Archive for September 9th, 2009


Lies and the liars who tell them

I was in the Post Office this morning when I happened upon a remarkable piece of literature. It’s a newspaper titled The Sovereign Independent (which strikes me as a bit redundant), and just to give you an idea as to its content, the splash story is headlined: “The vote to end ALL VOTES.”

Yes, this is a paper dedicated to highlighting the evils of the Lisbon treaty. “Creating fear” is the charge the splash article levels at proponents of the treaty, claiming, “in the midst of the economic crisis, they are confident that people are afraid enough to vote on something they haven’t read.” Just to remind you, the headline of this article is “the vote to end all votes”, suggesting this is not a referendum so much as the plot to The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer. There’s only one side that can be accused of creating fear here.

The totalitarian talk continues within. There’s a piece on the prevalence of the EU flag. Apparently it’s “popping up like swastikas”. On our cars and on our money! “This is just another example of tip-toe totalitarianism.” I could go on but you get the idea. The best part for me is the back page, which contains a piece explaining the paper’s purpose. “We are a non-partisan newspaper and we only publish facts and not personal opinions.” Yes, much like the facts I’ve just highlighted.

It goes on: “We are at the most important historical point in all Irelands history, indeed in the history of the world – because we are being presented with the biggest assault on our liberty since independence.” You might recognise this as opinion, not fact, and might I add lousy, lousy grammar. The next paragraph tells us: “The vast majority of the European people do not want to live under the Lisbon Treaty any more than the Irish do.” How do they know? Did they ask them all (this really is Michael Rimmer stuff)? Again, opinion, not fact.

Here are some more facts. The front page story also says of the Yes side: “These are the same politicians who encouraged borrowing, who created the housing bubble, and who recently bailed out the banks at the tax-payer’s [seemingly just one tax-payer] expense.” Yes, except the housing bubble was a blunder of the FF-PD coalition. All major parties excluding Sinn Féin are supporting the treaty, and the shinners are simply reverting to the standard anti-EU stance, so we might easily exclude them. Also, this is a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, not a survey on how well the government handled the economy.

This is why I’m voting yes. I look to the No side for a rational argument and I see science fiction plots instead. Cóir have put up posters in my town (I assume they’re elsewhere) stating: “€200 million lost in fisheries. Farming is next.” Notice the absolute language used. They don’t even bother employing the Fox News trick of posing it as a question: “Is farming next?” Either Cóir are somehow privy to the EU’s agricultural plans, or they’re just trying to scare us into voting no.

Anyway, to change the subject completely, I’m off to bed now as I have an early start. I have an interview in the morning. An actual interview! I’d almost forgotten what those are.