Upcoming Events

National | EU

no events match your query!

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Public Services Card: Some still forced to comply

offsite link Catholic Church: Dark influence still active Anthony

offsite link Tom Parlon launches new career in comedy Anthony

offsite link Presumption of innocence does not universally apply in Ireland Anthony

offsite link The poor standard of Irish political journalism Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Test ? 12 November 2018 Mon Nov 12, 2018 14:28 | namawinelake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

Debate on EU: left-wing, or clerical-conservative?

category national | eu | opinion/analysis author Friday September 08, 2006 04:45author by Brendan Young Report this post to the editors

The conference ‘Another Europe is Possible’ being organised by Sinn Féin/GUE-NGL on Saturday next, Sept 9 in Liberty Hall will provide a welcome forum for exchange of information and debate on current developments in the EU. But one of the MEPs participating in the ‘Another Europe is Possible’ debate – Kathy Sinnott – shares the clerical-conservative views of Youth Defence and SPUC. The left should be careful not to let itself to be confused with clerical-conservatives. Beware a repeat of the 'No to Nice' campaign.

Debate on ‘Another Europe’ must not allow the left to be confused with clerical-conservatives

The conference ‘Another Europe is Possible’ being organised by Sinn Féin/GUE-NGL will provide a welcome forum for exchange of information and debate on current developments in the EU. While any decision on the EU Constitution is some time away, it is important that people are made aware of what is going on behind the scenes at EU level. It is also important for left wing opponents of the EU Constitution, Services Directive, etc to set out what their alternative is, as against the proposals of the European Commission or the likes of Fianna Fáil. I may not be able to attend, so I would like to make some comments in writing.

The discussion on Saturday in relation to workers’ rights should prove interesting – especially the contribution by Brendan Hayes – in the context of the SIPTU leadership support for the recent social partnership deal. This deal further undermines worker and trade union rights to resist outsourcing, especially in the public sector. (see Eddie Conlon’s analysis at www.tradeunionactivists.org). It thus facilitates a creeping privatisation and a race to the bottom: how many Irish Ferries workers are union members today? In my opinion it is necessary to defend worker and trade union rights at home and extend active solidarity internationally – which means challenging the social partnership model that is at the heart of social-democratic politics in Ireland and would be enshrined in the EU Constitution.

The afternoon debate should also be interesting both with regard to what will be discussed – and what may not be mentioned; and with regard to future campaigning for an alternative to what is on offer from the EU elite and to the EU Constitution.

I cannot prefigure what will be said in the ‘Another Europe is Possible’ debate. The platform however, will have two speakers who oppose the EU Constitution – Mary-Lou McDonald and Kathy Sinnott; and one supporter of the EU Constitution – Proinsias DeRossa. Barry Finnegan (chair) also opposes the Constitution. All grand on the face of it.

But amongst these opponents of the EU Constitution there are some profound differences (I hope and assume). And in my opinion it is important that these differences are made clear and public. Otherwise there is a risk of confusion; or of slipping into a re-run of the debacle (for the left) of the ‘No to Nice’ campaign, when Youth Defence and Justin Barrett were given an active role. The left had to continuously differentiate itself from the No to Nice campaign because of the involvement of Youth Defence (YD); and those who associated themselves with YD were discredited.

Why is this an issue now? Because Kathy Sinnott shares the politics of YD (possibly not the street-fighting tactics, but there are soft-cop – hard-cop roles in these campaigns). At present YD are running a high-profile campaign against embryo-stem-cell research (as part of their ‘no exceptions’ campaign). Posters are up around the country outside of Dublin. See www.embryoresearch.org Sinnott shares this opposition to embryo-stem-cell research, from the same militant anti-abortion perspective as YD. She joined the right-wing-populist Ind-Dem group in the European Parliament (see the IndDem site for info on membership of this group) rather than the left-social-democratic GUE/NGL because the latter do not oppose embryo-stem-cell research.

Sinnott is also leading an ‘Amnesty for Babies’ anti-abortion campaign with SPUC and the catholic hierarchy (the vatican, no less), to oppose any move in Amnesty International's position on abortion such that Amnesty would support access to abortion (as a legal right) in cases of rape / sexual violence, rape as an act of war, etc. Interestingly, she did not mention this campaign in her Indymedia piece of July 11.

Here’s how Youth Defence describe her campaign.

Amnesty for Babies before Birth Campaign Launched (from YD site til Aug 20 – BY)

An international campaign which included a petition to declare and uphold the right to life of the child before birth was launched in Geneva Switzerland on Wednesday June 28th 2006 by Irish MEP Kathy Sinnott on behalf of The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and its allies in the UN pro-life, pro-family coalition. The special guest speaker at the launch was Papal Nuncio to the UN in Geneva H.E. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, other speakers at the launch included Dr. John Smeaton Executive Director of SPUC and Patrick Buckley of European Life Network. The campaign and petition were launched, during the inauguration session of the new Human Rights Council.

==========================
Here’s how SPUC put it: (23 August 2006)

Stop Amnesty International promoting abortion

Amnesty International (AI) is currently carrying out a consultation among its members about proposals to change its policy on abortion. All of AI's national groups are being consulted in preparation for AI's International Committee Meeting in 2007 when AI's policy will be decided.

Quote ends.
======================
See Amnesty International Canada and SPUC websites for more details, Sinnott’s speech, etc.

In an Irish Times article by Deaglán DeBreadún (July 14 2006), Colm O’Cuanachain of Amnesty International Ireland makes an analogy with the X Case (in which a 14 year old rape victim threatened to kill herself if forced to go full term with the pregnancy resulting from the rape; the Supreme Court judgement was that abortion should be legally allowed here in such cases - ie, where the woman's life was at risk thro suicide). Youth Defence, SPUC and the 'pro-life' movement oppose the X case judgement.

The following is an extract from Irish Times, July 14.

Secretary-General of the Irish Section of Amnesty, Colm Ó Cuanacháin, is keen to emphasise the narrow focus of the Amnesty debate. "There is no discussion going on about the absolute right to abortion," he says. Amnesty has no position on that issue, nor is it likely to have in the near future: "There isn't a discussion, as I said, about Amnesty playing a role in relation to the absolute right to abortion."

But Amnesty and others have to cope with the human rights implications of the massive civil strife and conflict that erupted after the end of the Cold War. "I am talking about the Rwandas, the Congos and the Darfurs, the Srebrenicas, where, in the past 20 years we have seen how sexual violence against women is being used as a weapon of war," he says. "As I said, Amnesty doesn't have a position on the right to abortion, but we are discussing sexual and reproductive rights in a context where things like access to information, access to healthcare, access to protection, access to justice for women who are experiencing sexual violence becomes part of the international human rights machinery."

Drawing a parallel with the controversy in Ireland which arose out of the "X" case, he says: "It's the same issues, it's about the issues of health, the health of the mother, it's about the issues of access to information, right to healthcare and support of a woman who has experienced sexual violence."

Quote ends.
=============================

For those on the left who champion the idea of ‘Another Europe’, the question posed by the Amnesty debate is this: should women who become pregnant because of rape by men from armies of occupation be legally denied abortion?

I say no, and I hope the left would also say no. Sinnott et al say yes.

Kathy Sinnott shares the politics of, and is involved with, the militant clerical-conservative forces in Irish society. It is a politics based upon a fundamentalist ideology and is deeply intolerant. Their vision of the future of Ireland and of Europe is different to the vision of the left and the progressive layers in Irish society. The women’s movement and the left have fought against clerical influence in Irish society for over 30 years, and this fight has been a touchstone of progressive politics in this country. We should not give cover to those who wish to re-assert clerical-conservative politics because of a coincidence of views in relation to the EU.

I am not arguing that the left who oppose the neoliberal direction of the EU, which would be enshrined in the EU Constitution, should take a position for or against legalisation of abortion in Ireland (which I personally support). Rather I am arguing that we who argue for a progressive alternative to the EU elite should not let ourselves be associated or confused with the militant clerical-conservatives: the Youth Defence and SPUC supporters who oppose abortion under ALL circumstances, such as the X Case. Beware a repeat of ‘No to Nice’.

The critique of the EU and of the EU Constitution that has been advanced over the past 2 years by the left is credible and consistent: we argue against EU policies, the Constitution, EU militarism, and against the erosions of democracy and accountability – on grounds of support for social progress, equality, and the extension of democratic rights. We have challenged Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and in particular the Labour Party and the supporters of the EU Constitution in the trade unions on a consistent socialist basis. We should not undermine our credibility or confuse our message through association with clerical-conservatives.

Kathy Sinnott is opposed to the EU Constitution and other aspects of EU policy. That’s fine. She can mobilise the conservative opposition along with Youth Defence – as Youth Defence did in the past and probably will do again if the occasion arises.

But the left has a different social agenda for ‘Another Europe’, and we should say so. If we allow confusion, we undermine our own arguments and our own potential support.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The first critique of Sinnott on this newswire that relies on reasoned arguments and facts, up to a point.

It is true that Kathy Sinnott is conservative on sexual and famiy issues. She regards abortion as murder and her actions are entirely consistent with that belief. I don't share some of her views on those issues but I have to take issue with your description of her as a 'militant'. She is no more extreme in her views than you are about yours and she is certainly not prepared to endorse any form of violence or discrimination against any human being. It is you who is being exclusive and elitist. In fact, Sinnott has been far more courageous in challenging the other members of her group than most if not all Irish politicians are when it comes to questioning the party line, having, as Ive pointed out before, succeeded in expelling several members of the Ind Dem group for their involvement with militant and violent organisations. Compare and contrast what happens at home: When the Disability Bill was being railroaded through the Oireachtas last year, not one of the FF TDs who kept telling us all in private that they thought it was unfair were prepared even to murmur about it to their party leaders. They all voted for it. You find me an Irish politician who has the courage to challenge their parties - and the Labour Party and the Left are the worst for suppressing conviction politicians. Look what happened to Declan Bree. And where the hell are Sinn Feinn/Labour and the left on disability in Ireland anyone? Doing sweet fuck all, is where, while Sinnott is busting herself to the point of exhaustion trying to raise the issue to priority level in Europe. Even good people may disappoint, but it doesnt mean they are not good.

Sinnott's convictions on the right to life are entirely consistent with her corresponding and extraordinary generosity towards living people who approach her for help. She is about pursuing a humane society which puts people before profit (a phrase she coined herself long before it was adopted by the PBP group). That is what she believes at core and although I dont agree with some of her conclusions, I can see that however frustrating her position may be to me on some issues, she means well. And ironically, she is extending exactly that courtesy to you and others of your persuasion. She is prepared, despite her own convictions, to share a platform with you in recognition of the fact that it is silly to make totalitarian judgment calls of the sort you are advocating here. Your assumption that she is unworthy of your company speaks volumes about how you see yourself. Sinnott expects and wants to be challenged on some issues, but that is not what has happened on Indymedia. People have set out to paint her in a particular way - convicted her of things she is not guilty of. That is not a debate, it is a vicious lynch mob. But she has given it her best attention nevertheless, despite a truly punishing schedule (she is acknowledged to be the most hardworking MEP in the EU) and taken Indymedia at face value more than any other 'mainstream' politician.

What you are saying, Brendan, is that you dont want anybody sharing a platform with you who isnt exactly like you - you want clones. Is it not this exact expectation that is responsible for the incessant beligerence of the left? Does noone have the commonsense to realise that you always have to work with the fact that people are different? Sinnot has not deliberately kept any information from anyone on this newswire. Her stance on abortion and other issues is a matter of record. She is a Catholic along with millions of others, many of whom share her mixture of conservative/socialist convictions. Are you going to write all of those voters off too? Shall we tell all of them that you would rather they did not vote for you? Shall I post your item here on the Christian Marxist websites and among the Catholic workers who, just like Sinnot, are fierce advocates of justice and peace and who also oppose abortion? Or are all of these people not good enough for you either?

author by KS Watchpublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 14:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

She is in the same Euro group as the League of Polish Families. This is a Homophobic, Anti-Semitic party. Why does she remain with them? She says that some were expelled from the group but the LPF are still in it and continue to espouse Racist, Anti-Semitic and Homophobic statements.

Sinnott isnt just opposed to abortion , she is also opposed to contraception. She has tried to stop EU funds going to sex education programmes which include contraception. She wants abstinence only programmes. She even opposes the use of condoms.

She puts on the act of being a poor mother with disabled children who fought the system. The reality is that she has a Far Right political programme and has joined up with Far Right groups in the European Parliament. This charlatan must be exposed for what she really is.

author by For Claritypublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 15:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have to take issue with your description of her as a 'militant'. She is no more extreme in her views than you are about yours and she is certainly not prepared to endorse any form of violence

The article explicitly excludes the possibility of KS endorsing violence when it says "Kathy Sinnott shares the politics of YD (possibly not the street-fighting tactics, but there are soft-cop – hard-cop roles in these campaigns)." Deal with the actual criticism, not easy to dismiss ones that you make up. That criticism is of the hardline, Catholic fundamentalist opposition to abortion which can fairly described as "militant".

As regards the question about whether the left should share a platform with woman-enslaving, anti-abortionists (or other equally repulsive ideologues), the answer is clearly no as evidenced by the No to Nice campaign.

It was very easy for the pro-globalisation, pro-business and anti-worker forces of the Yes side to portray the No as reactionary because Barret etc were not nipped in the bud early enough. The bigots were always going to vote no anyway, but I'll bet I sizeable swing vote decided to vote in opposition to them.

The left should stand out clearly against these people.

author by Miiram Cottonpublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 16:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You describe Sinnott and others as hard line militant. The word militant connotes physical violence and your article, despite its caveat, alleged that she was aligned with people who were guilty of those things.

As to being a woman-enslaving pro-abortionist, while it makes for sharp invective, the corrollary is that you might be said to be a baby-murdering monster. I dont agree with either of those propositions but the point is that none of that stuff gets anybody very far. Sinnott is as good and genuine a person as you are. Get over it. And the real point of my post is that you are in serious danger of undermining the actual purpose of your campaign, opposing the EU. A lot of different people support you in that objective but you want to disqualify certain supporters and voters from your elite club of exclusively self annointed, right-on thinkers. Before party whip politics reared its ugly head, politicians voted on the issues. Alliances were formed among people who were often bitterly opposed on other issues. That was and is a normal reflection of normal society. But nobody is pleading with you. You dont own the anti EU campaign and have no right to try to dictate who should or should not be a legitimate voice in opposing it. What arrogance. You are actually ruining your own campaign in your zeal over an issue that is not related to it. How sensible is that? Will the left never learn to stop making this same mistake. Pick an issue and it is always the same, bin tax, anti war, anti EU. Jesus.

And as to worrying about what your pro EU opponents will throw at you, if you start running scared before that you will never get anywhere. Throw their own shit right back at them, make them wish they had never started it.

author by VPLpublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 16:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh the scourge of the professional woman.

It's like this- You cannot be pro-life and respect the choice of
someone who intends/wants/has an abortion.

You will not help her get the info or go to the clinic to support her- because
a) it is against your religion
b) against your philosophy.

try it anyone who is truly pro-life-support a friend through an abortion. put aside all
the dogmatic fundamentalism inducted into your pscyhe by a male-dominated
control system which enslaves a woman's right to choice.

Be aware also that you are putting the male dogmatic control mechanism
above the right of the individual who is your sister and member of your community.

Being pro-choice means whatever your feelings that are personal on the issue of
abortion, euthanasia and morning after pill etc you will support the human wishes and rights
of another person to choose. without judgement, patronisation or distaste.

now- could Kathy Sinnot, hand on heart please tell us why she is not pro-choice?

(because I really want to know- it seems more christian than the made -up dogmatic
crap force-fed to us from Rome)

women collude very easily in another woman's destruction: in FGM, forced pregnancy
and other PRIVATE issues.

so she can bang her drum all she wants-she plays the boys game.

author by europeanpublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 17:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting article. Some random thoughts: The whole sharing a platform with Sinnott debate seems to point to the danger for the left in defining itself in terms of being "anti EU" or in running "anti EU" campaigns. People can be be "anti-EU" for all types of reasons, good and bad. For example people can be anti- EU because of its neo-liberal Services Directive; but people can also be anti-EU for xenophobic reasons. Similarly, people can define themselves as pro-EU because they immagine it has something to do with progress/ internationalism (and they are constantly being sold this idea by the EU and the Labour Party). If being "anti EU" becomes the defining feature of a left group or campaign -rather than what the group is actually FOR - then there is the danger that they might not go out of their way to distinguish themselves from those who are against the EU for reactionary reasons.

The description of Cathy Sinnott as a "clerical conservative" seems fair enough, given her alignment with reactionaries such as Youth Defence. Clerical conservatives, in effect ,want Catholic Church doctrine to be the law of the land - this would mean no abortion, no divorce, no contraception, no sex before marraige, no gay sex, no gay marriage, no legal recognition of co-habiting couples, no stem cell research, deference to church hierarchy. (Most Catholics to be fair would not agree with all of the above doctrine). It is a mistake to immagine that Cathy Sinnott's more populist statements, for example, on having a better health service, make her some sort of closet leftie. Populist demands can resemble those of the left superficially. But in reality the type of clerical conservative society that Cathy Sinnott envisages would be a very, very unfomfortable place for anybody who considered themselves to be on the left.

author by For Claritypublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 17:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the real point of my post is that you are in serious danger of undermining the actual purpose of your campaign, opposing the EU.

And I explicitly addressed that in my post and completely disagree with your analysis. To restate for the hard of reading: there is no point in the left sharing a platform with people that are fundamentally opposed to a woman's right to choose. As you point out there are a myriad different people with different reasons for making decisions and with some contradictory beliefs in their own philosophies. All that the left can do is put the case as to why, to people that hold left-wing, progressive and liberal beliefs why EU superstatedom is a bad idea. That message doesn't gain in clarity and cogency from being presented along with a lot of reactionary bollocks from Catholics and other christian recidivists. In fact, it confuses and dilutes it and plays into the hands of the business class by tarnishing perfectly good, clear arguments that can stand on their own. That's why Nice got passed. I was very nearly tempted to vote for it when I saw the backward, ignorant bigots that were against it and I know that wasn't an uncommon reaction.

(p.s. I'm not the author of the article, that's why I'm using a different name, believe it or not there's probably lots of people that share this viewpoint. Nice article btw Brendan).

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 20:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"That message doesn't gain in clarity and cogency from being presented along with a lot of reactionary bollocks from Catholics and other christian recidivists."

Here is that statement's mirror image:

"That message doesnt gain clairty or cogency from being presented along with a lot of self-righteous bollocks from lefties and other commie apologists."

Both statements are ignorant, offensive generalisations.

Again, I dont support either of the above propositions but they compare to each other for stupidity and prejudice. In either case we are reducing millions of people, who share a desired outcome, to mutually hostile ghettoes of antagonism. And yet they share a desired outcome in relation to the EU. What kind of needlessly divisve crap is that? You are talking about genuinely held but opposing convictions.

I hate the strident positions on both sides of the abortion/sexualtiy etc debates. But from where I am sitting, the people who are behaving with arrogance in this discussion are not the 'christian recidivists' but the 'commie apologists'.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with you that pro-lifers are entitled to practice their convictions without imposing them on others in law. I wouldnt support them in that objective. I particularly object to their attitude towards homosexuality which is as much a God given as heterosexual orientation. But I can see where their vehemence comes from on an issue like abortion - that is the knottiest issue for us all. Leaving aside the jockeying for power and influence that the Catholic church is involved in, the same as every other religious/political/corproate monoply, there is a kernel of catholic theology/philosophy which is not about enslaving women. It runs something like this: It is an organic belief system within which everything is related to everything else. People come first, true social and economic justice would eardicàte poverty and the social problems which generally follow, sex is seen as a matter of love and something to be treated with care. ' Social and economic justice is critical to this outlook. I havent done it justice here. Either way it leaves a lot of questions unanswered and some very obvious logical contradictions, in my opinion, but it is crazy absolutism not to recognise the people's true motives. You may look at people like Sinnott and wish there was no overlap between you and her but there is - and its much greater than many on the left want to admit. The left wing critics of Sinnott on this thread (I consider myself leftwing) are working themselves into paroxsyms of contempt and making themselves look every bit as unreasonable and unforgiving as the sexual conservatives do. There is too much hatred in many left wing arguments on this issue for rationality or fairness.

author by For Claritypublication date Sat Sep 09, 2006 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In either case we are reducing millions of people, who share a desired outcome, to mutually hostile ghettoes of antagonism. And yet they share a desired outcome in relation to the EU. What kind of needlessly divisve crap is that?

Why is it "needlessly divisive?" The Christian mullah followers were always going to vote no so that they could continue to force raped children to give birth "for their own good". The people that needed to be convinced were ordinary, decent working people who were being hammered with propaganda from the government suggesting that the only reason to oppose the Nice treaty was if you were interested in having a good pray in front of man that has a high chance of fiddling kiddies. The leftwing arguments about the retrenchment of power and the race to the bottom were completely swamped by the message coming from BOTH the government and the reactionaries.

If anything was needed it was a clearer, stronger left campaign that attacked both the economic authoritarianism of the government and the social authoritarianism of the little Irelanders.

"Unity" is much trumpeted about as a worthwhile thing in itself and has been used to marginalise and depress alternative leftwing voices (e.g. the antics of the Green Party and the Democrats in the USA w.r.t. Ralph Nader). It needs to be strategically assessed and not held up as a goal in and of itself.

You are talking about genuinely held but opposing convictions.
So what? I assume everyone has genuinely held convictions, that doesn't make them any more palatable or acceptable. Here's a small experiment for you: think of the most awful morality you can imagine. Now, would you be arguing that because it also happened to be anti-Nice you should campaign alongside it, share resources with it while it advanced reasons from its tenets as to why Nice was wrong? Would you enable its presentation of its reprehensible message?

Anyway, the fact remains, it's not just the left that told the god botherers to feck off, it was a pretty resoundingly large proportion of the electorate. Anything tainted with those scum is going to have a similar fate and it makes sense for the left to kick them while their down in the hopes of extirpating them.

author by corkman in corkpublication date Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In what way, exactly, could Kathy Sinnott be described as "Far-Right"? Does she wear a Hakenkreuz armband? Does she goose-step her way around Ireland? Does she call for the exclusion or extermination of minorities? Seriously now lads.

Quote: "put aside all the dogmatic fundamentalism inducted into your pscyhe by a male-dominated control system which enslaves a woman's right to choice."

That is about the most dogmatic-sounding statement I have heard in a long time.

author by Crystal Clearpublication date Tue Sep 12, 2006 13:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

" (In either case we are reducing millions of people, who share a desired outcome, to mutually hostile ghettoes of antagonism. And yet they share a desired outcome in relation to the EU. What kind of needlessly divisve crap is that?)

Why is it "needlessly divisive?" The Christian mullah followers were always going to vote no so that they could continue to force raped children to give birth "for their own good". The people that needed to be convinced were ordinary, decent working people who were being hammered with propaganda from the government suggesting that the only reason to oppose the Nice treaty was if you were interested in having a good pray in front of man that has a high chance of fiddling kiddies. The leftwing arguments about the retrenchment of power and the race to the bottom were completely swamped by the message coming from BOTH the government and the reactionaries."

Look, if the government succeeded in caricaturing the no vote unfairly, it is not the fault of Sinnott or people like her. You walk right into their prescripted trap by looking around at your fellow travellers and deciding who to kick off the train so as to appease the governments spin. That is why its needlessly divisive. All this biggoted invective is aside from the point that most opposition to the EU is on shrared grounds. (I agree with some of the criticisms of religious groups but is crazy to try paint them up as totally evil people the way you are). The left is guilty of some atrocious crimes of its own - it can be as hypocritical and oppressive as any other in the way it operates.

"If anything was needed it was a clearer, stronger left campaign that attacked both the economic authoritarianism of the government and the social authoritarianism of the little Irelanders."

Talk about arrogant - just about everyone but your own small band of superior beings dismissed.

Unity" is much trumpeted about as a worthwhile thing in itself and has been used to marginalise and depress alternative leftwing voices (e.g. the antics of the Green Party and the Democrats in the USA w.r.t. Ralph Nader). It needs to be strategically assessed and not held up as a goal in and of itself.

But that is not the issue here. You have a borad spectrum of people in agreement with you. Use it to your advantage.

"(You are talking about genuinely held but opposing convictions.)
So what? I assume everyone has genuinely held convictions, that doesn't make them any more palatable or acceptable. Here's a small experiment for you: think of the most awful morality you can imagine. Now, would you be arguing that because it also happened to be anti-Nice you should campaign alongside it, share resources with it while it advanced reasons from its tenets as to why Nice was wrong? Would you enable its presentation of its reprehensible message?

Hers what. There is a world of difference between someone who claims to disagree with you for reasons other than those they are stating, because of some ulteriour motive (usually to do with profits) - and people who merely see things differently. Its rare in that case that you are dealing with a crook, although it may be frustrating and annoying. You can get that experience a dozen times a day inside the average marriage. It doesnt mean you kick your partner into touch, though, does it? The idea that the EU is about improving conditions for workers and society is the biggest lie of all. It is about homogenising conditions to maximise the profits of industrialists. Sinnott is opposed to that core ethos of the EU along with lots of other people. People come first. The job of the NO voters is to get that message over and not start introducing heirarchies of moral superiority among their supporters. But you're doomed already, at this rate.

"Anyway, the fact remains, it's not just the left that told the god botherers to feck off, it was a pretty resoundingly large proportion of the electorate. Anything tainted with those scum is going to have a similar fate and it makes sense for the left to kick them while they are down in the hopes of extirpating them."

Crikey! So everyone who calls themselves a Christian is scum. Im looking at my mum, her friends and neigbours, lots of my friends and neighbours - the good folk round and about. They look innocedn enough to me. If only they knew what you were plotting. These are the people you are trying to persuade. Some of them already are persuaded. Relax, know your real enemies from your friends.

author by Ainepublication date Wed Sep 27, 2006 08:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This sort of crazy stuff is why no-one is taking the left seriously anymore and why Labour can move to a centrist position on everything.

author by Tottipublication date Wed Sep 27, 2006 20:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can you take the right serious? i.e George Bush and his Neocon buddies

Number of comments per page
  
 
© 2001-2020 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy