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Who we are: is a website that is initiated by socialists to campaign for a No vote.
We will include material from a wide variety of sources – some of which differ from our own stances - as long as they are not promoting racist or right-wing nationalist views.

This site has two editors:

Kieran Allen is the author of the Booklet Reasons to VOTE NO to the Lisbon Treaty and a number of other books, including The Corporate Take Over of Ireland (2007) and The Celtic Tiger: The Myth of Social Partnership (2000)

Sinead Kennedy has written on culture and politics, women and the Celtic Tiger.
She is a long standing campaigner against war and for women’s rights.

Both Kieran & Sinead are also members of the Socialist Workers Party

You can contact the editors on: Emergency Apeal for funds. Help us win Please Donate here

Latest 09.09.2009

Big Business free to interfere in Lisbon

Terrified that Irish voters will once again reject the Lisbon Treaty, companies like Intel and Ryanair have begun to openly campaign for a yes vote in the upcoming Lisbon Treaty referendum

In an unprecedented move in Irish politics Intel published a full page advertisement in the Irish Times calling for a yes vote to Lisbon, while Ryanair boss, Michael O'Leary, pledged to spent up to half a million euros on an pro-Lisbon advertisement campaign.

Intel's general manager declared that Intel intends "to spend hundreds of thousands of Euro in support of the yes side" and have even set up a dedicated pro-Lisbon space on their website. They claim that their campaign is motivated by Intel sense of "corporate social responsibility". However, suspects it has more to do with Intel's appeal against the EU's recent anti-trust ruling against the company. The EU fined Intel 1.06 billion euros after it was found guilty of several violations of anti-competitive practices and of "harming millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for computer chips for many years," So much for Intel corporate social responsibility.

Meanwhile, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary eloquently called for a yes vote to Lisbon arguing that it was "the f***ing sensible thing to do," He announced that Ryanir would spend €500,000 on an advertising campaign that will call for a yes vote and labelled opponents of the treaty like Sinn Fein, the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party, as "idiot headbangers" and "unemployable headbangers" and "economic illiterates". It is not surprising that O'Leary is a big supporter of Lisbon. The EU has helped bring about greater privatisation and the Lisbon Treaty will extend this even further. EU rules on state aid were the main reason advanced by the government for refusing to invest in Aer Lingus when it was under public ownership. These rules helped O'Leary gain a large minority stake in the airline when it was privatised. Ryanair, like Intel, have a little favour to ask of the EU Commission: They want the monopoly rules changed so that they can take full control of the former national airline, Aer Lingus.

Both of these companies are viciously anti union and yet they are allowed to act with impunity and interfere in a democratic referendum. Political parties, campaign groups and websites like are all subject to rigorous scrutiny and spending limitations by the Standards in Public Office Commission. All these groups and campaigns are legally obliged to declare all donations, financial and otherwise. The Standards in Public Office Commission defines a donation as any contribution given for political purposes and includes all or any of the following:

  • a donation of money,
  • a donation of property or goods,
  • conferring the right to use, without payment or other consideration, indefinitely or for a specified period of time, any property or goods,
  • the supply of services without payment or other consideration therefor,
  • the difference between the commercial price and the price charged for the purchase, acquisition or use of property or goods or the supply of any service where the price, fee or other consideration is less than the commercial price, or
  • a donation received by way of a contribution made to the net profit from a fund-raising event organised for the benefit of a third party.

However no such rules govern the actions of private corporations during a referendum. In fact they are subject to no monitoring and no spending limitations. It is this very corporate ideology that is enshrined in the Lisbon treaty and one more reason why we need to Vote NO to this treaty.

Booklet cover: Reasons to Vote No to the Lisbon Treaty
  • Booklet: 'Reasons to Vote No to the Lisbon Treaty' - Kieran Allen
    to order Send €3 to P.O. Box 1648
    Dublin 8 or bulk orders
    €25 for ten copies.
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