Transcript of Eamon O’Cuiv’s speech in favour of referendum “no” vote (or conditional “yes” vote) now available

April 9, 2012 by namawinelake

To the regular audience on here, I hope you’ll indulge a spill-over of
the weekend political slot into Monday, but it is a Bank Holiday
Monday after all. Last Thursday there was an event to examine the
forthcoming Fiscal Compact referendum; the event was organised by the
National Forum, which presumably is still Marc Coleman’s lot. The
event was held in the Davenport Hotel just down the road from Leinster
House and there were four keynote speakers – Declan Ganley of
Libertas,  Brian Hayes the Minister of State at the Department of
Finance, Michael McDowell, former Attorney General and leader of the
defunct Progressive Democrats and lastly Fianna Fail grandee and until
recently, deputy party leader, Eamon O’Cuiv, Deputy O’Cuiv having
“resigned” after adopting a nuanced position towards the referendum
which was at odds with the majority of the Fianna Fail parliamentary
party.

The transcript of Deputy O’Cuiv’s speech is now available on his own
blog here. The perception on here is that it dwarfs the
inter-Government spat about Minister Hogan last week, because the
speech seems to reinforce Deputy O’Cuiv’s position which at its
essence argues that ratification of the Fiscal Compact should be
conditional on a number of concessions from our partners in Europe,
including a sharing of the burden of the bank bailout which is 40% of
our GDP and is presently being 100% shouldered by this State whilst
the benefit is to a substantial extent conferred on banks and banking
systems outside the borders of this State. The speech is well worth a
read.

Eamon also takes a pot-shot at the “tired polemics of prancing ponies
of polarised politics” and it is hard to conclude that he is confining
his remarks to the two coalition partners, Fine Gael and Labour. And
coming on the back of the strained and conflicting accounts of Eamon’s
resignation, and the iconic photograph – shown here in photos 11&12 –
showing his unhappiness at the Ard Dheis, it would be surprising if
this speech didn’t have imminent ramifications. Eamon’s blog is called
“Outside the Box” which may turn out to have more than one meaning!

In terms of hard information, the speech sets out Eamon’s
understanding that, following confirmation via a question in the Dail,
that Ireland’s ratification of the ESM treaty – that’s the one which
makes access to cheap and certain EU funding of future bailouts
dependent on signing up to the Fiscal Compact – will take place AFTER
the forthcoming referendum on 31st May 2012, Eamon says it is his
understanding – and puts the “in my understanding” in bold letters –
that the ESM treaty needs be ratified unanimously in the 27 EU member
states and that the Fiscal Compact cannot be actualised until the ESM
treaty is ratified in the Dail. Here’s where this gets convoluted but
bear with this a second – if Ireland votes “no” in the 31st May
referendum then if the Dail does not subsequently ratify the (new) ESM
treaty, then the ESM cannot be introduced across the EU. The simpler
point is that Eamon says that unless we get some debt relief and there
are other reforms in Europe, then we can vote “no” now which will
stymie the ESM in the rest of Europe, and presumably Europe will then
move to address Irish concerns and there can then be a second
referendum.

I am surprised that the speech and it deviation from the official
Fianna Fail position received scant attention last week when the
relatively unimportant matter of Ministers meeting with delegations
led by an elected TD (Michael Lowry) seemed to hog the headlines.