This article really bothers me, and I think it’s mostly to do with couching the movement to repeal the 8th Amendment in terms of ‘debate’ as suits the No side, which in the case of this campaign should be taken in the competitive sense: an art of persuasion, irrespective of facts.
The author, Colleen Brady, writes: “At the minute I feel as though there is no unbiased information readily available for the public. From where I am looking, the information available to people is either swayed one way or another.”
The thing is, this isn’t the Lisbon Treaty. It’s a healthcare issue, it’s a social issue, an awkward negotiation of complex needs. Looking for some kind of elusive, singular ‘objectivity’ is a fool’s errand. There are facts about particular aspects, and there are lies and untruths about same, and that’s all we can deal with.
It does make me wonder, with the obvious contrast of her own ‘feeling’ against some Platonic ideal of ‘unbiased information’, whether Brady’s opinion derives from a seed of doubt, or fear, already sewn by the No campaign. I mean, who would even make this point about an issue like racial or religious discrimination? Seriously, the only question in my mind is, why wouldn’t you vote Yes?
Here’s a statement of fact: the No campaign constantly misrepresents the issue, and has been caught out on its lies numerous times; the Yes campaign doesn’t lie. That’s not merely belief or ‘bias’, whatever people really mean by that.
Also, I don’t really hold that there is a true ‘middle ground’ as such: there are people who respect women and want to help build a better Ireland; people who don’t respect women, largely indirectly and out of ignorance of the wider picture to be fair; and people in the middle who are likely afraid of go against what they’re told by the latter.
If you’re a No voter or even an undecided and feel that’s me being hostile, I’d suggest you think again, about what you really think and how you really feel, and look at where the hate is really coming from.