The Irish government successfully bullied a majority of those who turned out for the May 31 referendum into voting “yes” to changing the constitution to allow the government to ratify the European Union's pro-austerity Fiscal Treaty.
But it would be a mistake to read it as a ringing endorsement for their austerity policies.
Many of those who voted did so with a gun to their head and no enthusiasm for the policies contained in the treaty. After all the blackmail and bullying, the Yes side could only manage a 60% Yes vote with a 50% turnout.
That means they only got the endorsement of 30% of the population. That was after all the big media groups, business lobbies and all parties represented in parliament except for the United Left Alliance (ULA) and Sinn Fein pushed for a Yes vote.
Those who voted yes through gritted teeth will be the most vigilant to ensure the government delivers on its promises of jobs and growth. When they fail to deliver, those voters will pay them back in spades.
This treaty won't bring stability. On the day of the vote, markets were in a panic over the Spanish banks being bust.
The ULA is now setting out to help organise the resistance to the coming austerity. The day of the referendum result, the government started announcing all the bad news they had stored up during the past month ― from job cuts to promises to pursue people who refused to pay the household tax.
[Reprinted from United Left Alliance.]