The Irish vote

Sp!ked: Ireland, you ungrateful wretch!
The bile-filled assault on Irish voters who are thinking of rejecting the Lisbon Treaty shows just how corrupt and undemocratic is the EU.

The assaults on Irish voters also show what it means to be a ‘democratic citizen’ in the EU: that is, someone who is financially cared for by caring-but-faceless bureaucrats in Brussels, and who should be ‘overflowing with appreciation’ for the EU elite’s grace and favour. This is the very opposite of political citizenship; it is a distortion of the traditional relationship between citizens and their governing bodies. In place of free and open debate, in which citizens are treated as adults who can have political views independent of any welfare they might receive from the authorities, we have a situation where those who dare to criticise or complain or say ‘No’ are denounced as ‘extraordinarily ungrateful’ and even ‘treacherous’. This is the kind of relationship a child has with his guardian, or a mentally ill person with his carer – it has nothing whatever to do with democracy.