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Lisbon and "Irish" Newspapers

  • 27-04-2008 7:39pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,975 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    Interesting to read today that many voters appear to have made up their minds to vote no in the Lisbon Treaty referendum, with the yes camp only enjoying a marginal lead.
    What happened to Irish people being so enthusiastic about the EU?:confused:

    Do ye think the fact that large numbers of people now read the Irish editions of rabidly anti-EU British newspapers has had anything to do with this development? :confused:


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 608 ✭✭✭ return guide


    fly_agaric wrote: »
    Interesting to read today that many voters appear to have made up their minds to vote no in the Lisbon Treaty referendum, with the yes camp only enjoying a marginal lead.
    What happened to Irish people being so enthusiastic about the EU?:confused:

    Do ye think the fact that large numbers of people now read the Irish editions of rabidly anti-EU British newspapers has had anything to do with this development? :confused:

    no


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,224 Mod ✭✭✭✭ flogen


    fly_agaric wrote: »
    Interesting to read today that many voters appear to have made up their minds to vote no in the Lisbon Treaty referendum, with the yes camp only enjoying a marginal lead.
    What happened to Irish people being so enthusiastic about the EU?:confused:

    Do ye think the fact that large numbers of people now read the Irish editions of rabidly anti-EU British newspapers has had anything to do with this development? :confused:

    I doubt it to be honest - the likes of The Sun have long been popular in Ireland and that's a pretty anti-EU newspaper during that time.

    Frankly I doubt all that many of the polled people on either side have truly made their minds up on the matter and could change one way or the other depending on what they hear between now and then. Remember that these polls ask how you'd vote if it was held tomorrow, so in other words how are you leaning at this moment in time. They're a snapshot and the flux from month to month shows just how weakly held man of these opinions are.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,170 ✭✭✭✭ brianthebard


    The poll on telly the other night put the undecided down as 34% but I think anyone who was polled and said they would be voting no have almost certainly made up their minds, given that the debate has only started in earnest in the last week or two. Anyone saying they would vote yes or no will most likely have sought out information about hte treaty or made their minds up for some reason.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,083 lostexpectation


    flogen/adam maguire on newstalk you said that ' linda creighton had insinutated that ganley and mcevaddy had weapons contracts' when she didn't she said they had military contracts...


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,224 Mod ✭✭✭✭ flogen


    The poll on telly the other night put the undecided down as 34% but I think anyone who was polled and said they would be voting no have almost certainly made up their minds, given that the debate has only started in earnest in the last week or two. Anyone saying they would vote yes or no will most likely have sought out information about hte treaty or made their minds up for some reason.

    Another poll said only 5% of those asked said they understood the treaty so I don't think many have made their minds up and are beyond convincing one way or another.
    flogen/adam maguire on newstalk you said that ' linda creighton had insinutated that ganley and mcevaddy had weapons contracts' when she didn't she said they had military contracts...

    Did I say weapons contracts rather than military ones? If so it's my mistake and I can simply put it down to a slip of the tongue. I'm not too familiar with McEvaddy's connection to the US; I understand Ganley had a contract to provide the Iraqi security services with communication equipment, though. There are possibly other ones too.

    That said I wasn't commenting so much on the nature of their contacts but more on the nature of the Lisbon Treaty debate to date.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,170 ✭✭✭✭ brianthebard


    flogen wrote: »
    Another poll said only 5% of those asked said they understood the treaty so I don't think many have made their minds up and are beyond convincing one way or another.

    that's kinda what I was trying to say I just didn't put it very well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,975 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    flogen wrote: »
    Another poll said only 5% of those asked said they understood the treaty so I don't think many have made their minds up and are beyond convincing one way or another.

    Maybe people are being honest?
    I think I've made up my mind but I wouldn't be so brave as to say I actually "understand" the treaty...
    I've read a few guides and am trying to go through the text (it's better than a few hail marys for getting to sleep) but even after that effort I really doubt I'll "grok" it tbh:pac:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,083 lostexpectation


    mcevaddy is working on the military air refueling business,he offerred to transfer deatineees, ganely has contracts with US reserves, he claims today his comms kits are merely for disaster and rescue but... his connection with iraq in was mostly straight commercial mobile services but the suggesting is he used his military contacts to enforce a US standard mobile service instead of an EU one for Iraq, he was unsuccesful.

    see today the washington times had a piece about creighton dissing america, quick work by ganley eh, the US state department commented the NATO was working with the EU just fine!! eh who asked about NATO?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,975 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    <Applies Electrodes..., switches on current, it's Alive!">...

    The only one of such papers I'd read reasonably regularly is the Sunday Times. I used to read the Daily Mail at times but I gave it up.

    AFAIR I have never, ever, ever read anything positive about the EU in that newspaper (or in the Mail when I was reading it).
    The position of these newspapers is that the EU is a very bad thing. At best arrogant, out of touch, & incompetant, at worst actively hostile to "democracy" and "freedom" (:pac:).

    I think the recent referendum results (quite a good turnout and a sound "No") reflect a change in the Irish public's mindset/feelings concerning the EU to one much more in keeping with that of our friends across the Irish sea.
    One has to ask what has caused this to happen. I really think the increasing British stranglehold on our media plays its part.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,224 Mod ✭✭✭✭ flogen


    fly_agaric wrote: »
    <Applies Electrodes..., switches on current, it's Alive!">...

    The only one of such papers I'd read reasonably regularly is the Sunday Times. I used to read the Daily Mail at times but I gave it up.

    AFAIR I have never, ever, ever read anything positive about the EU in that newspaper (or in the Mail when I was reading it).
    The position of these newspapers is that the EU is a very bad thing. At best arrogant, out of touch, & incompetant, at worst actively hostile to "democracy" and "freedom" (:pac:).

    I think the recent referendum results (quite a good turnout and a sound "No") reflect a change in the Irish public's mindset/feelings concerning the EU to one much more in keeping with that of our friends across the Irish sea.
    One has to ask what has caused this to happen. I really think the increasing British stranglehold on our media plays its part.

    Without getting into a political discussion I disagree with the suggestion that our attitude towards the EU has changed or has moved more in line with British sentiment. The only Euro-sceptic party in the Dáil is Sinn Féin and I saw nothing in the debate to suggest people in Ireland no longer liked the EU as much as they did before - they just didn't trust what they believed it wanted to become.

    On the issue of British media influence, I disagree again. The "British" have had no more of a stranglehold on Ireland's media than before and despite us always having British import newspapers and British import broadcast news we've still managed to get by OK - the only change in recent years is the arrival of the Mail and I doubt that has had much impact in Ireland's sentiment towards anything.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,170 ✭✭✭✭ brianthebard


    Read somewhere recently (think is was mondays guardian) that Irish approval ratings of the EU (ie people who think its is a good thing) was 75% when last polled, the highest in the EU. So most people still think that its a good thing, they just weren't comfortable with what was put in front of them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,975 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    flogen wrote: »
    Without getting into a political discussion I disagree with the suggestion that our attitude towards the EU has changed or has moved more in line with British sentiment.

    According to that recent poll after the referendum apparently 40% of the people who voted "no" did so because "they didn't understand the treaty". So this 40% probably doesn't even include those who could always have been "no" voters when it came to the EU treaties for nationalistic reasons/issues of soveriegnty.

    I really doubt these uncertain voters understood much more about previous EU treaties and yet they (or people like them) must have voted "yes" then or abstained.

    I suppose one might argue that the no campaign scared people, making a large portion of the electorate who turned out decide it was far safer to just vote no from little knowledge, but they did not behave like this in previous referenda. And just like the other EU referenda the No campaign consists of many people with many different arguments. Most of the No campaign would have little to no support from the public when it comes to getting elected in a GE. (Indeed, another recent poll has also shown that FF and whoever they bribe to make up the numbers in the dail would be elected yet again:rolleyes: in another GE.)

    What is the difference now? I think the difference is that Irish people have become suspicious of the EU for reasons similar to those of UK eurosceptics - that is why "no" becomes the automatic choice. Perhaps this has nothing to do with the changes in the media (esp. newspapers) here? I'm obviously a lone voice here in thinking it may be having some effect.
    flogen wrote: »
    The only Euro-sceptic party in the Dáil is Sinn Féin and I saw nothing in the debate to suggest people in Ireland no longer liked the EU as much as they did before - they just didn't trust what they believed it wanted to become.

    So...we sort of agree in a weird way? What the EU might become in the future if it carries on gathering more power to itself really is the core fear at the heart of UK euroscepticism. Incidentally, this is why the UK (or "England") leaving the EU would not be enough for UK eurosceptics IMO - they want to see the EU itself crash and burn.

    Our passport says the EU in gold on the front doesn't it (a small thing)? Have a feel in your pocket and you might also come up with a "Euro" or two (a very big thing). We've already gone quite far (far far further than the UK ever will) with dissolving ourselves in the greater EU and apart from Nice 1, people seem to have accepted it until very recently.
    flogen wrote: »
    On the issue of British media influence, I disagree again. The "British" have had no more of a stranglehold on Ireland's media than before and despite us always having British import newspapers and British import broadcast news we've still managed to get by OK - the only change in recent years is the arrival of the Mail and I doubt that has had much impact in Ireland's sentiment towards anything.

    We always had imports in small circulation but the "Irish" editions of these papers (which directly reflect the slant/biases of their UK masters' when it comes to various Ireland-specific issues) are a relatively new thing. New enough that they actually were not around AFAIR for the previous EU referenda.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,224 Mod ✭✭✭✭ flogen


    fly_agaric wrote: »
    According to that recent poll after the referendum apparently 40% of the people who voted "no" did so because "they didn't understand the treaty". So this 40% probably doesn't even include those who could always have been "no" voters when it came to the EU treaties for nationalistic reasons/issues of soveriegnty.

    I really doubt these uncertain voters understood much more about previous EU treaties and yet they (or people like them) must have voted "yes" then or abstained.

    Well you're making a bit of an assumption there but even if it were accurate it doesn't necessarily mean there's a growing anti-European sentiment. Perhaps when Irish voters didn't understand something in the past they would take the word of a politician they trusted, but that that trust just wasn't here for Lisbon. There's no doubt that the public's lethargy at the Tribunal goings on didn't help the Yes side to sell their case... FG and Labour spent half their time saying "please don't give FF a bloody nose, now's not the time" and FF had to try to look trustworthy at a time when they'd just lost a leader because he was no longer trusted by the public.
    I suppose one might argue that the no campaign scared people, making a large portion of the electorate who turned out decide it was far safer to just vote no from little knowledge, but they did not behave like this in previous referenda. And just like the other EU referenda the No campaign consists of many people with many different arguments. Most of the No campaign would have little to no support from the public when it comes to getting elected in a GE. (Indeed, another recent poll has also shown that FF and whoever they bribe to make up the numbers in the dail would be elected yet again:rolleyes: in another GE.)

    Well the No side did scare people, but they always try to... as for the GE thing, referenda results have consistently proven to have no bearing on party support and vice versa - Lisbon just followed that trend.
    What is the difference now? I think the difference is that Irish people have become suspicious of the EU for reasons similar to those of UK eurosceptics - that is why "no" becomes the automatic choice. Perhaps this has nothing to do with the changes in the media (esp. newspapers) here? I'm obviously a lone voice here in thinking it may be having some effect.

    You're not the only one to suggest the UK media had an impact on the Irish vote here but then again I'm pretty sure the same arguments were trotted out to explain the No to Nice too.
    So...we sort of agree in a weird way? What the EU might become in the future if it carries on gathering more power to itself really is the core fear at the heart of UK euroscepticism. Incidentally, this is why the UK (or "England") leaving the EU would not be enough for UK eurosceptics IMO - they want to see the EU itself crash and burn.

    British euro-scepticism isn't just about what the EU could become, it's about what it already is. Obviously they worry about what it can become too, but they feel it's already gone too far... that would be exemplified by the way British euro-sceptics cheered Declan Ganley when he spoke about the dangers of EU but went quiet when he said he supported Nice.
    Our passport says the EU in gold on the front doesn't it (a small thing)? Have a feel in your pocket and you might also come up with a "Euro" or two (a very big thing). We've already gone quite far (far far further than the UK ever will) with dissolving ourselves in the greater EU and apart from Nice 1, people seem to have accepted it until very recently.

    Given that everyone is still in the dark about the exact reason(s) for the No vote to Lisbon, can you explain what makes you think that Irish people now regret the moves they've made to be part of the EU? There was little complaint about us moving to the Euro and I've heard none from anyone since. Maybe I just listen to the wrong programmes and circulate in the wrong crowds, though.
    We always had imports in small circulation but the "Irish" editions of these papers (which directly reflect the slant/biases of their UK masters' when it comes to various Ireland-specific issues) are a relatively new thing. New enough that they actually were not around AFAIR for the previous EU referenda.

    The only difference between 2001 (Nice) and 2008 (Lisbon) is that we have an "Irish" Daily Mail. We had an "Irish" Sun, an "Irish" News of the World and an "Irish" Sunday Times and have had for a long time - I really don't see what would make the same media have an effect now that wasn't there before and I really don't think the Mail has enough of a foot-hold to justify any apparent move to euro-scepticism.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,260 ✭✭✭ jdivision


    flogen wrote: »

    On the issue of British media influence, I disagree again. The "British" have had no more of a stranglehold on Ireland's media than before and despite us always having British import newspapers and British import broadcast news we've still managed to get by OK - the only change in recent years is the arrival of the Mail and I doubt that has had much impact in Ireland's sentiment towards anything.
    I'll disagree here because, and I may be alone here, News International were heavy supporters of Bertie and everything he did. Since Cowen took over they've become very anti-FF and I think their influence is not to be underestimated. With 8.4% of the daily market (source: http://www.jnrs.ie/survey.htm) via the Sun its readership is not far off the Irish Times. In addition it has a further 26% of the Sunday market via News of the World and Sunday Times. That's a big influence. Not INM influence but getting there


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,187 ✭✭✭ gaf1983


    No one has mentioned the Irish Daily Mirror’s influence on the Lisbon Treaty (readership: roughly 75,000). Last week its editorial strongly advocated a yes vote. The Irish Times seemed to take the side of the yes side too, so surely its readers should have counteracted the Sun’s readers…

    Or are we missing something? Perhaps readers don’t automatically fall under the influence of whatever paper they buy. The 1997 headline in the Sun – “It was the Sun wot won it” – in reference to that paper’s support for the victorious Labour party in the British general election is widely known. However, I wonder is the influence of newspapers in forming specific electoral choices as strong as people often say it is?

    Can anybody direct me to any studies/surveys about the media influence on voter choices? For example, where would the media rank as a factor in influencing political preferences compared with family background, social status, age, etc. I think many of these factors would play a much stronger influence in forming voters’ opinions than the media.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,224 Mod ✭✭✭✭ flogen


    gaf1983 wrote: »
    No one has mentioned the Irish Daily Mirror’s influence on the Lisbon Treaty (readership: roughly 75,000). Last week its editorial strongly advocated a yes vote. The Irish Times seemed to take the side of the yes side too, so surely its readers should have counteracted the Sun’s readers…

    Or are we missing something? Perhaps readers don’t automatically fall under the influence of whatever paper they buy. The 1997 headline in the Sun – “It was the Sun wot won it” – in reference to that paper’s support for the victorious Labour party in the British general election is widely known. However, I wonder is the influence of newspapers in forming specific electoral choices as strong as people often say it is?

    Can anybody direct me to any studies/surveys about the media influence on voter choices? For example, where would the media rank as a factor in influencing political preferences compared with family background, social status, age, etc. I think many of these factors would play a much stronger influence in forming voters’ opinions than the media.

    The Irish Independent and Sunday Independent also came out on the 'Yes' side if I'm not mistaken - they're by far the biggest newspapers in Ireland with the latter claiming 1m readers a week.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,170 ✭✭✭✭ brianthebard


    gaf1983 wrote: »
    Or are we missing something? Perhaps readers don’t automatically fall under the influence of whatever paper they buy. The 1997 headline in the Sun – “It was the Sun wot won it” – in reference to that paper’s support for the victorious Labour party in the British general election is widely known. However, I wonder is the influence of newspapers in forming specific electoral choices as strong as people often say it is?


    Its "the media" that tells us how powerful the media is. In reality there would be a few people that were influenced by the newspapers, like everything else out there everyone had their reasons for voting, but elections and referendums (imo) are not won or lost by media opinion.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,083 lostexpectation


    did you hear about the indo being delivered to polling stations with vote yes on the front in galway?

    i thought the english papers were supposed to be intereferring in our independance by telling to sceptics and vote no, but the daily mirror said vote yes?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,260 ✭✭✭ jdivision


    Mirror and Guardian are pro Europe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,975 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    flogen wrote:
    Well you're making a bit of an assumption there

    It's okay, the whole thread is an assumption based on a supposition.
    I don't have any real facts, just idle speculation.:p
    flogen wrote:
    British euro-scepticism isn't just about what the EU could become, it's about what it already is.

    Fair point I suppose.
    flogen wrote:
    You're not the only one to suggest the UK media had an impact on the Irish vote here but then again I'm pretty sure the same arguments were trotted out to explain the No to Nice too.

    I thought the usual explanation given for Nice 1 is apathy?
    I do not recall the unwholesome foriegn influence over our media being mentioned.

    Also I'm not trotting it out as an "explanation" of the result, I was just suggesting it might have played a part.
    flogen wrote:
    Given that everyone is still in the dark about the exact reason(s) for the No vote to Lisbon, can you explain what makes you think that Irish people now regret the moves they've made to be part of the EU?

    No evidence other than the referendum result itself and my reading (which you disagree with) of what the initial opinion poll results say concerning peoples' stated reasons to vote no. Examining those reasons, they appear to me to consist of a nebulous general fear concerning the EU which was previously confined to a smaller section of the electorate.
    flogen wrote:
    The only difference between 2001 (Nice) and 2008 (Lisbon) is that we have an "Irish" Daily Mail.

    As an example, the "Irish" Sunday Times was a shell newspaper at that point - now (almost) the entire main body of the paper and increasing parts of the supplements deal with Irish news and contain opinion and analysis of Irish issues.
    I don't know anything about the history of the Sun's Irish edition.

    Making another guess here but I'd be surprised if the circulation and readership of all of these is not alot higher now than it was back then.
    Its "the media" that tells us how powerful the media is.

    That has a good ring to it but it is quite silly really.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,224 Mod ✭✭✭✭ flogen


    fly_agaric wrote: »
    I thought the usual explanation given for Nice 1 is apathy?
    I do not recall the unwholesome foriegn influence over our media being mentioned.

    No, apathy was just the explanation used to justify the re-vote :D
    Also I'm not trotting it out as an "explanation" of the result, I was just suggesting it might have played a part.

    I know that, I just don't see why it would have here and not before.
    No evidence other than the referendum result itself and my reading (which you disagree with) of what the initial opinion poll results say concerning peoples' stated reasons to vote no. Examining those reasons, they appear to me to consist of a nebulous general fear concerning the EU which was previously confined to a smaller section of the electorate.

    Well according to the Eurobarometer poll, 22% of 'No' voters made their choice based on a lack of information, 4% did it as a protest, 6% did it because they didn't trust our politicians, 6% did it because we'd lose a commissioner (A percentage which could be thrown in with the 'lack of information pile' because had they paid attention they would have know that Nice brought that in, Lisbon was just going to regulate it), 4% did so to protect against the Government's policies (wtf?). So that's 42% of 'No' votes made on non-EU reasoning, not even incorrect reasoning about the EU.

    The majority of voters on both sides made up their mind in the last week of the campaign (I'd argue that if they were eurosceptic they'd have made their mind up well in advance of this) and the majority, including those who voted 'Yes' felt the 'No' side ran the most convincing campaign. I think that's your reason for the 'No' result.

    But here's the critical statistic IMO - 98% of 'Yes' voters support Ireland's membership of the EU. 80% of 'No' voters also support Ireland's membership of the EU... that means that 89% of total voters, 9 out of every 10 people, think the EU is good for Ireland.
    As an example, the "Irish" Sunday Times was a shell newspaper at that point - now (almost) the entire main body of the paper and increasing parts of the supplements deal with Irish news and contain opinion and analysis of Irish issues.
    I don't know anything about the history of the Sun's Irish edition.

    Making another guess here but I'd be surprised if the circulation and readership of all of these is not alot higher now than it was back then.

    For the likes of The Sunday Times it probably is - but it wouldn't be by a lot in real terms and other newspapers would have seen similar growth.

    The crux of it is this. If you're to assume that the UK imports, which largely took a 'No' view point, had any kind of influence on the vote then you have to assume that all print media had an influence on the vote. There's no logical way to suggest that one newspaper would have an influence and others wouldn't.

    If that were true then the impact of the euroscepticism of some newspapers would be completely wiped out (and then some) by the pro-european/pro-Lisbon stance of others.

    On the 'Yes' side (in the daily market) we had The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, The Evening Herald and The Irish Mirror (apparently). On the 'No' side we had The Irish Mail and The Irish Sun - I'm not sure where the Star and Examiner stood if anywhere on the matter.

    In readership terms that's 1,399,000 readers exposed to a Euro-positive media and 405,000 readers exposed to a Euro-negative media.

    The figures would stack up much the same for Sundays if you compared, say, a pro-Lisbon Sunday Independent with an anti-Lisbon Sunday Times.

    I think if Lisbon has proven anything it's that the print media doesn't make up the voter's mind or even influence all that much it. Readers are far more sophisticated than that and they don't tend to vote based on what 'yer man' says. I think the 'No' vote was a result of an effective campaign and an ineffective counter-campaign from the 'Yes', not the media.


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