In an episode reminiscent of the “Death Panels” lies that Sarah Palin lobbed into the Healthcare reform debate in the US, Irish rightwing nutjobs Cóir have now alleged that the Treaty of Lisbon will introduce euthanasia into Ireland.
Their fear-based campaign against the Treaty betrays the fact that they can’t point to any potential benefits of voting “no” – their message is full of fear and negativity. They and their anti-Treaty fellow travellers just harp on about the same tired old (inaccurate) cliches: Ireland will lose its neutrality, will be forced into a “Euro-Army”, abortion will be imposed on the country, we’ll be invaded by millions of Turks… all complete nonsense. From this morning’s Irish Independent:
Coir, the extreme Catholic group, has came under attack for scaring older people into believing that euthanasia will become law in Ireland if the Lisbon Treaty is adopted in next month’s referendum.
A new Coir ad and poster campaign launched yesterday claimed that Lisbon effectively provides a backdoor for the introduction of euthanasia to Ireland. And Coir spokeswoman Niamh Ui Bhriain said the treaty would give EU courts the right to decide on abortion and euthanasia.
But last night, Senator Phil Prendergast, the Labour Party spokesperson on older people, accused Coir of “scaremongering” and called on the body to desist from its cynical campaign of inventing “misrepresentations . . . and downright lies”. He added: “The last thing older people need is to be subject to a campaign by a shadowy organisation designed to scare and confuse them in the run-up to the referendum.”
These people need to be called out for the liars they are. Obama and others missed a trick by not taking on right-wing misinformation about healthcare in the US. Sadly in politics, it’s often a case of “he who shouts loudest”, regardless of the accuracy of the message. In Ireland, the “Yes” campaign need to address this campaign of misinformation point by point and simplify the Treaty’s language for the average person on the street.