The unions and Libertas… redux… April 21, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, European Union, Irish Politics.
I feel ashamed that yesterday after the story had broken I wrote:
I don’t know. One doesn’t want to be unduly cynical but this seems to fit all too well into a pattern that has emerged over the last six months or so of stuff meant to happen which doesn’t, or goes wrong in some way, in some publicity garnering way…
Such cynicism does me no good. None at all.
Libertas said yesterday it had booked a room in Liberty Hall five weeks ago for the launch of the campaign of its Dublin candidate, Caroline Simons.
Although it is odd to read in the Irish Times the response from SIPTU.
However, Siptu informed the party yesterday that it could not use the room. Yesterday afternoon, Libertas switched the venue to the nearby Wynn’s Hotel for the launch. When contacted, Siptu cited two grounds for its refusal: the use of what it said was “subterfuge” when the booking of the room was made; and because it did not agree with its policies.
Which would be dreadful, wouldn’t it? That there was a disagreement on policy matters. But wait, what’s this about subterfuge?
The union said the room was booked by a person who was a Siptu shop steward, but who gave no indication that it would be used by Libertas for the launch of Ms Simons’s campaign.
If it had known the purpose of the meeting, permission would never have been granted. “We suspect that this was a stunt from the beginning,” said a spokesman.
Now let’s put that aside for a second. It sounds about right, but only the Chairman can tell us the correct story. Let’s consider the fact that the ebullient spokesperson for Libertas cannot refrain from wondering why, oh why, would SIPTU have problems with Libertas…
“This extraordinary and last-minute U-turn by the authorities at Liberty Hall raises very interesting questions. Caroline Simons spent a large portion of her career working with the trade union movement to secure equality for women. She adopted the same position on the Lisbon Treaty as an overwhelming majority of trade union members,” said Libertas spokesman John McGuirk.
Yeah. Well. Just because someone works with the unions doesn’t mean an absolute congruence of interests. Or indeed that SIPTU are beholden to her. Or that the positions taken by the majority of Union members are per se correct… consider their voting patterns over the years for the centre right.
THE ANTI-LISBON Treaty campaigner Declan Ganley has set up a “European political party” and an associated structure to raise money.
Yesterday the Companies Registration Office in Dublin acknowledged receipt of registration documents for The Libertas Party Ltd and the Libertas Foundation Ltd.
The memorandum documents for both of the new companies state that they are entitled to raise funds, carry on business, purchase property, accumulate capital, borrow and other activities, in pursuit of their principal objectives.
The companies are allowed pay interest at a rate not exceeding 5 per cent on loans received from directors or other members of the companies.
They are also empowered to “promote freedom of contact” and contribute funds to any body that resists interference in businesses by “any strike movement or organisation”.
Hmmmm… Odd that a political party with that view would want to launch a campaign in Liberty Hall. Isn’t it?