On May 31st every voter in Ireland has an opportunity few Europeans have been given. Ireland goes to the polls and gets to say yes or no to a referendum on accepting the Fiscal Treaty. In other words, Irish people get to decide whether the Austerity ideology that stretches from Osborne to Merkel to the IMF continues, or whether a line in the sand gets drawn by individual European citizens.
Most progressive Irish people are against this treaty and the austerity trap it would create. After four years of job losses, emigration and negative equitiy there’s a sense of dependence on Europe. No one likes it, but it’s hard to feel responsible opposing it.
BUT, unlike their governments, the people of France and Germany have shown the way. The recent elections there are a game-changer. It’s clear that there’s deep seated opposition to Austerity throughout Europe. That it’s time to put a Growth alternative back on the agenda.
An Irish rejection of the treaty could be an essential boost to this cause and its European allies.
Unfortunately in Ireland right now there’s a huge leadership vacuum. Mainstream progressives have reservations about aligning with Sinn Féin or the United Left Alliance. But if they saw a sensible, independent place to come together to show and build opposition to the treaty, they would jump at the chance.
A new surge of mainstream, independent, domestic opposition is essential to shift the government’s calculation. And if the vote goes ahead as scheduled, a new grassroots surge is the only hope of building enough opposition to defeat it.
Over the next few weeks I will be giving what time I have to try to bring some of these people together, to create the tools and resources needed to get the message out and help hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland give each other the confidence to vote No to the Austerity treaty and help create a Growth agenda which will benefit Europeans everywhere. Can you help? We need a simple website built, some design work, the word spread on social networks and plenty of encouragement. If you have any time over the next few weeks, please, get in touch cian -at- keepfaking.it. And those not lucky enough to be born of Ireland are all the more welcome!