Would slavery have been abolished under Farage?

It would be nice to think that the 18th century British parliament saw the light and abolished slavery when the matter was first put to them. But we all know that isn’t what happened. William Wilberforce and his colleagues lost the vote on their first attempt. And their second. And their third.

So Nigel Farage’s suggestion, made on RTE, that the Irish referendum score on the Lisbon Treaty is now 1-1 and we should have a decider is very strange. Would we ever have abolished slavery if Farage had been in charge of the voting? How many times would Wilberforce & Co. have had to carry the day in parliament to overtake the tally of “no” votes?

Maybe Brown should stay in power even if the Tories win the General Election, on the grounds that it’ll be 3-1 to the current Labour Government and Cameron doesn’t get in until he’s won his fourth election.

Or does it work the other way? Once countries have entered the European Union, would Farage argue that it needs two clear votes against before they leave?

Whatever your opinion of the Lisbon treaty and the EU, the world would be a very different place if we worked to Farage’s idea of democracy – and not in a good way.

The question has been put to the Irish people, they’ve changed their minds – just as those MPs and Lords did on slavery all those years ago – and they’ve made their decision.

The people of Ireland can change their minds again in the future, elect a eurosceptic government and take Ireland out of the EU. If they do, they’ll only need one vote to do it.

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32 Comments

  • iWitteringsfromWitne 3rd Oct '09 - 6:55pm

    All I can say is ‘Grow Up’ – the Irish referendum was heavily ‘rigged’ by the EU for a variety of reasons.

    Your argument does neither you, nor your Party, any good – in fact it is purile!

  • “So Nigel Farage’s suggestion, made on RTE, that the Irish referendum score on the Lisbon Treaty is now 1-1 and we should have a decider is very strange. Would we ever have abolished slavery if Farage had been in charge of the voting?”

    You think accepting the Lisbon Treaty is equivalent to abolishing slavery? Yeah right.

    You know as well as I do that the point Farage was trying to make was that the EU’s plan is to keep holding referendums until it gets the “right” answer. Had the Yes vote been successful last year would we have had another vote this year? If not, why not? If No is not an acceptable answer, why bother with a referendum?

  • Congratulations, you’ve managed to concoct the single most purile defense of the EU’s contempt for the will of “its” citizens that I’ve ever seen.

    Quite an achievement, given the competition.

  • Firstly Farage believes in liberty and popular sovereignty so he would have abolished slavery and given them the vote!
    But to take your main point I think he was probably being light hearted. I have heard him say this before in a jokey way.
    For democracy to work first the fight has to be broadly fair among both sides. Secondly democracy requires that subsequent parliaments/governments can act upon a new mandate and chafe the preceding situation. In Ireland the first was not true. And the nature of the Treaty betrays the second.

  • Honestly, bringing slavery into the argument to try and tar your opponent is just pathetic. Try accepting that people can oppose you and the EU ‘project’ for the noblest of reasons. I’m surprised you didn’t throw in ‘Holocaust Denier’ to boot.

  • Martin Kinsella 3rd Oct '09 - 7:21pm

    The point Farage was making was about the EU holding a vote til they get the answer they want. It was a fair point to make.

    Your point, OTOH, was one of the poorest thought out, poorly constructed ones ever made here.

  • Nice one Iain – good argument. You’ve not only put it clearly and cleverly, but also clearly attracted the attention of the swivel-eyed loonies! 😉

  • MBoy:
    Wanting the goverment to keep its manifesto pledge makes me a ‘swivel-eyed looney’ does it? The real loonies are those that don’t believe in democracy. Democracy-from the Greek ‘Demos’ meaning the people-remember them?

  • Martin Kinsella 3rd Oct '09 - 8:05pm

    James,

    MBoy is just a troll or a Tory. No one could be as utterly dense as he/she acts.

    I also want a referendum as we were promised. The reason the government backed away from it is they believed they would lose. Swivel Eyed loonies for democracy, eh !!!

  • Thats such a cheap shot………

  • Iain Roberts 3rd Oct '09 - 8:16pm

    Dear me, talk about missing the point. Let me know when someone understands and addresses the argument instead of making ad hom attacks.

  • “The EU” didn’t hold any votes – the Irish government did. Elected by the Irish people. Can be replaced by them if they so chose. To somehow allege that they don’t have the right to ask their people for a constitutional amendment is an unusual position – along the same lines as ‘we elected a government in 1925, why do we need another vote on this?’

    The Irish government asked a question, it got an answer. It polled the people to find out why, went to its partners, agreed to change the question somewhat, and put a new one back to the people. Entirely up to them whether they said yes or no, they chose yes. It’s called democracy. Strange that this damning of it only happens when the will of the people goes against you…..

  • Iain Roberts
    ‘Let me know when someone understands and addresses the argument instead of making ad hom attacks.’
    Beyond parody. You have equated opposing the EU with opposing the abolition of slavery and then accuse others of playing the man not the ball! You could have argued that the EU is a good thing or leaving would be bad. You could even have brought up how well Farage does out of the EU, but, no you brought slavery into the mix. And yes, I understand the argument and the issues-so why not stick to these.

  • Let’s face it UKIP have been damaged not only by the result but by Farage’s actions – the claws are out meouw meouw

  • “The Irish government asked a question, it got an answer.”

    And if it had got a different answer would it have asked them again?

  • Here is an explanation from a person who actually voted Yes:
    The referendums were to amend the Constitution of Ireland. Not the optional, consultative referendum that moderate Tories want (yes, even the moderates are Europhobes nowadays). The first referendum was rejected, so the Constitution was not amended, so the Treaty was not ratified. The second referendum was passed, so the Constitution will be amended, so the Treaty may be ratified.

    Once the Treaty is ratified everywhere, it will be part of the new EU. So the No side has every right to seek another referendum. All they need to do is get a majority in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann to vote against continued EU membership.

  • I nearly forgot to mention that Trougher Farage has said the Irish referendum was like something from Afghanistan or Zimbabwe, showing the contempt for Ireland that he could hardly conceal on his tour here in September.

  • The second referendum was legitimate because Ireland’s neutral Referendum Commission polled those who voted against it the first time, and the single biggest reason was that they either couldn’t understand the Treaty or didn’t know what it was about – almost half of the No voters said this. The Irish gov’t thus had every right to call another one…. had Yes won the first time and the answer been the same for their camp (however unlikely that may be) it would have been run a second time as well.

    You can leave your shadowy evil EU empire superstate ideas in the bin by the door on the way out, thanks….

  • And frankly, Lisbon is a godsend to you lot as well – it finally gives countries a legal exit mechanism that doesn’t require dissolving the entire EU.

  • Paul Griffiths 3rd Oct '09 - 9:29pm

    “And if it had got a different answer would it have asked them again?”

    If you ask someone to marry you, and they say no, you might well ask them again. Perhaps more than once. But if they say yes the first time you ask, you don’t keep asking until they say no.

  • This is an argument so silly that it makes Farage look like he’s talking sense.

    There is no comparison between the abolition of Slavery and Lisbon because when Parliament voted to abolish slavery there was nothing to stop it discussing the matter the next day and reaching a different decision. How can people in Ireland get another referendum (just on Lisbon) in 6 months?

    The Irish Prime Minister was saying yesterday that “The people’s decision is sovereign”. Quite why it is Sovereign now but not last time I’m not sure.

    The EU now has a long and not very glorious history of having second referenda when it doesn’t like the first result.

  • Paul Griffiths 3rd Oct '09 - 10:05pm

    “Quite why [the peoples’ decision] is Sovereign now but not last time I’m not sure.”

    It is precisely because it was sovereign the first time that only a second referendum could have reversed it.

  • @Iain Roberts

    No one is missing your point. It’s just that the impication that “one righteous law took three attempts to get through parliament therefore it is legitimate to keep asking a question indefinitely until you get the correct answer” is so insultingly inane as to not merit a specific rebuttal.

    But, thanks, all the same, for saving me all the time I might otherwise have wasted in the future deliberating over whether or not to expend any time considering your point of view. From now on I will know to simply dismiss out of hand anything with your name attached.

  • Great thread – all the UKIP loons can manage is “what a crap argument” without actually saying why! Apart from Hywel, whose contribution is pretty hilarious: “when Parliament voted to abolish slavery there was nothing to stop it discussing the matter the next day and reaching a different decision.” Nice one, I suppose it would have been just great to go out rounding up all the recently freed slaves and saying “Sorry guv, we changed our minds – you’re a slave again!” Moron.

  • Some major differences this time is that we go to keep our comissioner, and got legal guarantees on taxation, neutrality, and ethical issues such as abortion. Farage’s intervention was totally counter productive to his aims and shows him up as politically naive and totally inept. Suggesting Ireland’s referendum was anti-democratic as he has claimed, shows him for the callow and foul creature he is.

  • “Nice one, I suppose it would have been just great to go out rounding up all the recently freed slaves and saying “Sorry guv, we changed our minds – you’re a slave again!” Moron.”

    Being impractical has never been a bar to Parliament passing legislation.

  • UKIP’s intervention in2 the Irish debate was a godsend 2 the yes side and their literature even drove more people 2 the yes side. People were very annoyed and ashamed after Lisbon 1 when UKIP’s MEPs dressed up as Leprachans in the Euro-Parliament. So thanks Nigel & Co. 4 adding to the huge Yes.

  • Richard Huzzey 4th Oct '09 - 4:22pm

    This is a very odd line of argument… isn’t there something different in Wilberforce bringing a new motion to a legislative chamber (the composition of which changed every few years) and a public referendum?

  • The Nazis contested elections in the Weimar Republic, until they got the outcome they wanted, then they stopped voting. Then they tried to take over Europe!

    Therefore, the Lib Dems support the Holocaust. Political logic at its finest…

  • What is Farages point ? At best, referendums only ever settle anything until the next referendum.

    Didn’t UKIP say the 2004 Euro-elections were a referendum on Britains membership of the EU ? They lost than one then. I don’t recall them packing up and not asking the same question again.

  • Martin Kinsella 5th Oct '09 - 8:22pm

    Mboy, what UKIP Loons ? In case it has escaped you this is Lib Dem Voice and the people you are insulting are bona fide Lib Dems.

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