We hadn’t planned on talking with the No campaigners hitting Greystones main street this afternoon, so, we didn’t arrive with facts and figures neatly tucked away in our pockets.
Which is a shame, because that seems to be the main choice of weapon for this particular band of No campaigners.
Hey, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.
Once we had decided to go beyond a simple photo of the event today, our main objective was to find out what sort of reception these Save The Eight flags-and-leaflets campaigners were receiving on the streets. And how those involved felt about the well-documented claims of misinformation used on the No side, and those disturbingly graphic posters of unborn children.
The Danish journalist who’d flown over from London to talk with the campaigners was somewhat curious about this too.
Turns out that Tim, their spokesperson, didn’t think there was any misinformation out there. And he hadn’t seen any graphic posters. Any.
So, you know, could I show him examples. Dang, the one day I didn’t bring my collection of ugly, fascist and misleading No campaign posters with me. What are the odds!?
The conversation quickly descended thereafter into something resembling a Scientology confrontation, as every question we delivered was greeted with another question, or a request for documented proof. We possibly should have walked away from this battle of well-rehearsed claims for the dead baby apocalypse that will descend upon Ireland the second we repeal the Eight on May 25th, but, hey, the Guide is made of stronger, dumber stuff. We pressed on. And on. Secretly hoping for a group hug.
So, apologies to those who do have all the proper facts and figures at their finger tips, who know how to pronounce Savita Halappanavar properly and without hesitation, and to those who would have been able to fight fiery rethoric with some truthful, heartfelt fire and brimstone of their own.
It means that we probably look pretty stupid here at times, but, we’re okay with that, if it helps move the debate forward. Rather than backward. Also, we may have been thrown by the fact that the main spokespeople here were all foreign – including America, where anti-abortion groups have been buying Facebook ads – and it started to feel like we were confronting The United Colors of Benito Mussolini.
But, hey, as the great Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not his own facts. Here’s hoping truth, and compassion, and love, will win out on the 25th…
You can catch our recent interview with Grandparents For Repeal here, today’s save8.ie’s website here, and the government’s own information website on the Referendum here. Interesting piece on the No side arguments by social worker Áine Carroll here, whilst we’re still waiting for that op-ed piece for the No side. In the meantime, is raising the pregnancy termination age to 2,609 weeks out of the question…?
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