PART 3: “Why Can’t We All Be Friends?”
The final part of a trilogy usually contains a “Return” in their title. “Return of the Jedi,” “Return of the King… actually those are the only two I can think of. If this blog was to follow with that trend, it would probably be called “Return of the Patronising Television Ads” or “Return of the Weird Bald Lad with the English Accent”. The last few weeks have seen our television screens and radio… sets inundated with unfettered propaganda about this Treaty, all telling us which way we should vote.
The Referendum Commission are basically the sober ones at the party, trying to talk the drunken Yes/No siders down off the tables and putting back the traffic cones – they have no opinion either way as to how the Treaty will go.
They’ve designed an advertising campaign with an aim to educate us poor dimwits about the referendum – which is basically defunct now that you have this guide.
This campaign includes lots of ethnically diverse people standing around on some white bedsheets looking into the camera, daring you not to vote. The wide range of lifestyle choices is evidently designed to let us find ourselves in the picture and instantly think “Oh, I can relate to this, I should vote.” Unfortunately, every single model looks like a complete tit, and so it’s doubtful anyone will want to identify with any of them. Except the old Chinese guy actually, he looks sound.
While the Referendum Commission is cleaning the vomit-soaked toilet and apologising to the landlord, the Yes/No sides continue to streak naked through the corridors singing “Waterline”.
The Yes side includes all the so-called ‘major’ parties in the Dáil, Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil. It is their line that this Treaty will create stability for us, and will therefore increase investment and thus growth. According to them, we can’t afford to risk looking like a rebellious teenager to outside investors, and that we should do as we’re told and sign on the dotted line. They insist that we may need access to further bailout money, so why cut it off? This is all very well, but there are many who say we should delay voting on the Treaty, and wait and see what changes will be made to it before we sign off. Changes do look likely, as new French President Francois Hollande has made it clear he wants to get out his rubber and do some work with Angela Merkel (steady on).
The No Side, led by Sinn Fein and the United Left Alliance (no, they’re not a rebel faction in Star Wars) have taken the line that this Treaty will make austerity permanent in Ireland, and will kill growth quicker than Richard Hillman killed Maxine. They’ve accused the government of scare-mongering, like fish-mongering only with scariness instead of fish. A big gap in their argument is their inability to say where more bailout money would come from if we vote No, as access to the ESM will be cut off. Gerry Adams and his better-looking sister, Mary Lou McDonald, insist that Europe will never let us go down the tubes, so the money will come from somewhere, a bit of a gamble by anyone’s standards.
So, who do we believe? That’s up to ourselves. Trade Unions have been flaky on the issue, with several refusing to take any stance at all. Business people have also been divided, with Declan Ganley of Libertas leading the chorus that we should vote No. The Catholic Church has no view, and let’s face it, why would we care if they did? So it all seems to come down to the individual.
The most important thing is to vote, Padraig Pearse died for it and all blah blah blah, but it’s also very important to inform ourselves. Don’t vote No because your Dad is, and don’t vote Yes because you like the look of Lucinda Creighton.
There we have it, the end of our little trilogy. Let’s hope that we’ve shed just a little light on this dastardly treaty, because we’re going to have to put up with it for yet another week.