Saturday 25 November 2017

Yes campaign is 'good', but could soon become 'not good'

ONCE, when asked to sum up the state of the Russian economy in one word, then President Boris Yeltsin responded: "Good". When asked to sum it up in two words, Yeltsin paused before replying: "Not good." The Government has now discovered that when it comes to referendum campaigns, sometimes the less you say the better.

Much of the drama lies in the speed at which events have unfolded. Last Thursday the President of the High Court Mr Justice Kearns looked at the Government's literature and was satisfied that "scrupulous care has been taken to at least try to avoid falling foul of McKenna".

He concluded that "the campaign run by the defendants contains material which is neutral, balanced and has the primary aim of informing the public about the forthcoming referendum". Precisely one week later, the Supreme Court looked at the same material and reached the opposite conclusion.

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