Jenny O'Connor takes a look at some of the main arguments that have circulated throughout the Fiscal Treaty referendum campaign, and concludes that 'there is little to lose in voting No'.
Would Ireland be able to secure a second bailout?
The Yes campaign claim that, in the event of a No vote, Ireland would be denied EU funding should it require a second bailout. The No campaign claim that a second bailout could be secured elsewhere, often citing the IMF as a likely source.
For someone who has worked in the university sector and has been the President of the National College of Ireland, Paul Mooney’s level of ignorance as to what lecturers and professors do and the purpose of the higher education is quite remarkable. What is even more striking is that his opinion piece in the Irish Times (Inside Third Level) lacks the rigours of analysis that one would expect from an academic.
Reading Paul Mooney’s “exposé” of third level education, I was engulfed in a wave of nostalgia (alongside the nausea). While lacking in the subtlety and ideological nuance of much of the discourse, Mooney’s PowerPoint discussion could have emerged straight out of John Howard’s “Culture Wars” that devastated Australian tertiary education during the first decade of this century.
Ireland’s government has not been shy about proclaiming its commitment to human rights. “We will require all public bodies to take due note of equality and human rights in carrying out their functions”, declared the Programme for Government published by Fine Gael and Labour last year.
Possibly the best catchphrase in the world was recently taught to me by the 4-year-old son of a good friend, who upon seeing any of the grown-ups in the room talking amongst themselves would sidle up to one of them and with big anime doe eyes enquire, ‘What about meeeeeee?’ I know not whether this comes from an epilepsy-inducing cartoon, a tale of anthropomorphic trains or is the product of his own overachieving mind, but it lodged in my brain like a photo-op of a skipping Taoiseach gambolling across the street eager to have his head patted by any passing European technocrats.