Maybe we should offer them Gay Mitchell!
Germany and France are jointly pushing for Herman van Rompuy to have the official title of President of the Euro Zone, arguing that giving the euro a common voice would improve working methods and crisis management. But several governments see this as an attack on the president of the Euro Group, Jean-Claude Juncker.
Maybe we should offer them Gay Mitchell.
Mitchell—“the evil of two lessers”?
Whatever one thinks of Michael McDowell’s assessment of Gay Mitchell, now that he is a presidential candidate his views on a range of issues become crucially important.
Mitchell wrote the foreword to Fine Gael’s “Beyond Neutrality” document in 2003. In it he maintains that
“security and defence issues require balanced consideration. Our national responsibilities extend beyond our borders. Fine Gael believes that the first duty of Government is to provide for the defence and security of our people in Ireland and Europe.”
It would be interesting to know exactly who Mitchell considers “our people” in Europe.
Could they possibly be the bureaucrats who are insisting on higher taxes and cuts in public spending for Ireland, or is he referring to those with similar views to his own?
But then, as far back as February 1988 in UCG, Mitchell called for a “redefinition of this country’s neutrality,” and in Ireland and the Partnership for Peace Initiative: Our Place in the New European Security Architecture (Dublin: Fine Gael, 1998), Mitchell maintained that no referendum was required to enable the Irish Government to join this NATO-sponsored organisation. This man does not like referendums!
His views on presidents suggest that he might be difficult to dislodge from the Park should he be elected.
“In the opening statements some emphasised the need for the European Union to be better represented at the global level by having a permanent President . . . We cannot continue to rotate the Presidency,” Mitchell argued.
“Interestingly, Articles 29.4.1. and 29.4.2. of Bunreacht na hÉireann continue to provide that external relations of the State shall be exercised by or on the authority of the Government and they may ‘avail of or adopt any organ, instrument, or method of procedure,’ as used for like purpose by any group or league of nations with which the State is or becomes associated for the purposes of international co-operation in matters of common concern.’ Clearly the State can confer certain powers on the British monarch. By constitutional and parliamentary authority, it continued to do so until 1948.”
It appears that Mitchell was quite annoyed by the result of the first referendum in the Lisbon Treaty and asked if referendums were appropriate for something so important. So you can take it that he would be very unlikely as president to refer any EU treaties to the courts on the off chance that the outcome might lead to a referendum.
“We have to ask ourselves about this form of instrument of public policy. Is a referendum the right vehicle?”
Well, he is consistent!
And you might like to listen to him here after the Yes to Lisbon:
If you listen to what he’s coming out with here it’s somewhat disingenuous, especially after he questioned the idea of referendums after the No vote.
It’s worth comparing David Norris’s actions when the contents of his letter were revealed with those of Gay Mitchell, whose letter to the governor of Florida supported a man who had actually murdered two people.
Before Norris’s withdrawal from the presidential race the bestknown political casualty of involvement in legal cases came in 2002 when the former PD minister Bobby Molloy resigned. He was forced to quit after becoming involved in the case of a rapist, Patrick Naughton. A person representing Molloy attempted to contact a judge to ascertain if letters from Naughton’s sister had been received. The intervention was branded “quite improper” by the judge, and Molloy resigned within hours. But not Mitchell!
Finally, don’t forget the “Yes for jobs” Fine Gael posters. Gay Mitchell was director of elections for Fine Gael in the Lisbon referendums.People’s Movement · 25 Shanowen Crescent · Dublin 9 · www.people.ie · 087 2308330 · post (at) people (dot) ie