Been There, Bought The Shirt

at

ruth

enda

Yesterday

A full transcript of AAA-PBP TD Ruth Coppinger’s exchange in the Dáil concerning the holding of a referendum on the Eighth Amendment [banning abortion in Ireland] with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

A small tay.

Deputy Ruth Coppinger: “On Saturday the Taoiseach was 50 metres away from an historic demonstration – the 25,000 strong, predominantly youthful March for Choice which took place in Dublin and called for the holding of a referendum to repeal the eighth amendment abortion ban, something he has continually tried to avoid, despite all the polls which show a huge demand for it.

At the end of the protest the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs posited the idea that we might need something to replace the eighth amendment in the Constitution. Does the Taoiseach agree with her and, if so, why?

Why, following the tragedies and the folly of putting something in the Constitution equating a woman with a foetus, would he seriously contemplate putting something else in to police women’s bodies? There is nothing normal about putting anything about abortion or women’s health in a constitution. I am aware of only one other country that has done it. It was done in Chile under the murderous military dictator General Pinochet.

On behalf of women and young people in this country, I ask the Taoiseach not to go there. He has been a Member of the House for 41 years, since 1975.

During that time he has taken part in important decisions affecting women. A total of 165,000 women have had to travel outside the State for an abortion while he has been a Member of the Dáil. Did he give those women a second thought when he was debating these crucial decisions?

In what could be one of his final acts as Taoiseach, I ask him to break a pattern of more than four decades of him being on the more backward, conservative side of all these vital decisions in the Dáil.

He was in the House to vote in favour of the eighth amendment in 1983. Did he have any qualm at all having heard the reservations of the Attorney General at the time and many others? He was here to vote in favour of the “off you go” clauses in 1992 on travel and information and, crucially, was leader of the country when a pivotal event happened when a women needlessly died in a Galway hospital, having asked for and been refused an abortion.

He could have ensured that would never happen again in this country, but that is not the case now. He ignored the pleas of Savita’s parents, for example, to introduce a law to protect women’s health, but rather than repeal the eighth amendment, he chose to criminalise women for having abortions.

Will he, for the first time, listen to and trust women to make these decisions for themselves? Will he agree that it has been proved that the Constitution is not the place in which to decide on these issues and that, ultimately, the church and the State have to stay out of personal decisions?

We all know that there will be a referendum. Will he make sure that it will be to repeal, not amend, the eighth amendment?”

Enda Kenny: “I thank the Deputy. She described the insertion of the amendment in the Constitution as a “tragedy”. Unfortunately, the Constitution belongs to the people. I happened to be in the House to legislate for the first time in 30 years for what the Constitution meant, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. I have listened to the many tragic stories of women in recent times.

That is why it is entirely appropriate that 99 citizens, men and women of different age groups, are coming together from locations around the country to tease out the questions surrounding the eighth amendment, under the chairmanship of the Supreme Court judge, Ms Justice Laffoy, who I am sure will do a first-class job. It is in everybody’s interest that there be a sensitive, rational and comprehensive discussion about this and that is the purpose of the citizens’ assembly.

I am glad its first meeting will take place on 15 October and that everybody, on all sides of an argument that has divided Irish society very bitterly for 30 years or more, can make their contributions and have their say.

When the assembly provides its recommendations the issue will come back here to this House. Depending on the outcome of the recommendations, Members of the Oireachtas will vote according to their conscience on where we proceed from here.

We are having a citizens’ assembly to address the many sensitive issues that have arisen from the stories people are confronted with on a regular basis.

I spoke to some of the people on the march on Saturday and they made their views very clear but there are many divided opinions on this subject and I expect to hear them all over the coming months while the assembly goes about its business. In Ireland in 2016, it is very reasonable to allow people on all sides to make their contribution on an issue that is and always has been divisive.”

Ms Coppinger:
“The Taoiseach said he set up the citizens’ assembly to hear stories but we have ample stories and he commented on none of the questions I put about his own role in this House over four decades on these issues. We heard the stories of two women who were travelling and I know they tweeted the Taoiseach, although I do not think he tweeted anything back.”

The Minister for Health offered them tea and sympathy while sending them out of the country and I know the Taoiseach has been tweeted on many issues related to women’s reproductive rights, on which he has refused to comment.

We can win a repeal of the eighth amendment without any further restriction, which is what I fear is being cooked up in the form of restrictive legislation being put into the Constitution or an amendment to the eighth amendment. The Taoiseach keeps denying the results of opinion polls but he has set up a 99-person opinion poll in the form of the citizens’ assembly. All the opinion polls show that 73% of people want a referendum held and 80% believe health is a key issue.

When people talk about “repeal” and wear T-shirts bearing the word, as they did on Saturday, they don’t mean “revoke” or “make null and void”. They do mean “replace” or “amend”. I say this lest there be any confusion on the part of the Taoiseach or among his Ministers. That is what people marched for and that is what they will get.”

Mr Kenny: “I fully respect the view of the Deputy but it is not a black and white situation. The T-shirts may be black and have white writing on them but this is about people and people have different views.

Some 20,000 or 30,000 may have marched at the weekend but we have the citizens’ assembly to allow people to have their say and all people are entitled to have their say. Everybody has a personal opinion about this but it was a Government decision, endorsed here by the Oireachtas, to set up the citizens’ assembly.

I admire the courage of the 99 who have stepped forward to participate in the discussion. It is not an easy thing for many of them to do, given the nature of the divisive response that can come from participating in something like this.

The hearings will be streamed live and I hope that everybody, at home and abroad, can listen to the conversations and have their views heard. I hope that, under the direction of Ms Justice Laffoy, the recommendations will come back here to the Oireachtas and we can move on from there.”

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Earlier: Where’s me Jumper?

Meanwhile…

1

This afternoon.

Bray, County Wicklow.

AMC writes:

Post-March washing line….

88 thoughts on “Been There, Bought The Shirt

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      You know priests have been wearing black for a lot longer than the repeal crowd. I would say they effectively ruined the colour for a lot of people. You know, if you’re going to lay into people for the colour clothes they wear.

  1. Kerri Ann

    Thanks for the transcript, Bodger. Small but weighty typo in RC’s last paragraph? I imagine she said ‘They do NOT mean “replace” or “amend”’.

  2. fluffybiscuits

    They had no problem putting Lisbon to another treaty twice till they got the answer they wanted. A point that was well made was that everyone under 50 did not have a vote in the last vote on the ammendment last time around. I’d wager that the result would be about 55-60% in favour of repealing the 8th. Next step for the pro choice movement is to exploit the weak spots in the governement. Use Varadker as a lynch pin and push him to give a clearer position on repealing the 8th and apply pressure by proxy to Enda. Leo knows he is more than likely the next blueshirt fuher in waiting. He does not want to lose the youth vote he has.

    1. Cian

      I disagree. it will be election suicide for the leader & possibly party that brings repeal (as apposed to a replace) to the people. So Ruthis right, Enda could do it now as he is on the way out. Leo won’t touch it as repeal is toxic to a large cohort of voters.

  3. Sheik Yahbouti

    Ah,Christ, I can’t be bothered. Bring on the referendum – leave Bosco out of it. Tired at this stage.

  4. Guess Who

    I’d say he loves to be seen attending mass in the local parish church. As if he lives by those values.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      Will you marry me? Oh sorry, upside down man said you’re not a woman # or was that someone else? I’m elderly and confused

    2. rotide

      The Taoiseach who has done the most for the pro choice campaign should not be Taosieach?

      I’m confused. Would you like all the previous ones who set up commisions to clear the way for a referendum or maybe the ones who actually legislated for X.

      Because none of them exist.

      1. The Real Jane

        I don’t think any of those old fellas should be taoiseach in a country with women in it, frankly. I’d like to see a tiny island where all the lads – the ex taoisaigh, their mates in the catholic church, the civil service and the media can all live together and wonder what to do with themselves once there’s no women available to make stupid laws for.

        In fact, I’d have it filmed.

      2. Sheik Yahbouti

        Your Taoiseach had nothing to do with the legislation around the ” X case”? How long has he been in the Dail? This may be a party political matter to you, but that situation was REAL, and I lost two good friends over differing opinions. That is how committed and passionate people were – we were’nt just clicking on some on-line petition

        1. rotide

          I’m sorry, you’re going to have translate that into a more rational paragraph. I literally have no idea what you’re talking about.

          1. rotide

            Just to clear something up for you, I don’t see it as a party political matter, he’s not ‘my’ taoiseach and the length of time he was in the dail is entirely irrelevant. What counts is what happened under his watch as leader as many of his detractors will point out.

            All the other stuff about your personal situation means precisely zero to me.

  5. Tony

    Much as I hate can kicking, I do believe that this will have a better result because of the fig leaf of legitimacy the assembly will give. It is a threshold we need to cross together as a society and the more the reasons for repeal are explained and reported on broad, mainstream media the better chance of reaching a better consensus.

    The assembly will also be able to tease out versions of proposed replacements as this is the crux of a lot of peoples doubts. As the polls show, the levels of support vary depending on what people take Repeal to mean.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      You are wrong, Tony, and I don’t believe you are all that averse to “can kicking”. This issue is long overdue for resolution – REAL people suffer whilst your like indulge in pointless ‘debate ‘ of problems which are merely an intellectual exercise for YOU. have a bit of humanity, for once.

      1. Tony

        You’re a bit SHOUTY today Sheikh. And talking total populist thrash as well. Im a realist with actual skin in the game, not just a ditch hurler telling the whole world how they are doing it WRONG!!

        1. Sheik Yahbouti

          Tony, I apologise. I have re-read your post and it has merit. I just get so disappointed that we are still here discussing the ‘problems’ of my youth (instead of building a republic) – and making no progress at all. I also have a rotten cold, which has made me extra grumpy :-)

          1. Tony

            No worries Sheikh. It has been around as long as I remember too, and this is a chink in the armour that I actually think might work as long as it focuses on what might replace the 8th. Now get some lem-sip and mind yourself.

    2. Barry the Hatchet

      I can see where you’re coming from, but to be honest I’ve heard this argument before and I don’t really understand it. What exactly is the Oireachtas for, if not to represent the views of the people, to tease out complex issues and ultimately to reach a consensus? I mean I know our policiticans are generally useless and full of crap, but it still baffles me that so many people (those politicians included) are so eager to divest the Oireachtas of its one actual job, rather than insisting that the members get their shit together and actually do it for once. This assembly is an exercise in avoiding political responsibility. If it helps to convince people who don’t trust politicians that repealing the 8th is a good idea, then I guess that’s a good thing. But it’s a pretty poor excuse for a functioning democracy.

    3. ahjayzis

      There’s nothing legitimate, at all, in the parliament of a sovereign state farming their job out to 100 unelected, unrepresentative people. It’s the opposite of legitimacy, it’s abrogation of duty and *should* be massively unconstitutional.

  6. Niamh

    ‘Some 20,000 or 30,000 may have marched at the weekend but we have the citizens’ assembly to allow people to have their say and all people are entitled to have their say. Everybody has a personal opinion about this but it was a Government decision, endorsed here by the Oireachtas, to set up the citizens’ assembly.’

    I.e., democratic will does not matter, the government – Enda, that is – will tell you what’s what, and decide whose voices deserve to be heard.

    It is not a complicated issue. Do not legislate for abortion at all; remove it from the constitution and allow medical ethics and relevant aspects of state administration to deal with it, as we do with other, technically similar, issues that straddle medicine and public ethics (stem cell research, organ donation, right of medical veto, consent in children’s health, introduction of new treatments, etc.) but are not dealt with in the constitution because the constitution takes a broad and undifferentiated view. It exists to regulate public ethics in the broadest sense.

    ‘It is in everybody’s interest that there be a sensitive, rational and comprehensive discussion about this and that is the purpose of the citizens’ assembly.’

    I.e., ‘calm down dear’. What, Enda, was NOT rational, comprehensive, and sensitive about, for instance, the multiple submissions on this issue made by Claire Daly in consultation with medical professionals, activists, and other politicians? You didn’t have control of the contents, that’s what.

    What can a ‘Peoples Assembly’ achieve that a referendum cannot? A compromised and micro-managed facsimile of democracy under the ultimate control of a Blueshirt government. That’s all.

    This bluster and BS about ‘sensitive’, ‘complex’, blah blah blah, reminds me of the default response to questions about abortion delivered by a Blueshirt d*ck I used to work with: it was always ‘see, YOU don’t understand, it is COMPLICATED, we can’t RUSH INTO IT’ – I’d point out the decades of activism, the existence of comparable models in Britain and Canada, the extent to which we have happily ‘rushed into’ other constitution referendums on Lisbon, Nice, etc. But no. It was just ‘silly woman, can’t you see it’s COMPLICATED??’

    It’s not. Just remove it from the constitution. Allow it to be regulated as a medical practice. This will not (much to my chagrin, really) mean ‘abortion on demand’ – far from it. But it will prevent the likes of Enda filibustering in this spineless way by no longer having abortion come under the remit of an institution – the government – that has been dominated by right- to middle-right middle-aged-men since its inception.

      1. The Real Jane

        I can predict the outcome of this assembly – no need to do anything. The 8th is not hateful, it’s GREAT and if anything, should be strengthened.

      2. noc

        Yes, great post Niamh.

        I would like to know who exactly are these 99 unelected, strangely privileged citizens who presume to speak for me. How dare this government outsource such an important issue to an unelected and unrepresentative body? You quite rightly call it a filibuster. It’s disgusting.

    1. rotide

      I.e., democratic will does not matter,
      What are you talking about, democratic will? Tell me you are not basing turnouts of marches as the results of a democratic poll?

      Re: Clare Dalys bill. We’ve been there, there was constituinal worries about that.

      If you morons can’t see that that ‘Citizens Assembly’ is the establishments way of setting up for a referendum without losing face to the die hard catholics, then there really isn’t any hope for you at all.

      1. Sheik Yahbouti

        Ah look, give it up. No civilised person could espouse the views you purport to espouse. Therefore, you are either a staff member attempting to generate traffic; a troll, or a person with, shall we say, “difficulties”. What’s it to be, backwards editor?

      2. Nigel

        That’s possible, but not obvious, because it’s also possible it’s intended as an empty talking shop that will not implement any findings or conclusions not in keeping with the current status quo. In fact that is more likely, given how often important issues have been sent to die in committees.

        1. rotide

          Nigel, What exactly has happened up until know since the 8th was put into place with regards to holding a referendum to take it away.

          Nothing.

          At All.

          We don’t know what the recommendation of the assembly will be. I’m guessing they will reccomend a referendum but it’s a guess i suppose. Shrill idiots like The Real Jane however have already decided what the outcome will be and are using it as a sort of capital to become even more shrill.

          I guess we will see. If I’m wrong you can all carry on calling me an establishment shill and If I’m right I can carry on calling the more outspoken people here idiots but be justified in doing so.

          1. The Real Jane

            “If I’m right I can carry on calling the more outspoken people here idiots but be justified in doing so.”

            Er, yeah. Good man.

          2. Sheik Yahbouti

            Ah, but stuff HAS happened. A thirteen year old was arrested because her parents unwisely advised the authorities that they were travelling to obtain an abortion ; three young women we know of have died because Hospital staff were paralysed by fear owing to the legislation – an untold number may have suffered the same fate but their relatives may have been too overwhelmed to do anything about it). This stuff has consequences for people we don’t know and will never meet. but who are worthy of consideration.

          3. Nigel

            We’re very cynical about politics, casually and routinely so. There’s corruption, self-enrichment, and ineffectiveness. We can hardly blame people like Jane for having no faith in the political process and for having extreme doubts about the promises of politicians. The Marriage Ref is one example of what can be done. Set against that there are hundreds and hundreds of examples of things that can be botched, sabotaged or buried. We all talk about politics this way, we can hardly be critical of people who truly believe in the need for change yet know that the Irish political system is more designed to throw obstacles in their way than it is to enable them. Jane might be ‘shrill’ but that Youth Defense video yesterday represents a part of the status quo. Set against that, it seems a bit much to be calling Jane a ‘shrill idiot.’

          4. The Real Jane

            *Jane might be ‘shrill’ but that Youth Defense video yesterday represents a part of the status quo. Set against that, it seems a bit much to be calling Jane a ‘shrill idiot.’*

            Well I must admit to being extremely flattered.

          5. Nigel

            I hope my mild sarcasm came across. I don’t think you’re shrill. I do think you’re going to get called shrill a lot, by people who are trying to be moderate and reasonable as much as by trolls, and, particularly in light of that video, it’s beyond laughable.

          6. rotide

            That YD video is one video by a small group of people. There has also been pro choice videos.

            Obviously people are cynical about politics but it’s one thing to say ‘i really don’t believe them when they say that’ and another to say ‘THIS IS A DISTRACTION TECHNIQUE SO THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE TORTURING WOMEN’.

            This sort of hyperbole is par for the course here and by no means solely about the 8th or solely women. Jane might be shrill but there are male commenters who put shrill to shame with their histrionics.

            Obviously I know why people are angry. My confusion is why are people angry with a government who have demonstrably done more to improve the pro choice lot than any government in history.

          7. The Real Jane

            *I hope my mild sarcasm came across. I don’t think you’re shrill. I do think you’re going to get called shrill a lot, by people who are trying to be moderate and reasonable as much as by trolls, and, particularly in light of that video, it’s beyond laughable.*

            Of course. It’s just a funny experience for me to be described as “shrill” by anyone, although I do know that once you’re clearly a woman, shrill and hysterical are only around the corner no matter how measured, so why bother trying to be measured? This is though, something I feel quite passionate about and to be honest, I’m not in the mood for reasonable or moderate because my experience is that they’re both part of a holding technique that puts difficult issues to the back of the queue. Reasonable and moderate look for solutions in the fullness of time, when the time is ripe, wind and weather permitting, when the stars align…

            The reason I think this citizen’s chat in is part of that is because there’s no appetite in government to take this issue on at all. I don’t blame them in a way – who wants to ruin a perfectly good career? And we all know that it would be career suicide. We also know that many politicians, Enda himself, for example, aren’t keen on getting rid of the 8th because it is in line with his personal beliefs. So I do think this is a way of getting rid of the issue for the time being because the heat is building on it. If I thought there was any genuine and honest engagement with the reality of the lives this affects I’d be less cynical. But I haven’t heard a single word from any of them that shows that they’ve connected with the issue in any way at all.

          8. rotide

            Jane, So far in this thread you’ve asserted that Kenny shouldn’t lead a country with women in it and implied that everyone in the civil service and the media are men trying to subjogate women .

            You’re the one creating the gender hysterics here.

          9. Nigel

            @rotide – political rhetoric used to inspire others and drive political change doesn’t seem that much of a mystery, though I suppose it depends on which side you have more sympathy with. Keeping up the pressure on a centre-right government to repeal a conservative amendment is hardly out of place, especially at the slightest hint that they’re about to shift out of inertia. The danger of sidelining it or attempting a potentially disastrous half-measure is very real.

          10. Tony

            In any negotiation the objective should be to make it easier for your enemy to grant you what you wish. You do that by granting them their wish. Seeing as it is the government you are trying to influence, make it easy for them to announce a referendum by saying it is the wishes of the assembly. Its common sense.

          11. Nigel

            Give them an inch and they’ll take the mile, especially with an issue like this. Better for a loud, visible populist movement to take the mile instead.

          12. Tony

            Why shouldn’t it be a March and an assembly. #loveboth. Some people have lost sight of the actual objective because they are so focused on the vindictive joy of winning their own little agenda rather than bringing a societal resolution.

      3. MayJay

        I may be wrong, but I think your point is that this is a political softening-up exercise (towards repeal)? I can see where you’re coming from and if I believed Enda’s/Fine Gael’s real feelings were pro-choice then I might agree with you. I don’t. So I see it as career protection.

        There are real democratic polls. They’re called referendums. They don’t require ‘setting up’ via the mechanism of an unelected selection of citizens in a non-transparent, undemocratic committee. If a referendum were called, each side would then have the opportunity to make their arguments. Win or lose, that’s how it works (or should).

        Women have had quite enough can kicking, thank you very much. When it comes to rights and bodily autonomy, yesterday is too flipping late.

        Also, regarding democracy, did any one else notice that the leader of our government actually said “Unfortunately, the Constitution belongs to the people.”

        Unfortunately??

        1. rotide

          Well that’s funny because I gave Kate Fitzgerald a preference last time out because she’s pro choice.

          So whatever you believe, you’re wrong.

          1. MayJay

            “If I believed Enda’s/Fine Gael’s real feelings were pro-choice… I don’t”. I didn’t speculate on your position on choice at all because, frankly, I don’t care.

            Even though I was disagreeing with you, I felt my original comment was respectful. It was certainly intended that way. Your reply isn’t terribly grown up.

            I guess I’m just ‘shrill’, eh?

        2. Sheik Yahbouti

          MayJay absolutely excellent. The one thing our own dear trough swillers seem to fear, once they achieve office, is “de peepil” actually getting to have a say. Old certainties might be swept away; embarrassing situations might be created – lord knows what evil might come of the electorate being able to express an un stage-managed opinion.

      4. ahjayzis

        I can see that.

        I just deplore it. It’s another rung down the ladder of our parliament being completely unnecessary in this Executive State and another example of the abject cowardice of our political class to dela with anything more involved than bin charges.

        You should not be able to outsource the deliberative function of parliament to a bunch of randomers off the street.

        It’s as not-cool when it’s an assembly of 100 random citizens form an unrepresentative sample as it is when it’s an assembly of 10 army generals.

        1. MayJay

          Your point on outsourcing decision making is so well put. It baffles me how we continue to tolerate this idea of putting serious national issues on the long (undemocratic) finger.

          This “we’re putting it to a committee/inquiry/commission” tactic is an oft repeated delinquency of duty by our elected parliamentarians. One that serves their electoral interests and consciously does not serve the people they were elected to represent. Make decisions yerselves, people. Even ones we don’t agree with. We pay you enough.

    2. nellyb

      On “abortion on demand” (- not a criticism of Niamh’s post, she just quoted the other side).
      ‘Abortion’ = ‘demand’. Health demand, life demand, family circumstances demand… whatever.
      Former doesn’t happen without the latter. In fact, the latter can be dropped all together. Abortion on demand is not embarrassing and need not be enclosed into double quotes. It’s a game militant anti-choice people invented to shame pro-choice. But it comes from their own understanding of shame and has no bearing on the rest or people. It’s like me thinking it’s shameful to brand women incapable of decision makers. But anti-choice don’t see it this way, they make it a staple of their argumentation.

  7. Jess

    “but it is not a black and white situation”

    Which is exactly why we can’t have such a blanket ban on it

    1. The Real Jane

      “this is about people and people have different views”

      Which is why the final decision has to be made by the woman who is pregnant. She may not – astonishingly – want to continue her pregnancy. Why is Enda Kenny’s view that she should more relevant?

  8. Sheik Yahbouti

    Might I mention that this country was effin Albania until relatively recent times. I married in 1974 and our access to even condoms was restricted. We obtained ours through smuggling – how bloody sad is that?

    1. Niamh

      Yah but we’re OVER THAT NOW and no denial of abortion legislation could POSSIBLY be an expression of misogyny and extension of the same anti-condom, anti-gay, anti-woman sentiment; in fact you’re a FLAMING HATEFUL MISANDRIST if you even contemplate the thought that maybe just maybe a rather ingrained dislike of social/sexual/political power in the hands of woman – such that the brazen hussies can get clean away with shagging when they want to – might lie behind a cultural refusal to contemplate abortion.

      I mean, to suggest such a thing of progressive Ireland, well, it’d be ridiculous, wouldn’t it.

      1. Tony

        Whats the obsession with progression? Its only given us climate change, an unsustainable population growth, the ability to eradicate ourselves and LJG.

        1. Caroline™

          Speak for yourself. As a woman, we better be going forwards because I’m sure as hell not going back there.

          1. Tony

            We are all slaves to the dogma of progress. We have never had as many labour saving devices, and yet we have never worked harder. And there is no freedom in progress, only false dawns.

  9. Fully Keen

    Enda is in no rush.

    And the next government will not be either.

    The rosary bead brigade vote is very strong.

    At least we have the citizens distraction assembly organization coming up…

  10. rotide

    I really do wonder about the brainpower of the collective here sometimes. There seems to be a complete lack of any practical understanding of how politcis (and the media and business) works.

    It’s fairly obvious that the assembly is being set up to act as a sort of research group so that Kenny can point to it and say ‘well, this is what the research said’. It’s probably going to indicate that a referendum is needed and the resulting referendum will probably pass. This is the best way to go about ensuring a referendum will happen. It’s taking the ‘The old man politicians won’t call a referendum because votes/church/misogyny’ thing out of the equation completely.

    1. The Real Jane

      It really, really isn’t. It’s a way of finding 99 people whose views are already known who can then recommend that nothing needs to be done and the ridiculous so-called “ladies” should settle down.

        1. The Real Jane

          Nope. I know not a single one of them. I have no idea how any of them were selected or how they found people with the time and interest to attend this committee.

          I did offer my services here. I know you’ll be devastated to hear this, but no attempt to contact me was made.

          1. rotide

            I’m in genuine shock that a government committee overlooked applications submitted to the comments section of an internet blog.

            If that isn’t a sign of the patriarchy gone mad, I don’t know what is.

    2. Nigel

      A practical understanding of politics would suggest that the only way anything will get done is of they keep up the pressure, keep the issue visible and keep people talking about it, with or without the assembly.

    3. Neilo

      @rotide: didn’t a similar thing happen regarding the marriage equality referendum? This looks to me like an exercise in gauging the mood of the electorate and softening up more hardline views before calling for a vote on the 8th amendment.

    4. ahjayzis

      Rotide, I really do wonder why you can’t comprehend where we’re all coming from. Are you so gone-native? Or just a bit slow? Certainly condescending enough.

      We understand perfectly well how it works. And we think it’s fupping rotten as fupp.

      The day I start sagely nodding in pragmatism that our parliamentary system is failing by the day and our executive is captured by fear of a cross-wielding mini-minority, is the day I become part of the problem. Like you.

      This isn’t how grown-up countries are supposed to operate, and there’s nothing wrong in saying that.

      1. Kieran NYC

        We have marriage equality in good part due to the constitutional convention wholeheartedly recommending it.

        We’ve gone through this process before and it was shown to have worked.

  11. Junkface

    Irish politics is full of Spineless Goons, Enda Kenny is at the top of that list. The very nature of irish politicians and their Gombeen cliques have contributed to all Irelands current problems. They don’t like to rock the boat, they want things to run smoothly for them, feck the people who actually live here. Its about an easy life for them, then a big fat pension. They don’t care about womens health issues, as they are clearly 2nd class citizens compared to the men.

  12. Jake38

    If Copps continues to sport that ugly black teeshirt (surely we can come up with something better) she’ll have to sort her hair.

    Look at Enda’s, for God sake. Magnificent!

    1. The Real Jane

      It is magnificent. I think the most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen in this life (or expect to see in the next, for that matter) was an old Mayo man at Croke Park. He DID have his sangwidges in a Rovers tin. He did have a plaid flask of tae. But most wonderful of all, he had a very striking strawberry blond wig styled just like Enda’s.

      Marvellous man.

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