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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Time to Libert-ask the key questions

A year ago Libertas was the creation of a recluse Galway neo con businessman who founded a company that claimed to be a think tank. Only Ireland could produce Declan Ganley. A Galway man with a home counties accent, whose mysterious money created an aura of acceptance. The Irish psyche always has a soft spot for the quare fella with the foreign accent to give him authenticity; Eamon De Valera, Sean McBride or Sean Thornton each dissidents in their day. Declan Ganley became the Mister Pussy of Irish politics, on the surface you see something quiet different to what goes on beneath.
It’s a symptom of how far politics in Ireland has been discredited that someone like Declan Ganley can get so far in a year. His company Libertas employs as members, employees of one of his other interest Rivada. Rivada was awarded substantial contracts in telecommunications in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Rivada also has been given US defence contracts in communications and boasts ex US military personnel on its board. Ganley who, it seems, uses his dual nationality when it suits him has an equally ambivalent attitude to being Irish, his company Libertas opposes “our political elite” but if he can get a dig out from another nation’s political elite sure what the hell? But Ganley will combine with those who oppose the US military stopover at Shannon and begorrah he’ll forget about his business interests because he knows that when it comes to having a cut at a discredited government, his ultimate interest is in creating in Ireland the circumstances where Ireland exists economically as Europe but citizens are riding second class behind his “elite”. It’s his intention to create an Ireland riding side rear guard on a neo con driven US agenda, at lest it was until Obama got into power. Ganley will transfer Ireland’s European reliance to one on the US. He’ll replace a social model of society with an economic one.

As someone who sees the benefit in the Lisbon Treaty from the point of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and in particular education and how this could benefit pupils in Ireland, I smile when I see this Hertfordshire man’s butler raise the Irish flag over his home from his flagpole overlooking the N17, the road that leads to Shannon Airport. What does the man with the Alaskan board actually understand about the lives of ordinary people?

Let me put my hand up. I’ve voted against Maastricht but for Amsterdam, against Nice but for Lisbon. I’ve always felt that when you look on an EU Treaty you vote because of one key issue. I could not have got through college but for getting a job in Germany during the 80’s. I never got a J1 I always went to Germany because it was new culture. My recollection of the 80’s was that in Europe the left and right had an understanding that mutually assured their dominance. This was why the European Christian Democrats so successfully marginalised Margaret Thatcher in EU negotiations. Her response was to cosy up to Ronald Reagan. The EU worked because of the balances that politically existed. Now with the upsurge in regional parties with an obstructionist agenda such as UKIP the neo cons see their opportunity and strike to bring European progress to a halt.
But my concerns about EU as a military power disappeared when the Berlin wall collapsed. I still have concerns about the EU and it’s because of the democratic deficit that is inherent in the structures. Lisbon was a way to bring in more democracy and accountability into decision making.
And this is where I wonder about Declan Ganley, why is it that he’s big not accountability in Eurioe but won’t disclose to SIPO details of Libertas’ funding, 6 months after he gave the commitment on TV that he would. I wonder about his connections with an Albanian solicitor who was subsequently murdered amidst allegations of financial connections with businessmen. I wonder about how Declan Ganley claimed he was a key government advisor in the 1990’s in a Baltic state. I also wonder how if CJ Haughey & Co hadn’t discredited politics in this country how far Declan Ganley could have ever got if questions when asked were answered? Once on a local radio discussion on CJ Haughey I offered the opinion that the problem with this country is that it takes 15 years to find out what’s going on today. This maxim doesn’t only apply to the affairs of the late Taoiseach but also our dissident Solzhenitsyn from the salt mines in Glenamaddy.

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