September 4, 2009
One of the arguments of the No side in Ireland is that Ireland will suffer economically if we vote Yes, and will prosper (relatively ) and create more jobs if we vote No.
I’ve looked across the No websites (I do this a lot) to see the basis for this argument – by what mechanism more jobs would be created, where more investment would come from, what new economic opportunities and markets would be open to us?
The main arguments I can find are 1) right wing economic policies caused the current crisis and 2) that foreign direct investment in Ireland has not declined but rather increased since the No vote last year. (I haven’t checked but I assume here that this is a fact.)
Personally, I think that some “right wing” policies, specifically an excess of de-regulation, contributed greatly to the current crisis. However, I would also have to concede that despite the current crisis the number of people employed in Ireland is far greater than it has ever been before – except for the last three years or so. (This is a fact but obviously not much consolation to the many people who have lost their jobs in recent times.)
Current EU policies are more, shall we say, right leaning than left leaning but there is a good reason for that. In recent times, European people have voted predominantly for centre right than for centre left governments (and MEPs). Current EU policies reflect that fact, as they should. When left leaning governments are elected in sufficient numbers across Europe (it’s bound to happen sometime) there is nothing in the Lisbon Treaty to stop them from implementing left leaning polices at national and EU level.
On foreign investment, the No side are entirely on their own. Everybody else, including the main sources of foreign investment like Intel and the beneficiaries of foreign investment like IBEC say that foreign direct investment will decline if Ireland votes No.
I can understand but not agee with many political arguments for voting No (Ourselves Alone and the like) but cannot even begin to understand the argument that we will create more jobs by voting No rather than Yes. (Obviously voting Yes will not create jobs in itself but voting No is shooting ourselves in the foot before we can even get all the correct policies in place.)Author : Jim Murray