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Wednesday 13 May 2015

Fear and Loathing on the Streets of Dublin

Well on the lamp posts mostly, the streets themselves are pretty open and friendly these days.

I felt a bit bad* that I dismissed the No posters so glibly yesterday and thought it would be only fair to put them all together in a nice neat little package so they could be seen for what they are. There are only posters on the No side, no street art, windows, banners or slap tags.

So far I’ve only seen 9 ( oops updated so now 11) different flavours. As a card carrying Yes voter from the Gaeltacht ( well once upon a time) I’m pleasantly surprised to see that there is not a single word of Irish in the whole lot. They can have  “Vótáil Níl - Cad mar gheall ar na sicíní?” for free, I reckon it’d be great, and closer to the topic if you ask me.


We start with “Mothers and Fathers Matter” because they put them up first. For a group that seems to have a lot of lawyers, academics and media types on board they are a bit light on good punchy copy here. But you know, they are direct and to the point. And at least the first one is on topic. The fact that the legal opinion from the Referendum Commission on this states clearly that Marriage in the constitution is not being redefined is only a minor quibble for people brought up with extensive skills in “Mental Reservation”.

I threw in some pictures of the vandalised ones for the record because a lot of air time has been given to them. They are getting hard to find though as most seem to have been replaced and are now being left alone. They might be being attacked elsewhere but in Dublin city centre that hasn’t been happening since the second or third day after they went up.



The surrogacy one shows that irony is not dead. Remember this is from a group that is funded by a fundamentalist Catholic organisation with deep ties to the Catholic establishment that to this day refuses to acknowledge that they systematically stripped children from their mothers for profit for at least a century. This is like having a conservative party candidate in Fermanagh/South Tyrone wearing a Remember Bobby Sands T-Shirt while waving a black flag. Or am I missing something? The authors of this clearly have no shame either. The Ulster says No angle in this shot is pure coincidence.


Mothers and Fathers Matter came out with the second batch today. Shorter and even more to the point. Smaller and cheaper too which I applaud. Apparently the one on the right is definitely not homophobic. It’s a quirk of English as it is spoken by some people in Ireland, I gather. 


The Iona Institute were late to the game for various funding and SIPO reasons (I assume) but again they obviously hold that sentiment around the Irish Mammy, a barely controlled aversion to gay adoption amongst the “silent majority” and an outright hatred of surrogacy** are good strong seams to mine.  I think the one on the right is also the Iona Institute but I can’t see an ID.



And finally the Irish Citizens for Liberty, who I still think are a parody, and Reformation Ireland who seem to be missing some Leviticus in their posters. Reformation Ireland also seem to be campaigning in the wrong referendum. We passed the divorce amendment more than twenty years ago after all.



The more normal of these, for some value of normal at least, are sticking with a campaign built around anxiety over adoption and surrogacy. This is in the face of wall to wall statements from the Law Society, all the Children’s charities, the Adoption Agency, individual Judges, family law experts, all the Political Parties and even the dogs in the street who have unanimously stated that in their expert opinion the referendum will have no affect _whatsoever_ on adoption or surrogacy. When confronted by this they claim either conspiracy or personal revelation and refuse to accept that they might not be correct. Oh well.



* Of course I didn’t. 

** It’s too much for this post but I have absolutely no problem with surrogacy under most conditions so I really don;t get this but I gather I’m in a minority on that one. Fair enough. It’s got feck all to do with this vote in any case. 

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