Monday, 28 May 2012

The FCT & The Magnificent Wrongness of Ross

There are few figures in public life in Ireland who have been as wrong or whose wrongness have done as much harm as Deputy Shane Ross.

As the leading cheerleader of Anglo Irish Bank & its disastrous business model Ross piled pressure on the other Irish banks to imitate Sean Fitzpatrick's insane asset inflation banking. Waving Anglo poms-poms in the Sunday Independent & on his own website, Ross demanded that Sean Fitzpatrick, the banker that broke Ireland, be put on the Board of other large banks. In the perfect proof that democracy allows us to make our own mistakes, Ross was elected to Dáil Eireann on the day that other less culpable figures were swept away by the tide of public revulsion. That Deputy Ross achieved election by ten months preaching loudly against those whose praises he sang for ten years seems to have caused this reed in the wind no shame.

Other men, having been so wrong & done so much harm to their country, would have retired from public commentary to the modern equivalent of a monastery, a quiet village in rural County Offaly. Instead, braying his orotund vowels, Deputy Ross has returned to the fray, neither chastened by public outrage nor having learned an iota from his mistakes. His monumental self regard protects him from the slightest trace of embarrassment.

Deputy Ross has now seized on a fiction of his own creation &, like his earlier pom-pom waving for Seany Fitz, intends to convince as many as possible to be wrong with him.

Taking the electioneering of Françoise Hollande seriously & using some of the topsy-turvy arguments of his Technical Group colleagues, Richard Boyd-Barrret & Joe Higgins, Deputy Ross has concluded that the the Fiscal Compact Treaty on which we are voting (and which you can read Here) merely represents one half of a treaty. The other half, according to Deputy Ross, is some putative Growth Pact.

To argue that that the FCT can be changed in any way AFTER we vote to ratify it (should we do so) is to ignore the position the treaty would have in the Irish Constitution, European Law & also the realities of politics in Europe.

Once we ratify the a treaty then that is the treaty we ratify. We have referenda on treaties because the Government may not share power or sovereignty without consulting us: that process would be worse than nonsensical if we were to be consulted on A which could subsequently be changed to B. Change means re-ratification of a new treaty, a complete re-negotiation.

The reality of European politics means that, leaving aside the legal impossibility of re-writing a ratified treaty, that the FCT is a closed book. Nothing will persuade European Governments,especially Germany, that this is a process to be abandoned for a complete restart.

Nothing that the FCT can do could be a worse the blow to confidence in this country & its debt that rejection would achieve. Far too many who now argue against ratification, from the libertarians to the Marxists, are on a house burning mission with the hope of building their utopia in the ashes. To many are not so much opposed to the treaty as the current order & their arguments are meant to believed by others, not themselves.

Given his track record of  failure on the one area he in which he professes competence Deputy Ross may believe the untruth he is peddling  & he is at least altruistic in his desire, as always, to share his muddle headed ideas as widely as possible. That is the best I can say of him, a fool's pardon instead of a knave's crown.

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