The pro-Lisbon political parties do not need to raise funds for the ‘Yes’ to Lisbon campaign. Big business is directly funding their side of the debate.
The announcement that Intel and Ryanair will spend hundreds of thousands of euro to try to achieve a Yes vote in the upcoming Lisbon Treaty represents an unconcealed attempt by big business to shape politics in its favour.
Ryanair alone says it plans on spending over half a million Euro advertising for a pro-Lisbon vote, together with Intel that means up to a million Euro for a ‘Yes’ by only two private corporations.
Credibility of Donations Legislation Lies in Shreds
This shreds any credibility of the legislation limiting corporate donations to political parties. Hard pressed working people or community activists who might launch a ‘No’ to Lisbon campaign would have to register with the Standards in Public Office and would have to account for every penny received in donations but billion Euro corporations have to do neither.
How long will we wait for denunciations of this in the same terms and from the same people who questioned Libertas’s funding last year?
Of course, it comes as no surprise that a big business like Intel supports the Lisbon Treaty. This Treaty is above all a Treaty for a big business Europe where the profits of big business come before the interests of working people.
Intel stands to profit handsomely from Lisbon’s militarisation drive.
Intel in particular stands to profit from the further militarisation of Europe which Lisbon drives along. Intel is a manufacturer of key components of military hardware including deadly missiles and guidance systems. The Treaty stipulates that “member states shall undertake to progressively improve their military capabilities” and that a common defence policy “will lead” to common defence, in other words, the creation of an EU combat force. Intel would profit handsomely from this further development while poor people will be injured and killed in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.
While militarisation and the primacy of big business may be good reasons for Intel to advocate a yes vote, they are also very clear reasons for ordinary working people to reject this Treaty.
Intel’s selfish motivation in intervening into this debate is crystal clear. A further question that must be asked is the relevance of Intel’s record fine from the European commission of €1.06 billion. Intel is currently appealing this fine to the European Court of First Instance. One wonders whether by spending hundreds of thousands on the Lisbon Treaty they aim to be seen as “good Europeans” and improve their chances in their crucial upcoming case.
I wonder if Intel management had a thorough and democratic discussion among its thousands of workers on the Lisbon Treaty inviting in speakers from both sides of the argument.”
Who’s Keeping Dodgy Company Now?
‘Yes’ advocates quite opportunistically tried to smear myself and ‘No’ campaigners on the Left with the fact that some far-right groups like UKIP were also calling for a ‘No’ despite knowing that we loathed the politics of such groups.
However, we are entitled to ask: By the logic they tried to apply to us, do they now feel degraded by the fact that they are ‘in the same camp’ as a company that supplies parts for the killing machines of the armaments industry (Intel) and another which prides itself on its contempt for working people at all opportunities and also want to charge people for using the toilet in mid air? (Ryanair)”
Further push for the No campaign
This should act as a further push for all of us calling for a NO vote. With only five weeks to go, everyone who opposes the militarisation and privatisation agendas in the Lisbon Treaty must pull out all the stops in campaigning against the treaty.
Assist with Joe Higgins & the Socialist Party’s anti-Lisbon campaigning: http://www.joehiggins.eu/get-involved