The main news item last weekend was an opinion poll showing an increase in the number of Irish voters who would reject the Lisbon treaty if a second referendum took place.
Most reportage was taken up with government ministers who criticised the survey as ‘outside interference in our national debate‘.
Oddly, the government didn’t react quite so harshly to the implied outside interference when John Bruton warned that rejection of the Lisbon Treaty could inhibit American investment in Ireland by raising fears that the Irish people were turning away from the European Union.
Nevertheless, even the most brazen denizens of the Dept of Pots Calling Kettles Black must have groaned when France’s foreign minister warned that Ireland would be ‘the first victim‘ if it’s voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty.
The quote served to confirm every prejudice fuelled by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s notoriously misquoted words on the way forward after the European Constitution failed to get a majority in favour in France.
Meanwhile, whatever fatigue voters might be feeling about Lisbon, the cabinet is considering a second referendum on the treaty.
The plebiscite is tentatively pencilled in for September or October of next year.
Well, it worked with the Nice treaty.