Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gonna help him put asunder bad guys who like to loot and plunder

I wonder if in years to come we will look back on this point in history as the moment when Irish politics finally descended irretrievably into infantilism and lowest common denominator bullshit.

Ireland goes to the polls on Friday charged with making a decision that absolutely no-one seems to understand the ramifications of. It's very hard to when the people who are paid good money to do so seem incapable of anything other than lies and mud-slinging. Posters everywhere scream that the minimum wage could be cut to €1.84 if this treaty is allowed to pass. This always seemed unlikely and is, apparently, completely untrue. So why has it been allowed to stay on virtually every lamp-post in the country? Imagine I put up posters all over the country with a supposed fact like, say:

My posters would be taken down pretty quickly, I'd imagine, and if anyone knew it was me who did them then I'd find myself in a bit of bother. This despite my fact being true, as far as I know. Yet a massive amount of misinformation is plastered absolutely everywhere right now. 'YES FOR JOBS', sounds massively disingenuous on Fianna Fáil's part, as there is really nothing there to suggest that more jobs would be created if we pass the treaty. 'We can't save the environment alone,' urge the Green Party, who apparently believe that passing the treaty is akin to shouting "Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart!" and summoning Captain Planet. But even He couldn't take pollution down to zero at this stage.

Then there's Jim Corr. I think we all knew, deep down, that touring the world with three ridiculously good-looking girls, all of whom are your sisters, would be enough to send a man crazy. But it hasn't manifested itself in old Jimbo getting whacked off his tits on mushrooms and attempting to snog Ryan Tubridy live on TV, as we'd all hoped. Nope, Jim has gradually turned into a full-blown conspiracy theorist with a fine line in paranoia that'd make even David Icke blush:

You will meet people as I do occasionaly (sic.) who are unable to grasp the reality of what's going on. You may even meet them amongst family and friends but don't get frustrated, It is understandably inconceivable for some people to contemplate that some governments at the behest of their globalist puppeteers could be staging terrorist attacks against their own populations, particularly for people whose reality doesn't extend beyond the television set, which is being used highly effectively sometimes as a Weapon of Mass Deception. 

Jim has been "studying the New World Order", apparently, and is now running a website that can liberate us all. Step One is voting No to Lisbon, don't you know. I think I prefer it when has-been popstars try to make it as reality TV show judges.

I voted no last time round, simply because I wasn't happy with the way the treaty had been explained to the public. The wording on the ballot paper asks if you agree with the proposal to alter our constitution in order to ratify the treaty. I was undecided until the very last minute, when I realised that I couldn't possibly agree with the proposal, because I couldn't for the life of me understand what the treaty meant in real terms, and therefore couldn't  honestly agree to accept it. So although I wasn't necessarily dead against the Lisbon Treaty, I felt perfectly comfortable saying I disagreed with a proposal to accept it at that particular juncture.

But I helped to spawn a monster. The rest of my family had all voted Yes, and gave me constant earfuls (mostly playful, though not all) about my unwavering support for Declan Ganley and Mary-Lou McDonald. Sadly, these two festering pustules both treated the success of the No campaign as a personal victory. Both were, mercifully, soundly told to fuck off by most of the population when they tried to get elected to the European Parliament earlier this year. But they're back again, duplicitous and obnoxious as ever, still making it all about them. This time round they may just turn out to be the Yes campaign's deadliest weapon, as there can't be many people left who have any sort of stomach for them.

It gets complicated, though. One argument for voting Yes that is often put forward is that "all the major parties are for it, so it must be fine." I remain unconvinced by this, as it only means that one or two heads in each party have decided on their policy, and that all the other plods have to toe the line if they know which side their bread is buttered on. Many of our public representatives, I think it has been proven lately, are a corrupt and venal bunch, who know exactly how to get what they want. I hope I don't sound as though I'm sneaking into Jim Corr territory if I say that I honestly don't trust any of them, and find any claims they make to be looking out for the public's best interests to be suspect at best.

So how will I vote (or will I vote?) on Friday? Fuck knows.


8 comment(s):

emordino said...

The thing is, they're not stating the €1.84 wage as a fact. The question mark means you can get away with anything. "Bertie Ahern: enthusiastic participant in domestic abuse?"

Wikipedia is, as ever, your friend. First of all there's Crotty V. An Taoiseach, which explains why we have to vote in the first place. Then there's the well-written, well-referenced article on the Treaty itself. I really, really don't understand why so many people seem so resistant to taking half an hour to read it.

Finally, and most importantly, I think you'll find it's "Bad guys who like to... LOOOOT N' PLUNDERRR!"

conor said...

i cannot understand why people who didnt understand the treaty the last time voted no. if you didn't understand it, you shouldn't vote either way on it. at all. there is a very real responsibility that comes with voting for or against this treaty, and it just boggles my mind that people won't educate themselves on it, and that they will vote no just because they don't know what's going on. it's unforgivable.

Andrew said...

emordino - I am, as ever, in awe of your erudition. Thanks for the wiki links, I read them both. With regard to people's resistance to reading that article, it may simply be the case that an astonishing amount of people don't like to read anything longer than a few words (which is quite arguably a large factor in the success of Twitter), especially when it's on a screen. The article is good, and well-referenced, but I'm still wary of the possibilities of subtle tampering or bias in anything I read on wikipedia.
Regarding the Cap'n, I stand both chastened and corrected, like the chaste man in the orthopedic shoes.

Conor - I know what you mean, but I think it's important to acknowledge the vast differences in meaning that people can attach to the phrase "I didn't understand it." To some it simply meant that they didn't know what was going on at all. To others it simply meant that they had done everything they could to inform themselves on the Treaty, but that the ambiguity of so much of what they were hearing meant that they remained unsure of the precise implications of certain aspects of it. People felt that those who were supposed to make things a little easier to understand had failed them, and that the population were being expected to vote yes just because the government were telling them to. As such, I honestly felt it to be my moral imperative to vote no, strange as that may sound. Perhaps i should have just abstained, as you suggest, but I felt at that time that I had every right to disagree with a proposal to make a very significant change. I would certainly have found it every bit as unforgivable to see someone voting Yes out of ignorance.

Twenty Major said...

I heartily approve of your poster campaign.

Andrew said...

Twenty - I'm guessing you've heard the same thing, then? It's beyond me how there's never been so much as a whisper of it in the press. Perhaps now he's writing a sports column for some rag or other one of the competition will decide to say something about it. Though I doubt it.

Twenty Major said...

I think pretty much everyone has heard the story, Andrew.

It remains unpublished for, I am guessing, legal reasons.

emordino said...

I've certainly never heard him deny it, and god knows he's had ample opportunity.

Rosie said...

i cannot understand why people who didnt understand the treaty the last time voted no.

i felt it would be irresponsible to abstain and pass the buck - leaving it to fate and a gombeen nation to make the decision for me. i had made the effort to educate myself on the treaty and its consequences, but i didn't feel that the information available was sufficient or clear enough for me to give my informed consent. so i voted "no".

cue a shower of abuse accusing me of being a shinner or a socialist or a goblin or whatever the fuck Ganley is, because the referendum campeigns have been about taking sides and getting digs in rather than reading up on EU policies and procedures.

so i voted "no", and the world didn't end. the intervening time gave people a chance to do their homework and be a bit more objective.

not that the majority did, mind you.