Thursday, October 1, 2009

Naughty Step Democracy and the Death of a Reckless Liver

I don't sleep well, it's a fact.

In the old brain, there's a weird chemical mix-up caused by Nature that dictates that no matter how long I stay in bed, I'll only ever get two or three hours sleep a night. I hate it, but I'm well used to it (as I've been like this for the last seven years) and it doesn't mean that I never rest. In fact, I'm such a lazy bastard that I will lie in until I absolutely have to get out of bed and (grumpily) greet the day.

Usually, the process of waking up is a phase-by-phase affair, with much swearing, rolling over and double-checking the clock. Then, when either my (often ignored) conscience or my (piece of shit Soviet-era) phone goes off, I eventually pad downstairs to s/s/s and have a cup of tea or an espresso. It's a routine that I know well, a certain comfort existing for me in the familiarity and daily annoyance of it.

Today was not one of those day. This is how I woke up. Obviously that's another metaphor, but this morning's hangover was so fucking awful that I yelped.

Yesterday, when I was uptown with my aunt, we decided to celebrate a successful trip to the bank with a pint. Well, two pints. Then, when we returned to the house, we had to celebrate getting home drinking a load of budweiser. Somehow dinner was prepared and eaten and we settled down to watch a RomZomCom with S&D and their friend Ola. Victorious at having beaten Death and lived for another day, we drank and made merry. Then Uncle D brought out Sambuca, and the evening took a turn for the worst.

The film over, I was sitting on S&D's lovely gargantuan sofa and suddenly I realised that we were all talking bullshit. Lots of shit. We moved to the kitchen and S and I smoked a lot, whilst continuing to promise myself that I was successfully quitting. As the two of us sat, smoked and talked shit, the conversation took a turn for the 'air family laundry' and 'talk about things that bring up waaaay too many emotions' and we both turned into tawdry, teary-eyed puddles of chemical imbalance and borderline alcohol poisoning. Then I made out with the toilet for a while, good bye curry.

Then, I got on the phone and texted AND called a certain young lady. I don't usually drink and dial (apart from an occasion where I called a girl to tell her she had "lovely, shiny hair and a pretty smile" that I don't need to discuss here) but last night I went ahead and did it. Smooooooooth.

Right, I can see you shaking your head in disappointment. Give me a break okay? Everyone's allowed to drop the ball every so often.

So this morning, I woke up feeling like a concrete pigeon had taken a crap on my head, and then the world of Facebook annoyed the fuck out of me. I saw lots of status updates from people I usually think are rational and fair-minded, people I love and respect immensely. Here's why I was annoyed: The Lisbon Treaty

Last summer, on the 12th June 2008, Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty. For months beforehand, the different political parties, interest groups, worker's unions and people of note had raped every signpost and spare inch of wall across the whole of the country with posters, clouded up the very finite amount of radiospace and television airtime and clogged up social networking sites, new sites and newspapers with their positions, whether pro- or anti-Treaty. Short films were made with cliché attempts at political satire, and the entire nation was bored fucking senseless with the entire deal. As with most politics, the general public were more-or-less oblivious to the vast majority of the proposed legislation. Most people got their opinions from the hysterics of the 'No' campaign, or the vague uncertainty of the 'Yes' campaign, using the misleading bias of the print media as a sort of ignorance grout, holding together vague notions of what the Treaty could mean. 'No' supporters decried the imminent loss of Irish neutrality (not at all possible under the Treaty without the Irish people ratifying that) and culture while 'Yes' supporters vaguely promised that everyone would become massively wealthy and that we'd all get to have sex with nubile Italian women with loose morals.

Now, personally, I would be in favour of the Treaty. I am a pro-EU guy and think that the streamlining of all the old Treaties by amendment and the coming into force of the Charter of Rights (which for example bans capital punishment) are things which should be embraced. I also wouldn't mind having sex with a lot of nubile Italian girls.

Here's the problem though: the Irish people already voted No, way back in the times of ancient history (last summer) that have gone from memory and passed into fable.

Legally, thanks to the 1987 case of Crotty v. An Taoiseach, any serious amendments to the European Union treaties have to be ratified by the government AND the Irish people at referendum. In 2008 we had a referendum, the people voted no.

Ireland is recognised as being one of the most democratic countries in the world but this seems to be highly undemocratic practice. It was a political embarrassment that Ireland said no, after it's politicians being some of the architects for this new European law, and there was a hell of a lot of pressure on the Irish government because of the reaction of the Irish people. Now another referendum has been organised for tomorrow, the 2nd October.

I ask you, how democratic is that? It seems like the Irish have been sat on the naughty step for the last year, and now will be expected to be good little children and vote as they're expected.What if the 'No' camp win again? Will there be a 2010 referendum? It seems that the silly Irish didn't get it right the first....silly Irish electorate.

It is widely considered that if the 'No' camp win out tomorrow, then the Treaty of Lisbon will die. I sincerely hope this is not the case, as I am a 'Yes' chap. However, the sheep of facebook who say "John Smith: voting YES! and if you say no yur a reetard" are really getting on my nerves. This naughty step democracy is contrary to the political freedom we Irish deserve and hopefully this is only a minor blip. What's more, those who try to beguile and mislead to sway people's opinion are scumbags, simple as.

I think my friend Helen has the most rehreshing insight into this situation, and I urge anyone bored enough to read my blog to follow it:

Helen C
has read the Lisbon Treaty in full and come to a decision- you should do the same!

Damn straight Helen, way to go sista!

So in conclusion, I'm hungover and pissed off with politics. Quelle fucking surprise...


  1. There's a moral to this story in there somewhere.

    I think it's "Don't think about politics when hung over," but I'm not too sure that's what it is. After all, that's when most politicians think about politics, Irish, American, or otherwise.

  2. I'm too hungover to comment rationally on this blog post . . .