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The Irish Referendum

May 27, 2018

Five quick thoughts on the Irish abortion referendum:

First, it was a single issue, exhaustively explained and passionately argued. The Brexit decision was a multiple issue masquerading as a single issue, inadequately explained and widely misunderstood.

Second, the verdict was so clear that there will be no room for argument, no scope for accusations of Russian influence. And nobody will be able to blame George Soros.

Third, it’s ironic that the votes of a couple of million people, in successive referenda, have led to freedoms that tens of millions of their emigrant relatives in America have enjoyed for decades. And what is America becoming now?

Fourth, Ireland is no paradise. It has many social problems – drug abuse, gang violence, corruption and yes, immigration, among them – but it would appear to be on its way to becoming the tolerant, open-minded society that most of us in Britain thought we were living in, until the EU referendum ripped us apart. I am lucky enough to be married to an Irish woman. I have always respected her home country, but now I am starting to envy her nationality.

Finally, the only thing that Ireland has to do to turn itself into a country that I’d be happy to live in is to have a referendum on the weather.

From → Politics, Social, UK

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