According to Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde, ‘The Irish Times’ has issued an invitation to the veteran French racist, Jean-Marie Le Pen, to grace Ireland with his large presence.

This says something about its editor.

The leader of the National Front is to come to your green and pleasant land as an “agent provocateur” to campaign on behalf of the people who wish to make Ireland the third nation to reject our new European Constitution.

This is a blatant smear on Sinn Fein and the Green Parties since these two are alone in their opposition to the Lisbon Treaty.

It goes without saying neither party would be seen dead on the same platform as this man.

If the arguments for this treaty are so good, why the dirty tricks?

I sincerely hope this is not an indication of the future depths to which this debate is to plunge before people make their decision.

It would be an insult to them, and the 65pc of fellow Europeans who want a referendum, but are denied one by not living in such a democratic country as Ireland.