Socialist Youth asks:
Why won’t Generation Yes debate with us?
Joint Press Statement – Joe Higgins MEP & Socialist Youth
Generation Yes, a self-proclaimed “movement of young people… committed to promoting the benefits of EU membership”, launched a second attack on Joe Higgins MEP (Socialist Party) today, accusing him of calling “for a No vote to Lisbon to punish the government for their handling of the financial crisis.” This follows a Generation Yes video posted on Youtube a week ago and a half ago, attempting to ridicule the arguments of the No campaign.
Joe Higgins MEP (Socialist Party) responded to their claims:
“Generation Yes has now launched two groundless attacks on the Socialist Party’s campaign against the Lisbon Treaty. What appears to characterize this group is an absolute disregard for the content of the Treaties.
“Their first attack was a Youtube video attempting to ridicule the arguments of the No campaign. This stated in response to our posters declaring “No to privatisation of health and education” that they had scoured the Treaty unsuccessfully for such a reference. We invite Generation Yes to examine the proposed new Article 207 TEC which clearly removes the veto protecting health and education from entry into world trade talks and the liberalisation and privatisation that would follow.
“The video also contains the incredible and inaccurate statement ‘All Irish laws which protect workers rights came about due to our obligations as members of the European Union.’ Are they so blinded by their love of Lisbon that they fail to recognize the crucial struggles of workers in Ireland to achieve improvements in working conditions and legislation?
“Their latest attack, with the claim that I called for people to reject Lisbon on the basis of the government’s handling of the economy, is clearly based exclusively on a newspaper article which misrepresented what I said. If they took the time to watch the video of the press conference (available on www.socialistparty.net), they would see that I called for Lisbon to be defeated primarily because of the anti-worker and militarisation agenda implemented by that Treaty.
“However, I do not believe that the issues of NAMA, An Bord Snip and the government’s mismanagement of the economy are separated by a Chinese wall from the Lisbon Treaty. The root of the economic crisis and the government’s policies in response is the same as that of the Lisbon Treaty. That is the idea that the rights of big business, bankers and developers should come before the rights of ordinary people. This agenda is enshrined in Lisbon and should be rejected on 2 October.”
The youth section of the Socialist Party, Socialist Youth, has repeatedly tried to organize a debate against Generation Yes on Lisbon with no success. Laura Fitzgerald, National Organiser of Socialist Youth commented:
“Generation Yes’ confidence in attacking the Socialist Party on Youtube is not matched by a willingness to debate the issues with us. Socialist Youth has repeatedly tried to organize a debate with Generation Yes on the Lisbon Treaty, with no success as they have refused to engage with us. We re-iterate the two email invitations and follow up phone call to debate Lisbon which Socialist Youth issued to them. We again call upon them to engage with our arguments in public. If they fail to do so, the only question to be asked is – what are they so scared of?”