Monday, July 28, 2008

No outside interference

Goodness gracious we're precious when it comes to EU relations. Last week the 'No' (to Lisbon) folks were all upset by the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy's visit constituted 'outside interference'. Today we read that Micheal Martin - Minister for Foreign Affairs - is annoyed because an English group carried out a poll on our attitudes to the EU.
Mr Martin charged that the poll amounted to "outside interference in our vital national debate". He said: "I would like to know what prompted a British organisation with a strong ideological bias to commission a poll into Irish attitudes to Europe at this time."
French interference on the 'Yes' side and now British interference on the 'No' side. Yet, both France & Britain are INSIDE the EU.

Look, if either of these incidents represents "outside interference" then what about an unelected UN body quizzing our government officials and then pronouncing on what it perceives as failings in our judicial & educational systems?

I know very few people here bothered to pay much attention to this committee, but still. Why should the government even meet with these people? Why waste the time (on the taxpayer's coin)? I have total faith that the Irish people can address human rights concerns as they see fit without any unelected gaggle of "legal experts" to dictate to us how to organize our laws.

What I love is that this is a United Nations Human Rights Committee. If the UN has the resources and time to investigate Ireland's failings with regards to Human Rights then how much effort is it expending on the real violators across the globe? How much time are these "legal experts" spending in Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, ... (the list is almost endless) where the violations are far more severe than Ireland's lack of non-denominational schools.

This is a total nonsense and the government really should tell these people to get lost. Unfortunately, they don't do that. They meet with them and treat them seriously and even occasionally pay heed to what these people say. The government needs to stop this sort of interference long before it stops far more legitimate interference by individuals or organizations from our fellow EU members.