There is a beautiful café that I regularly go to where the coffee is good, the staff are friendly and the food is top notch. While there, I usually pick up whatever paper is available and have a good read through it. One of the papers regularly available is The Irish Times. Last week, 20th January to 26th January, I had an opportunity to thoroughly read, explore and investigate The Irish Times on every day of its publication, excluding Sunday. Let’s just say, it made for interesting reading. Despite their repeal propaganda and deliberate attempts at brainwashing (their catchphrase is ‘You are what you read’) I’m still a firm pro-life advocate. During these six days I paid close attention to their antics, tactics and tricks that try to draw people over to the repeal/pro-abortion side. After this review, I then imagined myself in the position of the editor of The Irish Times. Below are my thoughts on what the editor’s group e-mail reviewing the week would be:
‘Dear pro-abortion underlings,
I hope my e-mail finds you well and full of self-satisfaction. We are on the final run in to the Referendum. I know that you have been working hard to legalise the killing of human beings. I acknowledge your valiant efforts. It has not been easy at times, especially with the noisy, ignorant, backward and chauvinistic anti-choicers trying to tell us how wrong killing human beings is. Due to their lack of compassion, culture, sophistication and intelligence some of them will never understand how important the killing of unborn babies is for female liberation and the dawning of a new Ireland. However, there are still many people sitting on the fence on this issue. It is our job to push them off the fence by using whatever arguments we can fathom. Remember, our campaign is more important than scientific truth or facts. And sure what are scientific truths or facts but social constructions developed as a result of the oppressive patriarchal system that has dominated Western civilization for the last two thousand years! Let us keep this in mind as we fight on in our noble quest and let us not allow truth to get in the way of a good story/opinion.
This week, I commend you all for your stellar efforts. You have all obviously read the memo – that word, ‘pro-life’ was never once used to describe those oppressive and controlling anti-choicers. I realise that the group, the ‘Pro-Life Campaign’ appeared in our paper on Wednesday in Pat Leahy’s article, ‘Social media and canvassing will be focus for anti-abortion campaigners’ (1). I congratulate Pat on getting the ‘anti-abortion’ word in there straight away, but is there any way we can avoid even mentioning the group’s name in future articles? – that word, ‘pro-life’, really is the height of profanity!
I counted two pro-abortion ‘Savita’ mentions this week. This is good but I think that we can do better next week and make the most of this case of death due to ‘medical misadventure’ (2) and twist it to our own advantage.
Our thoroughly objective and scientifically valid (only pulling your leg!) polls were reported with a nice amount of peer pressure and gloating thrown in: ‘Clear majority supports repeal of Eighth’ (3) ‘Abortion: Early signs of shifting opinion’ (4) and ‘Repeal side takes significant early lead after round one of abortion’ (5). They are doing the trick and convincing some people that the majority are for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks for any reason. Let’s gleefully watch the sheep follow the other sheep…
Now, on to individual performances. Here are my rankings for our top pro-abortion propagandists this week:
#5: Fintan O’Toole:
Now, I know I assigned you, Fintan, as our one of our most established propagandists for this tricky defence of killing babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. You made a gallant effort in your article, ‘Down syndrome will be a central issue in abortion referendum’ (6), to try to show how we really care about people with Down syndrome while still towing the woman’s choice line. You got the ‘Catholic Bishop’ reference in there straight away. This was an excellent start. However you gave the anti-choicers too much credit by confirming that their stat that 90 per cent of babies tested and diagnosed with Down syndrome are being killed in the UK each year since at least 1989 is accurate (7). You know we made ‘Thou shalt not confirm any anti-choicer’s facts’, one of the cornerstones of our pro-abortion Irish Times Constitution so this was a major faux pas. The argument that this was OK because a minority of women don’t have this test didn’t win me over and I’m not sure those on the fence would have been pushed.
I also noticed a bit of logical inconsistency in your argument as you said how Down syndrome could be ‘eliminated’ with ‘the combination of better screening techniques and relatively free access to abortion.’ You then went on to highlight how the rate of babies born with Down syndrome is remaining stable in the Netherlands despite having both of these services available. Now, as you know, I don’t mind a bit of logical inconsistency if we get our point across, but just be careful that we don’t make this inconsistency so obvious. Look, Fintan, you are my main man in this pro-abortion drive. It was a tricky topic but this week wasn’t one of your best. I hope that you can step up again next week. You gave this a shot but it’s probably time we shut down this debate on Down syndrome as it’s not helping our side.
#4: Aine Carroll:
Nice piece, Aine – ‘History shows Michael Martin is no Repeal hero’ (8). I like the immediate emotional wallop at the start, ‘Someone who had travelled abroad for an abortion once told me that the Irish State owes an apology to every woman who has made a similar journey’ – BAM! Take that patriarchal, backward Ireland! You really went after the elite Establishment by pointing out how the members of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are the only ones who are concerned about the proposed wording on the legislation for abortion – ‘The collective membership of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, which represents a mere 1.06% of the population, is the only group to whom they were bowing with their reluctance and sometimes obstinate refusal to deal with this issue properly.’ This ‘we are the 99 per cent’ has been a great slogan in the past so let’s keep running with it. If it can make anti-choicers feel isolated in their opinion, great. Also well done on mentioning Savita and her grieving husband, Praveen. He must find it difficult to hear his wife’s name brought up so much in the media but ya know, some people have to suffer to make sure we can legally kill human beings in our country.
Your second last line, ‘We have waited too long for this to be anything but the slow erosion of Ireland’s own peculiar style of patriarchy’ really shows that our pro-abortion movement is part of the larger noble fight for the feminist/Marxist utopia where ‘no one is better than anyone else and everyone is the best at everything’ (9) – great linkage. Just a bit of feedback: Don’t go too far left wing/Communist. You mentioned the ‘heroes’ from ‘political parties who printed the words, ‘safe, free and legal’ in their manifestos.’ We just have to be careful that we don’t broadcast this plan too much as it won’t go down too well with the general public. Let’s win the Referendum first, then get the ball rolling on this.
#3: Susan McKay:
Susan, you get on to the podium this week with your article, ‘Eighth Amendment a relic of harsh times – it has to go: Ireland cannot truly be said to be a different place until amendment removed from Constitution’ (10) – Loved the heading, straight to the point. Then you follow this up with the prototypical gender studies 101 ‘women/witches’ reference: ‘Women suspected of being witches in medieval times…’ – Brilliant! This riles up women and makes men feel guilty straight away. You then highlight how ‘violent misogyny was mainstream’ and even how it was socially acceptable for little boys to ‘hiss’ into the faces of female pro-abortion campaigners and say ‘You should be put against a wall and screwed and made to get pregnant.’ As you said, it must have been, ‘Bad times. Bleak times’. I get this image in my head of bearded men with clubs out hunting game while the wicked women were chained in the cave pregnant with the ninth child on the way.
If we can plant this imagery and show how female liberation can only be achieved by killing innocent babies then we may be on to a winner. There was just one thing Susan that kept you from the top two places this week – your description may not have been subtle enough to be believable. Some younger people due to the intrigue your description sparks may fact check your account by talking to people over 45 to get their account of the horrors of 1983. Hopefully these different age groups don’t communicate as it would spoil our narrative. So maybe rein it in a small bit so there are horrific images planted in people’s mind but there is not enough intrigue generated to warrant further investigation.
#2: Kathy Sheridan:
You’re a stalwart and a shining star, Kathy and rightfully make it to number 2 this week. Your article, ‘Martin Embraces Nuance on Eighth Repeal’ (11), was a marvellously direct, brutal but subtle jab at the ‘anti-choice’ crew. It’s so great to see you using the word ‘anti-choice’ to describe them instead of the tamer ‘anti-abortion’ as we all really know that it’s all about force and control for them and nothing to do with life – laughable how they try to disguise their true agenda. The headline is gold as it subtly suggests that those who don’t, at least, agree with Michael Martin are being fundamental and unsophisticated in their approach. One line sums up the brilliance of your article, ‘Some of the language is familiar, echoing the Trumpist rhetoric about the “coastal elites” in the US, much of which was devised and peddled by elements of the rich elites themselves, as was the case with the notorious Brexit campaign’ You ticked so many boxes here. You linked the anti-choicers to Brexit and Trump, associated them with being rich and having plenty of resources and elitist backing (this will appeal to the lower socio-economic classes who aren’t as fully onboard with our message as richer people yet, according to our stats) and how the anti-choicers are sneaky and dangerous by using the word ‘peddled’ and ‘notorious’.
This was the standout line of the week – punchy but subtle enough not to demand further intrigue and vague enough to leave it difficult to fact check or investigate. Well done! Only one thing kept you from the top spot this week, Kathy. This line, ‘Say what you like about Lucinda Creighton, but she took an equally brave stand a few years ago, basically torching a high-voltage political career for the anti-choice views that had evolved with her.’ I like the ‘anti-choice’ emphasis but I’m surprised to see you describe that woman (if she can even be described as such after her betrayal of the sisterhood), Lucinda, as ‘brave’. As I pointed out to Fintan, remember our pro-abortion Constitution and article 5: ‘Thou shalt not praise the anti-choicers’. Maybe next week you will get the top spot.
#1: Una Mullally:
Congratulations on taking the top spot this week! You really put down the gauntlet to your colleagues of how an opinion piece for pro-abortion should be written with your article, ‘Martin statement proves abortion middle ground still changing’ (12). I loved this heading as it implies that if you don’t agree with abortion up to 12 weeks, like Michael Martin, you are not normal in your opinion. This will get the sheep who are on the fence thinking ‘maybe it’s OK to be pro-abortion’. Also it was fantastic to see how you subtly portrayed us, pro-aborters, as the victims while associating the anti-choicer’s argument with the Church and having a go at Catholicism at the same time, ‘Ireland has existed in a vacuum of misinformation, taboo, and hostility towards abortion for so long, underpinned by Catholic dogma’ – bravo. It was great to see how you lambasted the anti-choicers for their ‘fake news’, ‘Unfortunately, those who oppose abortion in all circumstances are on the same team that has given us fake ‘crisis pregnancy clinics’, campaigners spouting fake ‘science’, fake figures made up about the number the Eighth Amendment has ‘saved’, fake posters purporting to be from pro-choice people’.
This was a nice direct attack but was vague enough, by not referencing what exactly you were referring to, to make it impossible to fact check your statement. While I know we all hate Donald Trump and his constant whining about the ‘fake news’ of our liberal journalist comrades, even he would be proud of this. Also well done on linking the anti-choice campaign to Brexit by way of ‘a report’ without giving any more information on this ‘report’ – another tick for a beautifully worded vague but sufficient accusation. Finally, your final few paragraphs were glorious, especially this line, ‘What anti-choice campaigners do have (along with resources) is a deeply held belief abortion is wrong.’ ‘Anti-choice’ – tick; ‘anti-choice’ side have lots of money – tick; a hint that people of the ‘anti-choice’ brigade are delusional and fundamental in their belief that the killing of an innocent human being is wrong – tick. Neat and to the point, while again vague enough by saying ‘resources’ to make it almost impossible to fact check – nicely played, Una.
It was also great to see how you shone the harsh spotlight on the ‘we belief abortion is wrong’ crew rather than shouting about how we believe abortion is right. We can openly shout about how we believe abortion is right after the Referendum but for now, as you know, we need to keep getting people to buy into our ‘pro-choice’ message and direct our attacks on the anti-choicers. Well done on earning the top spot this week. You have really put it up to your colleagues to up their game. You are an up and coming star for our pro-abortion team.
A FEW OTHER COMMENDATIONS:
– Pat Leahy: Pat, you just missed the top 5 but you did have two good articles that I noticed. Firstly your article, ‘Martin has sensed strong mood for change in Ireland’ (13) helped normalise Michael Martin’s stance and back up Una’s and Kathy’s opinion pieces. I’ve also tried to chip in myself in the editor’s column by calling him ‘courageous’ and how his stance is ‘a decisive intervention’ (14). I think we have handled Martin’s stance well by commending it but making out like it’s just common sense and what only the average Joe would conclude and agree with. You missed out on the top five as there just wasn’t the bite in your articles that the others had in theirs. If I see more resentment and anger from you then you’ll move up the ranks.
Oh and speaking of money, fair play to us for sneaking a letter in that included the signature of Uncle Georgey Soros’ well nourished baby, Amnesty International (16). Good to see that Amnesty are supporting the legalisation of killing a human being who has Down syndrome. I know that we have avoided mentioning Amnesty lately due to the whole breaking the Irish law thing but we can still make sure their voice is heard in more subtle ways that won’t draw too much attention. We can broadcast Amnesty’s message once more when the whole illegal activity and undermining Irish law/sovereignty mishap has blown over.
Quick shout out to Marie O’Halloran and Michael O’Regan, for their headline ‘Abortion has “tortured the nation” says Cowen’ (17). I liked the subtle way you changed his actual words when he was describing his own and other people’s attempts to make a decision on abortion, i.e. this ‘has tortured the minds of this nation’ to your more provocative heading. The caption beside his picture, ‘Barry Cowen said that, after reviewing the evidence, he would support repeal’, is also superb as it implies that the only people not in support of repealing the Eighth are those ignorant people who haven’t looked at the actual evidence. This article again shows how even supposedly conservative Fianna Fail TDs are getting onboard the pro-abortion train. We’ll get those conservative and centrist sheep to follow us soon.
All in all, it has been a productive week. According to our scientific and robust (God, I crack myself laughing when I say that) polls, we are in a healthy position. But, as we all know these polls are used as another tool to push our pro-abortion stance so we need to keep the pressure up and get our compassionate message about legalising the killing of innocent human beings out to the public. We all know that our campaign is a noble quest. So wear your pro-abortion badges with pride and keep following the enlightened entities that will guide us to the promised utopia. Let us continue on our honourable crusade and finally set women free by allowing them to kill the life inside them. Onwards we march…
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Martin McManus, counsellor and community worker