Europe now hangs on the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, “the treaty to end all EU treaties”.

The text strikes the words “free and undistorted competition” from the core objectives of the Union. Corporatist aims will enjoy a higher legal status at the European Court (ECJ) and must prevail if the two clash. The Rhineland Model has locked in a permanent advantage.

Who could claim this Treaty is democratic? Its handling has been characterised by sophistry and deception: it barely differs from the democratically-rejected Constitution.

Those who claim we live in a post ideological age are, at best, wrong.

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