Abortion and Lisbon

29 September, 2009

It’s annoying to see another crackpot letter in The Irish Times  last Friday arguing that we should vote No to the Lisbon Treaty because of the abortion issue.  The letter,  from Rev Anthony Scully, includes this choice extract:

The European Union has embraced the “Culture of Death”. Yet again, Europe has become a slaughterhouse. Millions of its own children have been exterminated. Defenceless human beings have been and are being denied the right to life.  A vote for the Lisbon Treaty is a vote for the culture of death.

This is crazy stuff, and I’m surprised that The Irish Times gives space to such inflammatory and perverse outpourings.

Already (even in Ireland) we implicitly, and necessarily,  recognise that the death of a foetus does not warrant the same legal protection as the death of a child or adult.  For otherwise our law would require that, every time a woman becomes pregnant but fails to deliver a live baby in due course, there would be a full and formal legal Inquest into the “death” of the “person” . 

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This week the Public Enquiry Blog asked the question: How long before Ireland reaches accountability standards of Nigeria?   The reason for the question was that “Nigeria, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, has arrested fifteen top bankers on charges of conspiracy and money laundering.  The head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said that the bankers were taken into custody to make sure they didn’t leave the country as officials examined banks that have piled up billions in bad debts.”

So when will we in Ireland see a representative (or two) of our own dastardly bankers do the perp walk?  To me, the answer’s clear.  I will not be at all surprised if we see action (or something that has the appearance of action) against former Anglo-Irish executives just in time to help the Government in the run-up to the Lisbon referendum. 

So mark the last week of September in your diaries.

I consistently argue that there is a perfectly respectable basis on which to vote No in the upcoming Lisbon referendum, as in this post.  But there is such a plethora of extremists and crackpots who are on the same side of the fence, that it makes it an uncomfortable position to maintain.  And with every passing day, I find it harder to raise my head above the parapet on this issue. 

The last straw is probably the new campaign by Cóir, which includes some of the crassest and idiotic posters I have yet seen.  For ignorance and fallaciousness, it’s hard to beat the one that says “€1.84 Minimum Wage after Lisbon?”.   Equally disappointing was Read the rest of this entry »

I’m looking at the photo today on page 7 of the Irish Times of the outsize red and yellow cards being brandished by campaign director Pat Cox and (Ireland for Europe chairwoman) Prof Brigid Laffan.  The caption says that they were at the Office of the Referendum Commission in Dublin yesterday to urge red and yellow penalty cards for those “who tell lies” about the Lisbon Treaty.

Am I alone in feeling patronised by this toytown approach to the Lisbon debate? My only surprise is that Mr Smug himself, our Minister for European Affairs, isn’t present to add his (considerable) weight.

This adds to my annoyance that Prof Laffan’s organisation, by virtue of its title, assumes that anybody who is against the Lisbon Treaty must be against Ireland’s full participation in the EU (I am assuming that when when they say “Ireland for Europe”, they mean the EU and not the geographical entity….).  This is emphatically not the case.

And while I’m at it, how come the Referendum Commission is allowing its offices to be used in this way by one particular side of the argument?