Now that the referendum has been called I am starting up the Fiscal Treaty Files, a regular commentary on the claims, arguments and assertions that will be made over the coming weeks leading up to the vote. Let the debate commence.
Hat tip to Brian Lucey, mega-contributor to the twitter-sphere, for designing the first poster of the referendum campaign above. My sense is that Brian is not hopeful the debate will be either informed, or rational or tolerant. I fear he may be right. We will be told that if we don’t vote for the Fiscal Treaty we will be kicked out of the Eurozone. Or that we will be excluded from any further bail-out fund (though the Government has assured us that the very idea that we would need further assistance is ‘ludicrous’). Or that foreign direct investment will dry up. Or that jobs well be lost. Or that locusts will devour the crops and packs of rabid pit-bulls will roam the streets at night.
But mostly we will be told that if we don’t vote YES for the Fiscal Treaty, Kitty will get it.
So how are we to proceed? The best way, the only way, is to proceed with evidence, eschewing mantras and mere assertions. Rhetoric should be met with fact, bombast with information, obfuscation with clarity.
But we should also know this. Kitty may seem helpless but I have spent time in her company. She is no innocent. She is street-wise. Pit-bulls give her a wide berth. And her claws are sharp.
One should never threaten a Kitty on the edge.