This just in from the Department of the Bleeding Obvious: Most Irish people haven't a clue what this Lisbon treaty malarkey is about.
Why is that, do you think? Might it have something to do with the fact that the document is so difficult and complex to summarise that everyone just gave up trying to explain it?
That seemed to be EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's position this week when he visited Cork and deigned to take a few questions from a hand-picked selection of langers.
But it's not that complex: here's a nice, simple (pro-EU) summary of what the treaty will do, from Auntie Beeb.
Then again, it might be because the Lisbon Treaty is just the failed EU Constitution rehashed. That constitution failed because the good people of France and Holland rejected it in referenda.
So this time around, the EU mandarins have made two clever changes: firstly, they're not calling it a constitution, and secondly they're not allowing any referenda.
So basically, whatever the people of Europe might think or want, their governments are not permitting them to decide for themselves. Unfortunately for the EU mandarins, that doesn't fly in Ireland. Our national constitution DEMANDS that a referendum has to be held.
So what will Lisbon bring if we vote for it? Well, some of the scary NO people would have you think it will bring in abortion on demand, bio-chips in your babies, an EU army with a draft during wartimes, and all sorts of other nasties.
That's not strictly true. But what IS in the treaty is scary enough without people having to make shit up.
- There'll be an EU parliament that can overrule the Dail.
- There'll be an EU army, albeit without a compulsory draft (for now.)
- There'll be an EU government in the shape of a beefed-up EU Commission.
- There'll be an EU Foreign Minister implementing foreign policy on a Europe-wide basis, overruling national foreign policies.
- There'll be a Europe-wide justice system, in the shape of a beefed-up European Courts of Justice.
Lisbon is a charter for a federal Europe. But to admit that would be to see it defeated, so the mandarins have been terrifically careful to avoid the F-word.
Of course Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour all like Lisbon. It's a charter that creates new levels of politics and power and bureaucracy.
But it's not something that's good for the people of Ireland or the people of Europe.
Why else do you think that diplomats and civil servants were seeking to delay bad news from Europe until after the referendum?
Why do they believe you will vote whatever way Irish politicians tell you to, and why do they think the treaty is 'largely incomprehensible' to the lay person?
The answer lies here, in the embarrassing email the British Embassy in Dublin sent to London after a secret meeting with Irish civil servants about the Lisbon Treaty.
Basically, it's a con that they're inflicting on us, because they think we're stupid and easily led and because they think we won't read the damn thing. I hope we prove them wrong on all of their arrogant counts.
Unfortunately, it's up to us and us alone to pull the EU back from the brink of a Federal Europe and all that entails.
So vote sensibly. Vote against the Lisbon Treaty if you believe in national sovereignty, if you believe in democracy in Europe and if you believe in Ireland.
Vote NO to Lisbon.