Lisbon: Post Coital.


The Lisbon Treaty referendum which we just went through was a bit like sex for Catholics.  We wanted to do it, but was it right? In the heat of the moment, with Lisbon, beautiful Lisbon, spread before us and simmering with seductive promise, we gave in, and in one  lustful moment threw caution to the wind resulting in a Yes! Yes! Yessssss! And now, as we lie, exhausted, sated, and puffing ponderously on  the post coital cigarette, the first tinges of guilt and the prospects of regret begin to creep in.

The tinges of guilt will stem from the fact that perhaps the whole thing was kind of forced, that in our lust we just couldn’t take no for an answer, the prospects of regret perhaps coming from the knowledge that now that we have made our bed, we must lie in it and can only hope we don’t get the wet side.

And if we do get the wet side what then? As the pro Lisbon forces in the country danced ‘the seven veils’ in front of our eyes, tantalising us with the promise of better things to come, they risked raising our excitement and expectation to levels they might not be able to live up to. The promise of jobs, economic stability, and a voice at the center of Europe was at the heart of the Yes campaign’s seductive moves as they strutted their stuff in a sensuous political pole dance which ended with them having their way with us. But as we all know, relationships often change and after the memory of the climax of our yes vote has faded, if those promises are not fulfilled, will we look to our bedfellow with the same dreamy, lust filled eyes? Or, in the cold light of day, will we  begin to see imperfections in our partner? If the result of the seduction does not lead to an improvement in our economy, more jobs, and our voice being heard effectively in Europe, will we become more distant and more critical? Will our lust turn to resentment, anger and ultimately blame? Will we begin to see Europe as a mistake, and, as with all mistakes in relationships, will it eventually lead  to increased pressure for a parting of the ways? And what if the same unfulfilled promise results in similar ‘relationship difficulties’ for other countries who ratified Lisbon, many without being even allowed to vote? What then for this new post coital Europe?

Will we be sitting together around the table come breakfast time or will we prefer to quietly slip out of the bed, sneak down the stairs and scuttle off into the cold, lonely, dark of the night? The outcome of this relationship depends on whether the seed of our seduction bears fruit or falls on barren ground. It is an outcome which now lies firmly in the control of our seducer whose power over us has been greatly enhanced with Lisbon.

Let us hope it is a power and an outcome that lives up to it’s promise.

For all our sakes.

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About Ronan Gallagher

Writer and Film-maker living and working in Leitrim in the North West of Ireland. View all posts by Ronan Gallagher

7 responses to “Lisbon: Post Coital.

  • wheelsofire

    Nice one, Ronan. But are we well and truly fucked?
    (Forgive the vernacular)

    I was amazed that no one raised the similarities with selling the Act of Union, as we surrendered our independence, so hard won, just to become an appendage to the new Empire.
    At least the Irish MPs could occasionally hold the balance of power in Westminster; what chance of that in Brussels?

    • heartsdesire

      heartsdesire Says:

      October 6, 2009 at 1:23 pm
      I voted yes. Why? Our elected representatives and their peers have driven this country into the ground financially. In an ideal world Ireland should be able to stand on it’s own two feet, but that would take visionary, independently minded leadership. We simply don’t have that. Without the financial support of Europe… we will be plunged back to the Irish economic climate of the 1980’s. Do we want to be part of Europe? Do we realistically have a choice?

      Just to add to my previous post in the (I think) appropriate vernacular… we’re fucked if we do and we’re fucked if we don’t. We are well and truly fucked.

      • Ronan Gallagher

        The fact that our own corrupt and incompetent politicians have made a bags of our economy and our country is no reason to give power to corrupt politicians outside of our country. In fact I would go as far as to say that that is about as idiotic as it gets. No surprise Lisbon has been passed the second time around given the ridiculous reasons put forward by people like yourself for voting yes. At the first sign of trouble we throw away our sovereignty? So much for the fighting Irish! Please!

  • wheelsofire

    To avoid confusion, I have nothing to do heartsdesire who seems to appropriated my vernacular. But then stealng would be nothing new to the yesclones.

  • Seadhna Logan

    Im proud to say I was one of the minority that weighed up the pro’s and cons and opposed that treaty… The posters all declared “YES for Recovery” and “YES for Jobs” but are the people going to revolt when they realise they have been had. It’s a sad day for Ireland and those that martyred themselves or fought for freedom and a better future, when we so cheaply and unashamedly gave up our rights our democracy and our constitutuion.

  • Keith Nolan

    I’m a Catholic. I always wanted to do it. I did it and it was right!

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