Expostulation and reply. Talking back to Fintan O’ Toole

Much though we love Fintan O’ Toole, it’s impossible to allow his column in today’s Irish Times pass by unchallenged. Read this beauty:


FOT is accusing us all on the ‘no’ side of the Lisbon Treaty of ‘bogeyman’ politics.  Most of us will likely have to rub our eyes on reading this because we can scarcely get out of bed in the morning without being told that Ireland will fall off the edge of Europe and be eaten up by deep sea monsters if we vote no.  In fact it is precisley because of the very paranoid politics that O’ Toole claims to  be exercised about that we are having to vote a second time at all. 

For the blog that is in it, a response was called for and duly fired off this morning:

“Dear Fintan

You really have a nerve.
Have you actually read the provisions of the proposed Treaty of Lisbon?  Just about everything you stand for is quite plainly threatened by it.  Does it not give you pause, to take just one example from among many, to hear the likes of IBEC welcoming the ‘liberalisation’ of public service provision in areas like health and education?  If Fungus the Bogeyman is being deployed anywhere it is by people such as yourself who insist on trying to intimidate us with the alleged dire consequences for us all of voting no.  Equally, it would be better for you not to insult the intelligence of the majority who voted against this treaty and at least engage with us on the specifics.  I cannot tell you how sick and tired I am of this sort of arrogant, undemocratic ‘mummy-and-daddy-know-best’ attitude from the Irish Times.  You would no doubt be filling your column with indignant outrage if we had voted yes and were all now being made to vote again to see if we really meant it.  If a yes vote is secured this time it will be precisely because of the sort of bogeyman politics that you pretend to decry. 
A little less hypocrisy and name-calling and more real engagement with the substantive issues would be in order.
Yours sincerely
Miriam Cotton
CC: MediaBite Blog

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