Photoshopped image created last year by Jimmy Reynolds

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin, on Open Democracy, writes:

This spring, Irish voters will return to the polls to vote in a General Election and the current government partners — centrist Fine Gael and putatively centre-left Labour — will need to defend the last five years of deep austerity policies. The timing of this election suggests that pinkwashing will be one of the country’s hottest trends for 2016.

Simply defined, pinkwashing is the practice of projecting a state or organisation as gay-friendly in order to soften or downplay its more negative characteristics…

“In Ireland, the government coalition that has established Ireland as the golden child of Europe’s austerity states — gladly imposing vicious cuts across society and lapping up the approbation of the troika — will now attempt to rinse all of that away with the success of a single political campaign, in which they demonstrate support for a single, narrow, neoliberal form of equality. This is textbook pinkwashing.

The process has already begun. The recently-launched campaign invites young emigrants to come #hometowork, appropriating the #hometovote movement, which saw thousands of young people travel home to vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum. The posters fail to explain exactly what work these returning emigrants (numbering nearly half a million since the 2008 crash, 85% of them under 35) are expected to do, in the context of extreme generational inequality and a continuing youth unemployment rate of 19.7%.

Similarly, a government minister described the opportunity to reform Direct Provision, Ireland’s controversial accommodation system for asylum seekers, as another “Yes Equality moment” (referencing the most popular slogan of the referendum campaign).

Whatever warm glow he was attempting to transmit will hardly reach those asylum seekers who have spent as much as seven years in Direct Provision centres where, as they await court judgments on their cases, they receive an independent allowance of €19.10 per week, have no entitlement to work, live with little to no privacy, and in extremely restrictive conditions.”

“The other major political event of the year, the celebration of the centenary of the 1916 Rising, will also be pink-tinged. In the course of the referendum campaign, Yes activists repeatedly invoked the promise contained in the Proclamation of the Irish Republic that the state would guarantee “religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens”, pursuing “the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally”.

“No reference, of course, to the reality of a virulently Catholic rebellion (launched at Easter to represent the resurrection of the Irish people) that ultimately gave rise to a violently Catholic state. Or to the fact that when a high-profile campaign sought clemency for Roger Casement, convicted of treason and sentenced to death for his part in the Rising, British authorities had only to leak diaries revealing his homosexuality to ensure that Irish support for him crumbled.”

Is Ireland about to become the pinkwashing capital of the world? (Open Democracy)

48 thoughts on “Pinkwashing

  1. rotide


    Ffs, this gets more and more irritating.

  2. Leaning to the centre

    Dumb article -“gladly imposing vicious cuts across society and lapping up the approbation of the troika”
    No special love for either coalition party but thank fupp no one else was in government the last 5 years.
    I hope people that write articles like this remain where they are on the side lines with no decisive popular appeal and nowhere near the reins of power

  3. MoyestWithExcitement

    In fairness to our horrible government, full of the incompetent and the delusional, their advertising campaign for re-election is obviously going to cast them in a positive light. You don’t need to speculate about that. Still though, fupp’em.

  4. Leaning to the centre

    Dumb article -“gladly imposing vicious cuts across society and lapping up the approbation of the troika”
    No special love for either coalition party but thank Jahoba (removal of naughty word to avoid filter) no one else was in government the last 5 years.
    I hope people that write articles like this remain where they are on the side lines with no decisive popular appeal and nowhere near the reins of power

  5. Rob_G

    What a confusing articles; careens from one issue to the next, without offering anything to support any of its stranger suppositions.

  6. Declan

    Can we tell all the emmigrants coming home to stop going on about how great it is over there? I didn’t realise we could

    1. Fergus the magic postman

      Who can’t win exactly? You’d rather we just bought all the spin no questions asked? Even though it’s pretty clear who this government have been looking after, & who they have not?

      The real problem with this country is the slow minded easily bought people, who don’t ask questions, & are going to vote for FG. The sort who continue to use spoons where forks work best.

      1. Rob_G

        Aren’t you the lucky one, so much more clever than everyone else?

        I would love to see the look of anguish on your face when FG are reelected in a few weeks’ time.

          1. Fergus the magic postman

            Hopefully you’re young, & you’ll learn to think for yourself in time little one.

          2. Fergus the magic postman

            …& I’d suggest not actually putting your eye out just because I advised you not to.

          3. ReproBertie

            “you’ll learn to think for yourself in time” and vote the way Fergus would find acceptable. The idea that you can think for yourself and would reject FF/SF/AAA/PBP is too bizarre for Fergus to comprehend.

            Of course Fergus won’t say what the correct way to vote is, just anyone but FG/Lab, because he recognises the depressing reality that there is no alternative. Even FF are saying they won’t be in power and that’s before the election has kicked off. AAA/PBP/SF don’t want to be in power because it’s easier to complain than have to provide answers that might prove unpopular with the disgruntled voters they rely on.

          4. Fergus the magic postman

            You’re very very wide of the mark Repro. The idea that you vote to be p1ssed on continually from a height because you can’t think of, or are afraid to vote for an alternative says it all.
            …& you’ve left some options out of your list of parties who aren’t FG/ Labour in your catch-all attempt.

          5. ReproBertie

            Everything you think you know about how I vote is in your head Fergus.

            Don’t be coy now, tell us which parties I’ve left out. Social Democrats obviously but I left them out because, sadly, I don’t believe they will be big enough to make a difference. Who else? Renua? The Communist Party of Ireland? The Christian Solidarity party? The we’re not a party just a grouping of independents that may or may not win their seats back party?

          6. Fergus the magic postman

            I’ve declared several times on here, that I don’t do party loyalty. I believe party loyalty is to blame for where we are now. I suspect FG will unfortunately scrape it in again. In the election. That will for the large part be down to party loyalty, and people thinking there is no alternative because that’s what they heard.

            I won’t be voting for FG. I won’t be voting for FF.

            Last time around, I voted for Labour. That will never happen again while Joan Burton or Alan Kelly are involved. Labour stabbed me and many others in the back.

            I’m keeping my mind open otherwise.

            FG are Sh1te by the way.

          7. ReproBertie

            None of that answers the query on who I left out of the options facing the electorate. What it does show is that you are as lost as the rest of us when it comes to finding an alternative to the current government.

          8. rotide

            You don’t do party loyalty, but you won’t vote for a labour candidate regardless of how good they are because of the opposite of party loyalty.

            Keep on truckin Ferg

        1. Fergus the magic postman

          I’m pretty sure about not promoting the current crew or FF in any shape or form.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            You mean he invented a sock and gave it that name because he thought he’d influence more readers if they thought he was centrist? Shocking.

        1. rotide

          I’m not trolling. You say you are unaffected by party politics but you refuse to vote for someone regardless of their abilities due to the party they belong to. That by definition is voting via party politics.

          1. Fergus the magic postman

            I am refusing to vote for a party that spit my last vote for them back in my face while laughing. Simple.

      2. inPisces

        Fergus doesn’t believe in any sort of democratic process whine doesn’t return his chosen brand of anarcho-socialist malcontents to the trough where they can take their turn to feed

  7. Willie Banjo

    Was this article written by a child with a broken crayon and adhd….

    Last paragraph was a particular hoot. Roger Casement was simultaneously the leader of, and victim of, a ‘virulently Catholic rebellion’.

    1. Andy

      How is someone who writes like this employed as a Press Officer? [ Linkedin]
      Although, the Women’s Equality Party seems to be an anti-austerity type feminism movement.

      Awful article. Is this the New Broadsheet that Mercille was talking about?

    1. J

      I can’t take it anymore. Da nerves. Da nerves. *hops on Aer Lingus website and checks out Easter flights*

  8. Starina

    sneaky fupps doing an election during the commemorations. trying to get elected off the achievements of their grandfathers

    1. Rob_G

      The lifetime of a Govt is 5 years; the last election was in 2011; I would say that it is incidental.

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  10. Gaoithe

    “Virulently Catholic”? Is this the new post-colonial self-hatred slogan to insult the people who gained Ireland’s independence? Certainly won’t be voting for this crowd now.

  11. Gaoithe

    The Casement ‘Black Diaries’ were a publicity coup mainly because they would turn British opinion against Roger Casement, a hero who had revealed the brutality of the capitalist empire in the Belgian Congo and in Peru – hands and ears cut off, whole families tortured together, etc. But just 16 years after the death of Oscar Wilde, Britain was still violently anti-homosexual. The allegations did the trick.

    The author doesn’t seem to know about the lesbians involved in the Rising, but then, this article has more heat than light.

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