Irish Times publishes manipulative poll days ahead of 8th of March ‘Strike for Repeal’ actions

  • user warning: Table 'cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'audio:block_1:results:bc02f4d75f59b234489a4c5789fdb1fa' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table 'cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8421\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:72:\"Lessons from the Barricade Inn squatted social centre - audio discussion\";s:7:\"_random\";s:21:\"0.0000504041091077068\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8683\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:91:\"Rojava: Eyewitness to a women\'s revolution - report back from a May 2018 trip at #DABF 2018\";s:7:\"_random\";s:21:\"0.0006156796595227715\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"7689\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:104:\"Turkish anarchist on background to Gezi Park struggle in Istanbul - an explanation for those on the left\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.002206489445833945\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"5943\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:82:\"IT workers and struggles in work over time - 3rd Rethinking Revolution discussion\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.006952916278459985\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"4848\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:23:\"What is anarchism audio\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.01219765749964645\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8686\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:88:\"Let Them Drown: Climate Change is War - and Wall Street is Winning audio from #DABF 2018\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.016407862320922187\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:166;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1566054433, expire = 1566054733, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'audio:block_1:results:bc02f4d75f59b234489a4c5789fdb1fa' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table 'cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'video:block_1:results:64e238c9f242bfdfe82bc7ff84373b29' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table 'cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:3:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8491\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:62:\"#JobstownNotGuilty Demo - Tallaght 5/6/17 - March and Speeches\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.003051626498859028\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"6495\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:53:\"Video from protests at British Queen visit to Ireland\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.00819484797138241\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"7265\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:89:\"WSM member stop and searched under anti-terror legislation highlighting police harassment\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.011883882816772799\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:195;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:3;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1566054433, expire = 1566054733, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'video:block_1:results:64e238c9f242bfdfe82bc7ff84373b29' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table 'cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_views_data WHERE cid = 'Random_PDF:block_1:results:0f94ab161a93a99544732d88ba21ec76' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table 'cache_views_data' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:2:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"7781\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:25:\"Irish Anarchist Review 9 \";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:2965:\"<div>\r\n <img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/IAR%209%20cover.jpg\" style=\"width: 300px; float: right; height: 371px\" />\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\">Welcome to Issue nine of the Irish Anarchist Review, published for the 2014 Dublin Anarchist Bookfair.</p>\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\">&nbsp;</p>\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\">&nbsp;</p>\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\">EDITORIAL:&nbsp;</p>\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\">&nbsp;</p>\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\"><span id=\"docs-internal-guid-190bca18-63de-9052-6ec9-e71bba2d1e54\"><span style=\"background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap; color: rgb(0,0,0); font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline\">We&#39;ve been hearing scare stories about the damage being done to the environment by co2 emissions for decades now. Terms like &ldquo;climate change&rdquo;, &ldquo;greenhouse effect&rdquo;, &ldquo;the ozone layer&rdquo; (more importantly, the holes in the ozone layer) and &ldquo;global warming&rdquo;, are part of everyday language. We know that the polar ice caps are melting, causing sea levels to rise and we know that the weather is doing crazy things in parts of the world that are usually temperate. And, we know that all this is being caused by the stuff we produce and how we produce it. What has our response been?</span></span></p>\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\">&nbsp;</p>\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\">&nbsp;</p>\r\n <br />\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\"><span id=\"docs-internal-guid-190bca18-63de-9052-6ec9-e71bba2d1e54\"><span style=\"background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; white-space: pre-wrap; color: rgb(0,0,0); font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline\">By and large, we&#39;ve done nothing. In fact we&#39;ve done the opposite. We&#39;ve continued to create stuff. More and more stuff. We produce enough food to feed the world at least twice over and a third of it is wasted. We produce gadgets we don&#39;t really need, war machines to subjugate people, we plan obsolescence so that we have to keep producing things to replace other things so that the wheels of the global economy keep turning and profit keeps accumulating. Billions of humans, across the planet, spend a large chunk of every day, doing things they&#39;d prefer not to to produce things they don&#39;t need in a process that is making the planet unfit for their habitation.</span></span></p>\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\">&nbsp;</p>\r\n <p dir=\"ltr\" style=\"line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt\">\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.009650589907216458\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"6125\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:27:\"Irish Anarchist Review No 2\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:2596:\"<p>\r\n <span id=\"internal-source-marker_0.6484457798349057\" style=\"font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;\"><img alt=\"IAR2\" src=\"/sites/default/files/images/Cover - Half.jpg\" style=\"width: 340px; height: 498px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;\" /></span><span style=\"font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;\">The Workers Solidarity Movement</span><span id=\"internal-source-marker_0.6484457798349057\" style=\"font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;\"> is very pleased to announce the second issue of The Irish Anarchist Review</span><span id=\"internal-source-marker_0.6484457798349057\" style=\"font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;\">. This magazine is dedicated to understanding the contemporary political, economic and social situation that confronts us, and finding ways to advance alternatives.</span></p>\r\n<p>\r\n <a href=\"http://www.wsm.ie/sites/default/files/Irish%20Anarchist%20Review%202.pdf\">Download The Irish Anarchist Review Issue 2</a><br />\r\n <br />\r\n <span style=\"font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;\">Our first issue was released in the aftermath of major strikes across the public sector. Despite decades of partnership, a deflated union movement and an intense barrage of media bile, Irish workers showed their willingness to take to picket lines to fight the Government.</span><br />\r\n <br />\r\n <span style=\"font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;\">Now, however, we can see that the union leadership were not willing to fight - they quickly demobilised strike action to return to the bargaining table, squeezing out a disgraceful deal in Croke Park negotiations. Now, without opposition, the Government calmly talks of four-years of &lsquo;hair-shirt&rsquo; budgets to restore the national finances.</span></p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.013503457432150336\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:73;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:2;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:1;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1566054433, expire = 1566054733, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'Random_PDF:block_1:results:0f94ab161a93a99544732d88ba21ec76' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
Date:

The Irish Times has yet again made an entirely cynical intervention in its bid to force its agenda on the campaign to get rid of the hated 8th Amendment.  This time in the form of an opinion poll constructed to reinforce the idea that abortion is a constitutional issue rather than a medical one.

Opinion polls using complex questions have become a common method of political manipulation in our time.  The method is simple, the questions are used to frame the way the subject considers the issue and so direct the answer they give.  That directed answer is then presented as some ‘objective truth’ discovered by the person or group who framed the question.  A poll that simply asks ‘Should women control their own bodies’ is liable to get one response, today’s poll that instead gives a long set of options around the degree women should be judged under law was designed to give another.

The timing is significant, next Wednesday (March 8th) sees the ‘Strike for Repeal’ action, a sequence of protest, marches and other events across the country taking place during a working day.  The purpose of the day is to demonstrate the demand to end the delays and introduce a bill to repeal the 8th amendment now.  What serves better to undermine confidence around that action than a poll designed to create uncertainty about such a referendum and what should be in it.  The poll is the latest in a long line of material from the Irish Times that sets out to undermine the confidence of those fighting for Repeal of the 8th referendum. 

The poll questions were designed to encourage respondents to judge in which women should be permitted to be allowed to control their own bodies.  And this was put in the context of writing these judgements into the constitution, a completely bizarre proposal except for the fact that is the reality we already find ourselves in.  No doubt the Irish Times would spin this as them asking realistic and pragmatic questions but even this is a lie as the judgements invited are neither. 

Take the most obvious example, the largest number of respondents judged that those made pregnant as a result of rape or incest should then be permitted bodily autonomy.  Writing this into the constitution would be the opposite of pragmatism.  What would this look like in practice? To put it bluntly, what proof of rape would have to be offered before a women could access abortion? 

The threat of suicide that allows abortion under the recent moderation of the law requires that the person proves this to as many as 6 doctors. Given that precedent, and what we know of Irish politicians and the judicial system, what process might they try and force someone who had been raped to go through before allowing them access to abortion?  How long might that process take?

The reality is simple.  Any law that restricts access to abortion opens the door for these sort of judgement panels on the one hand and for the prosecution and jailing of women and doctors on the other.  That is what the ban is, it’s not an abstract expression of an opinion on whether abortion is right or wrong, it’s a legal code that says women and doctors will be jailed for 14 years for accessing abortion. 

The 8th amendment has to go. Take part in the actions of next Wednesday’s ‘Strike for Repeal’ to demand that happens sooner rather than later.
 

Words: Andrew Flood (follow Andrew on Twitter)

Like what you're reading?
Find out when we publish more via the
WSM Facebook
& WSM Twitter