facts and recognise that the EU badly needs good guidance. Our burden is great, and we will rise to it!


Guidance from our own Constitution

Article 6.1 of Bunracht na hEireann reads as follows:
"All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, derive, under God, from the people, whose right it is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to decide all questions of national policy, according to the requirements of the common good." Sadly the politicians keep trying to over rule the decision of the people.


Open debate is needed

True debate, thought and the exchange of ideas is the essence of democracy. Emotion and the manipulation of truth should not be used to whip the nation into action; these are the tools of exploitation: this misuse of power has landed us in our present predicament. A representative democracy only works when the people are involved. It is time to stop and bring God back into the equation. Otherwise our ultimate rulers are those who don’t hear, see, recall, or were not there, when called to account for their own actions.


The people must lead

Angela Merkel set her EU presidency the challenge to revive the stalled constitution. She warned MEPs "We have to give a soul to Europe; we have to find Europe's soul. Any failure could be an historic failure."  She failed.


We the people must give Europe a proper direction. Otherwise it is “rule” by the few, for the few. It will be the last time we will vote if TLT is passed. It has to be a firm “No” to the same beliefs that has made such a mess of Europe. Europe without the voice of the people under God has no leaders: only popular administrators, flatterers of the people.


I give you hereunder a synopsis of where I am currently at (in practical thought):


Property balloon starts in the nineties

House prices doubled between 1995 and 2000. I tried, with much trepidation for Ireland’s future, to persuade our politicians and others: not to allow the further exploitation of our young men and women with rapidly increasing mortgages in money terms; that one should realise that we must be on high alert in our dealings with an aging EU. This was carried out by direct communication, articles, letters to the papers between 2000 and 2003. Continuing blind and questionable political decisions propelled me to register as a candidate in the General 2007 and Euro 2009 Elections.


Resort to the pen, to influence people

In an Editorial to the Mayo Association Yearbook 2001, I strongly urged “that money and wealth should be viewed as a means to achieve a better quality of life for all citizens rather than as an end in itself.” I then explained how wealth and savings can disappear in a section headed “Vicissitudes of the Monetary System”. I brought the contents to the notice of Leinster House, University Economic Departments, Banks etc. I used the image of Paul Henry’s painting “The Watcher” as a kind of calling card. Sadly my warnings have fallen on deaf ears; ours and the EU’s main economic and fiscal policy is the rescue of money i.e. banking industry. The amount in euros of the rescue involved is staggering!


Raiders used the camouflage of pin-stripped suits

One is absolutely gob-smacked that the massive transfer of wealth via Securitisation of mortgages etc out of this country to the aging EU is receiving so little attention. It is presently at least €4billion (€4,000,000,000) annually; equivalent to a yearly levy on each of our 547,000 houses (tsb/ESRI) of €7,312 for c.20 years. This was achieved by the stealth tactics of commission based International Financial Buccaneers (IFB); facilitated by new laws introduced by the EU and Leinster House. Remember this transfer is separate from the repayment of government debt and is separate from money involved when we become net contributors to the EU in 2013. It seldom if ever will make headlines, because only the financiers know about it. Now that I am highlighting it; the silence from the rest of the establishment is deafening! The bigger the mortgage, the larger the Securitisation deals; the more commission was received. Our Politicians were codded up to their eyeballs! This money does not come back to hospitals, welfare, Gardai, education or spending in local pubs, restaurants, shops etc. Permission for this massive external transfer was never given by the citizens of Ireland. Would any politician like to defend what is happening?


The basis of my run in the Election process was this hidden transfer; but the public or media still have not worked out this concept yet. The beauty of this transfer for the IFB is that it went smoothly, facilitated by unenlightened politicians. The image of marauders with horns and waving a club was missing! The same under the counter rip-off was to occur with the NAMA loans, but the youth of Ireland refused to be taken advantage off any longer: a portion of the underhandedness has hit the fan! This external transfer of wealth was stuff that the Central Bank has not made public: I looked for other details from them; I suspect that the transfers are much higher, but they have not answered my correspondence. It is all hush, hush! Residential and Commercial Securitisation of loans is bigger than NAMA, but the politicians (at least those in the know) want to keep it quiet. It will be the death of Internal Trade in Ireland, barring change of ethics by the EU. In the meantime, we are over-spending at the daily rate of €55 million!!

Youthful small countries need extra protection

Ireland, because of our youthful population was a prime target for rip-off. This I warned about, in the Mayo Association Yearbooks 2000 to 2003 and in many letters to politicians; but our leaders refused to be swayed by my point of view – I went as far as contacting Ministers at the Cabinet Table. I had a stand-up row in 2004 trying to convince an MEP that stock markets would crash and Irish Pension Funds were to disappear. Subsequently Irish politicians were involved in passing EU legislation that made it easier for the International Financial Buccaneers to further rip-off the Irish public. Sadly, I failed!


We are tied to an aging EU, whose major banks are leverage (ratio, lending to share capital) more than any other banks worldwide and are massively exposed to: USA sub-prime; the severe recessions in the Baltic countries and Eastern Europe. They are in a worse situation than USA banks. EU governments are running massive deficits. All hell is to break loose after the German Election and the referendum on The Lisbon Treaty; our vote will not matter to the budgetary constraints that are to rock the continent. The Germans will zoom in on cutting the CAP expense; make no bones about it, they will have no alternative! All this is happening because the leaders of the EU and sadly our own, have a mental block to factoring in woeful demographics into economic forecasts, and a misplaced trust in Financial Engineering to look after us citizens in old age.


Qualified Majority could be “Sauce for the gander”!

On a re-reading of The Lisbon Treaty, I have concentrated on a section that will reduce our voting power from an existing 2.18% of the total EU, to 0.872%, in accordance with our population size. Large EU countries gain! This interpretation is hidden in Brussels’ lingo; but is the bottom line, none the less! What a disaster this will be for Ireland which is drowning in debt within a rapidly aging EU.


Why are our elected politicians not fighting this section that depletes our sovereignty in the midst of such International turmoil (Title II, Provisions Concerning the Qualified Majority, Article 3)? Remember that large EU countries have 31% of the voting power in the UN Security Council, and 18% of the vote in the IMF with 1.8% and 4% of the world’s population respectively. The whole of Aging Europe only has 10% of the world’s population. “Sauce for the goose” on population size has the potential to weaken EU clout in world affairs.


I can give our Irish politicians a slight excuse (they apparently possess little knowledge of economics, accounting, and banking) for not heeding my before-the-fact warnings on: the developing massive mortgage burden; the stock market crash: and the implications of skewed demographics of Europe. However, the proposed reduction in our voting power is now, and is real!


Should our citizens be forced to bow to the Golden Calf?

The right to a decent life for our citizens will be sadly pushed down the to-do list by our soulless political masters; internal trade in this country is rapidly dying. We citizens are left to scream “foul” for all we like. We could have avoided this situation because we were late to the neoliberal free-market ideology in an Aging Society’s party; where signs of fracture were visible during the last decade of the twentieth century. We will owe well over a hundred and forty billion euro to European financiers: “owe the bank $100, that’s your problem………………..”! Now that our backs are against the wall, we will need leaders to belatedly don their thinking caps.

Ireland, an Oil and Gas producing nation!

Citizens worried & objected about the handing over of hydrocarbons to foreigners; unlike the Norwegians who speculated and profited. We have memories of the historic blunder made, in not exploiting our fishing industry: allowing mass coastal emigration instead.


When I urged the government to stop exploiting our youth with mortgages, I asked them to exploit our hydrocarbons instead. In 2002-3, I wrote and published an article on how this could be done: in collaboration with Doctors from Sheffield University, advisors to both the UK Conservative and Labour governments on oil and gas affairs. Minister Noel Dempsey in Oct 2005 during a Dail session said “Do people think the State should gamble as much as €20 million of taxpayer’s money per well at odds of over 30:1”? We could sink over 4,000 wells with what’s in NAMA and countless ‘000s more with what’s involved in worthless Securitisation deals. All we needed was 30 at the most, in accordance with the Minister’s betting instincts!

To add insult to injury; without any debate, discussion in the Dail or resort to the people, our politicians with the click of the fingers throw in €10bn (€10,000,000,000) for the boys running NAMA to play with. This is €18,250 for each house in Ireland (see above) or the cost of drilling 500 hundred wells off our coasts. Then they double the costs of school transport etc. I am now feeling a right little twit for my years of non violent written protests. Christ, Heavens above,  will somebody tell me this is not happening!

According to the Government’s own sales (rather “give away”) figures Ireland could be sitting on €600billion of reserves. The handover of our resources has divided citizens not only in Erris, but wider afield. What chances have we in getting a greater return from our hydrocarbons? LITTLE, if my reading of The Lisbon Treaty is correct.


Title V11, Solidarity Clause, Article 188 R, Page 132 of TLT would open the door for our government to call in EU military resources. I refer to the time Gardai admitted that a “military precision attack” was made on the Shell Compound by unknown hooded figures. Don’t forget that they already called in the Navy to harass Irish Citizens!


Somebody, wake me from this ten year nightmare!

In the meantime, we are a nation with the greatest Public Debt per GDP; the highest Personal Debt in the world; involving massive annual money transfers out of the country by stealth. Most of this debt is related to rapidly reversing-to-the-mean property prices (to 1/3rd peak prices). Our External Debt is greater than the much talked about Chinese Foreign Reserves! Unjustifiable rapport with concerned citizens given rise to politicians’ response to Referenda is lamentable. The Lisbon Treaty is held out to improve this. How? The Treaty will be largely self amending; national vetoes will be diluted; we seldom if ever will be asked to vote again: a fate that has fallen to our fellowmen on the continent; no mention of a hopeful divinity! At the same time, youthful Ireland’s voting power in the EU is to be reduced by a factor of 2.5. This is tantamount to handing over Leinster and the rest of Ulster to Germany, Poland or the UK! The majority of our own politicians expect us to vote for this!


In my reading of history, nations suffer such humiliation after been defeated in war!


Do widzenia! Auf Wiedersehen! Khairete! Sziasztok! Sveiki!
 Iki! Au revoir! Ciao! Pa!
Adiós! Adjö! Bye! Slán agaibh!

John F Higgins, B.Comm, FCCA, MIB, Trustee Diploma



Co Sligo

071 9181865     Email:                   Date: 070909

NO!         NO!         NO!          NO!               NO!