Of despair and hope
Notes on the referendum campaign
1. There has been renewed talk lately that the ‘turn’ must come, that we are rapidly approaching some point where a widescale, popular resistance to the neoliberal way of life will manifest itself. Conor Kostick, in his talk on Irish soviets for Occupy University, speculated that future historians might even note that we have already passed the watershed without realising it. Now, it is unfair and inappropriate to read the tea leaves through the referendum campaign alone.
Hanging on to our memories
A No vote won't bring change, but it's a start
I didn't know why I was voting No, exactly. There were a few reasons, a nebulous fog of them, swirling around the pit of my gut and pulsing in my temples.
So, I decided to turn it on its head, think outside the box, innovate, get real in the real world. I went looking for reasons to vote 'Yes' and found jobs, stability, growth, and lots of talk of confidence that didn’t inspire any.
The Irish Exporters' Association tells us that a Yes vote will give:
This treaty does not serve the interests of 'those who have the least' - a response to Senator Katherine Zappone
On theJournal.ie on Monday Senator Katherine Zappone established her support for the Fiscal Treaty in an article titled, ‘I’ve always fought for those who have the least. That’s why I’m voting Yes.’ For many of us who are fans of her academic and political work it will have been a disappointing read - laced with conformism, neoliberal logic and uncritical repetition of conventional wisdom which serves the interests of the powerful.
No to austerity, Yes to democracy
To defend what's left of our democracy, a No vote is vital
Much of the treaty debate has revolved around whether Ireland could access more loans if required and whether the treaty will mean greater austerity. These are important issues, but the even more important issue of democracy has been somewhat neglected by comparison. Put simply, ratifying the treaty would give its provisions immunity from constitutional challenge and would make it much more difficult to change economic policy through the election of a new government. The wording of what we are being asked to vote on is as follows: