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 Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty

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PostSubject: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Thu May 22, 2008 8:01 pm

I've not ben following media coverage of the treaty but today's editorial caught my eye.
Quote :

Referendum exaggerations

THERE IS something about Irish referendums, more so than any election, that brings out the barrack-room lawyers in droves. With the certainty and the convoluted plausibility of courtrooms of Perry Masons, and short-term historical memories, campaigners assail voters daily with hyperbole, misunderstandings dressed as truths, and downright lies.

How many times have we been told, at Maastricht, at Amsterdam, at Nice I and Nice II, that Article X of said treaty was the final nail in the coffin of Irish neutrality? Or that Article Y would irrevocably gobble up what little sovereignty our forefathers fought and died for? (One group has republished a 1790 Wolfe Tone pamphlet to make its case). Or that our economy would be ruined/saved if we took one course or another? Or that abortion would be foisted on us against our will?

The trouble with such arguments, as they are dusted down again, is that if they were true in the first place our neutrality would be but a distant memory and our economy long ruined. Oh no, we are assured, Lisbon is the final, final straw, the real tipping point. And then there are those who discover, as if with dazzling insight, that Lisbon promotes the liberal free play of market forces. As if the whole history and rationale of the Treaty of Rome and the EEC, and all that came since, had never happened.

The problem with trying to debunk such "facts" is that to do so inevitably prompts the response "but you would say that. You support Lisbon. Nothing you say can be trusted . . .". The public is angry, trust in politicians low, and so the Government's hope that unengaged citizens will be willing, on June 12th, simply to take on trust the views of those they have traditionally elected is a foolish, thin thread on which to hang the Yes campaign.

In the face of such scepticism and the barrage of so-called "facts", this newspaper has set out to provide a non-partisan commentary in the form of the series "Lisbon Explained" by European Correspondent Jamie Smyth (now available in full on the dedicated Lisbon section of www.ireland.com). And we would point to the balanced publications and statements of the impartial Referendum Commission which has, for example, already authoritatively confirmed that the treaty will not undermine Irish vetoes on military matters and direct taxation.

There are undoubtedly rational reasons why good people may want to oppose this treaty. The wild exaggerations of much of the campaign rhetoric are not among them and do not serve their cause well.
Now I thought, well done, kudos for highlighting the relentless negativity of the campaign. But there's not a word of criticism levelled at the Yes camp. Maybe they'll get their own editorial. The No side doesn't have a monopoly on doom-mongering, just think of Dick Roche and all his blubber about being cast out of the EU, never being trusted again, letting down the whole continent, all that shite.

Have Madame and the gang been slightly biased in their outlook?



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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Thu May 22, 2008 8:10 pm

Waits impatiently for the No troopers to arrive and dismiss the IT as a tool of the establishment (whatever that is thesedays?) ...................................................................

No is the only word in the No Camps lexicon - they have no plan B - in fact they have come out and said that they expect the Gov who negotiated (very skillfully if must be said each time I read over it - feck! I hate giving credit to FF!) this treaty over 3 torturous years to go back to everybody else and say - ok take the plan B out of your backpocket - and even if the Gov did this ala Nice and came back they would still be against it - regardless - its their raison d'etre - most are anti globalisism, anti free trade ,anti free market and anti EU since its inception - I excuse Libertas from this as they are just a bunch of publicity hungry carpetbaggers looking to get enough momentum from this campaign to give DC and JMcG a new home for hardcore rightwing PDs in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Thu May 22, 2008 8:18 pm

Riiight...
Well, what do you make of the IT's coverage so far? Befitting of the paper of record?
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Thu May 22, 2008 8:26 pm

905 wrote:
Riiight...
Well, what do you make of the IT's coverage so far? Befitting of the paper of record?

Well - it all depends on your perspective doesn't it - The IT - I buy it rarely enough - is the only paper here to make a stab at objectivity in regard to its contents.

It is well entitled to have an editorial stance - but the sign of a goodish paper is one which allows op-eds and opinion pieces contrary to the editorial stance - that the Times to be fair has always done - thru the Iraqi conflict, Bertiegate etc etc and I assume it will be no different during this Lisbon campaign - indeed I have read quite a few No campers expounding their opinion in IT pages so far.

Contrast this with the Indo stable.

I dont want us to go down the road of the states where they take this objectivity thing to unbelievable heights - but give each a fair crack - the opposing side will always cry foul - but c'est la vie.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Thu May 22, 2008 10:07 pm

cowen said the treaty weren't perfect but it is too late to renegotiate so has anybody asked which parts he don't like?


maybe we are going towards the EU NWO, but are others more socially minded creating a balance so the progress is slowed?

the IT should give more (critical)background on the people it invites to do op-eds
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Thu May 22, 2008 11:50 pm

I sort of agreed with the IT stance - for once. I really dislike the way European issues are blown up into existential matters, mostly but not exclusively by the No side. Having heard doom mongering for decades now I'm moving to a point of not caring very much. I don't expect the utopia's of the Yes side or the apocalypses of the No side to - horrible new word I found today - eventuate...
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Fri May 23, 2008 1:15 am

Having been reading the Irish Times coverage of the Lisbon Treaty I've come away with the opinion that there is a slight editorial bias in favour of the Yes side.
However, as Edo rightly points out, there have been a lot of opinion pieces advocating a No vote, and the guest writers (ie Dick Roche or Mary Lou) seem to have been given equal space.
The reason I think the paper is in favour of the Yes vote is because there have been a few articles in recent times explaining how great the EU is. There is one that springs to mind from about two or three weeks ago that was explaining how the European Commission was instrumental in securing peace in Northern Ireland. I can't remember the date or the headline but the article struck me as being a shameless plug for the European Commission.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Fri May 23, 2008 12:34 pm

Am I dreaming this or does the IT run from time to time info pull-outs funded by the EU? Not that I am suggesting for one moment that would tilt the editorial balance. If they were anti though I suppose they wouldn't run them.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Fri May 23, 2008 7:06 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Am I dreaming this or does the IT run from time to time info pull-outs funded by the EU? Not that I am suggesting for one moment that would tilt the editorial balance. If they were anti though I suppose they wouldn't run them.

They certainly have done from time to time. Are they doing a series at the moment? As to if they were anti they wouldn't run them...papers will certainly take paid supplements from people they completely disagree with.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Sat May 24, 2008 1:44 pm

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Am I dreaming this or does the IT run from time to time info pull-outs funded by the EU? Not that I am suggesting for one moment that would tilt the editorial balance. If they were anti though I suppose they wouldn't run them.

They certainly have done from time to time. Are they doing a series at the moment? As to if they were anti they wouldn't run them...papers will certainly take paid supplements from people they completely disagree with.
If it's paid for then it surely counts as advertisment, which is well out of Madame's hands.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Sat May 24, 2008 10:22 pm

905 wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Am I dreaming this or does the IT run from time to time info pull-outs funded by the EU? Not that I am suggesting for one moment that would tilt the editorial balance. If they were anti though I suppose they wouldn't run them.

They certainly have done from time to time. Are they doing a series at the moment? As to if they were anti they wouldn't run them...papers will certainly take paid supplements from people they completely disagree with.
If it's paid for then it surely counts as advertisment, which is well out of Madame's hands.

Didn't Fianna Fáil run a series ("The Nation") in all the major dailies - and which was paid for? I don't know whether the papers do free inserts.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Sat May 24, 2008 10:58 pm

The latest Red C - Sunday Business Post poll shows the number of people who say they will support the treaty is up by three points to 41%, but the number of no voters is up by five points to 33%.

Fewer people are undecided - the number now stands at 26% - that is down by eight points since the last poll two weeks ago.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Sat May 24, 2008 11:56 pm

cactus flower wrote:
The latest Red C - Sunday Business Post poll shows the number of people who say they will support the treaty is up by three points to 41%, but the number of no voters is up by five points to 33%.

Fewer people are undecided - the number now stands at 26% - that is down by eight points since the last poll two weeks ago.

From a purely personal point of view, that's very satisfying. At the end of the day, the number I care most about it the "don't knows" - it should be as small as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Sun May 25, 2008 12:01 am

I would agree with you there Ibis. Even more so, the number who turn out should be larger than last time, and maybe this time that we should not abandon the issue of the EU until the next referendum.
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PostSubject: Re: Irish Times and the Lisbon Treaty   Sun May 25, 2008 12:20 am

cactus flower wrote:
I would agree with you there Ibis. Even more so, the number who turn out should be larger than last time, and maybe this time that we should not abandon the issue of the EU until the next referendum.

I would be interested in how people feel they can engage with the question of the EU, or the EU, and vice-versa (particularly through the Internet, since that's somewhere it's relatively trivial for me to do something).
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