Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

The Lisbon Campaign Awards.

Posted by Jason O on Oct 3, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty |

1. The “Big Mo” Award: Ireland for Europe/Women for Europe. The Brendan Halligan/Pat Cox led organisation got what Americans call momentum with a constant stream of endorsements and a focus on non-politicians selling the message. It also had in Andrew Byrne an exceptionally talented organiser.

2. The Just Vote F**king Yes Award: Michael O’Leary. He’s a divisive figure, although every small businessman loves the guy for his bluntness. The decision to wade into the battle had an effect on the campaign, and his “Unemployable f**king headbangers” description of the No campaign was probably the most memorable line of the campaign, as was the press conference it was delivered at.

3. The A Lie Too Far Award: Coir’s €1.84 poster, which was such a big and disprovable lie that although it was effective, it allowed the Yes side to lay into them for blatant porkifying.

4. The Just The Facts, Mam Award: The European Movement, who although they did not campaign for a yes or no vote, published the best guide  to the treaty, and the tireless Andrea Pappin, who traipsed the country with a well-thumbed copy of the treaty and an inflatable sheep, and got savaged by people on both the Yes and No side for her troubles.

5. The Storm The Barricades Award: Joe Higgins MEP. Unlike the shinners, who were obtuse and seemed to change their opinions on the EU depending on whether they were north or south of Dundalk, and Coir, who just made shit up, Joe argued from a point of principle. Didn’t agree with him, but believed he was sincere. Having said that, if you asked him for the recipe to a really light and fluffy souffle he’d almost certainly demand that a worker’s collective be included.

6. The Here Comes The Cavalry Award: This has to go to UKIP, who assumed that the dumb paddies don’t know anything about British politics. Their intervention almost certainly shifted soft Nos into the Yes camp. The Yes campaign should do the decent thing and pay Nigel Farage’s airfare.  

7. The Blitzkrieg Award: Generation Yes, run by Bart Storan and Sharon Waters, was the paramilitary wing of the Yes side, and brought a lot of Full Metal Jacket style energy to the campaign.

8. The Puff Of Purple Smoke And They Were Gone Award: Coir/ Youth Defence. Just who were those mysterious people and their posters and their granny frightening?

9. The Bring Back The Old Days Award: Alive, the Catholic “publication”, and its unbiased “Does the EU want to make it compulsory for you to breed with weasels?” coverage of the treaty.

10. The Jaysus That Could Have Been Me! Award: Iceland, for making a lot of Irish people wake up and realise that, but for an “R” and not vaguely smelling of cod liver oil all the time, that could have been us.

5 Comments

Paul
Oct 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

Jason, great observations…

I thought a few weeks out that the posters for the No side were far more effective… They got across a fear and put doubt in peoples minds about the minimum wage and the sacrifice of the brave men and women who’ve gone before us. But it seems in the whole scheme of things it had little effect.

Plus Michael O’Leary’s outbursts were just what the yes side needed… His ‘colourful’ choice of words and his willingness to debate Ganley made it a remarkable campaign. For me, big FF winner is Micheal Martin… as you have mentioned, despite the Yes side victory Joe Higgins MEP has his dignity intact… he did well.


 
david morris
Oct 5, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Re No 10 :The Irish Economy contracted by 11.6pc in the 12 months to June. Nominal GDP shrank by nearer 13pc, which is what matters for debt dynamics. The country is in deep depression.

Iceland’s economy contracted by 6.5pc to June (less than Germany) and is already turning the corner. Exports are surging. Unemployment fell in August to 7.7pc. Such is the magic of a floating currency. The plunging krone acted as a shock absorber. Icelandic society remains in tact.

Both Ireland & Iceland had banking systems that fell over. One said, yup, they’re bust and had an independent currency which could devalue. The other didn’t.
It’s a little early to call the winner here but if in a year or two’s time Iceland is still growing and Ireland is not then that’ll answer the euro question, won’t it?


 
Jason O
Oct 6, 2009 at 7:13 am

Funny Iceland opening negotiations to join the Euro, isn’t it?

Ireland is in recession, but to say that an Old Labour Harold Wilson three card trick devaluation is the answer is, well… An economy is built on being competitive, keeping costs down, and exporting innovative products that people want to buy. Devaluation is a short term gimmick that boosts raw material costs and eventually feeds back into your cost overhead. That’s one of the reasons why Britain in the 1970s was a basketcase economy. The Euro, on the other hand, provides us with currency stability in a huge export market. If we had our own currency now, we’d have to have higher interest rates to keep it stable.


 
david morris
Oct 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Well, it just goes to show that the European Union has no problem getting people to vote for it, as long as they are bankrupt. When Ireland was looking OK, it voted No. Wrong answer, so it had to vote again. Now it’s bust, it has fallen sobbing into the arms of the subsidy providers. Britain joined in 1973, and the East European states twenty years later, for just the same reasons. They were suffering a deep economic malady and thought it might be cured, like scrofula, simply by touching.

(Shamelessly nicked from Prof Butler/ASI)


 
Jason O
Oct 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm

David, are you a patriot or a monarchist?


 

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