In 'The Screwtape Letters', C S Lewis argues that the most effective form of mind control is to get people to do what you want but make them believe that it is what they themselves want.
Enda Kenny seems to fall into this category with his 'we won't be bribed!' rhetoric. Of course we'll be bribed. We're strapped for cash and we're used to these rubber-stamping exercises anyway.
Clever Mr Kenny knows Merkozy won't budge on any relief for the long-suffering Irish, yet he needs to come up with a plausible reason as to why we should vote Yes anyway. Some brilliant spin doctor must have whispered into his ear that the best approach is appeal to our national pride.
The mystery is why he should think we have any national pride left, having been sold into bonded labour, obliged to vote repeatedly in previous referenda until we 'got it right', and bullied with talk of lost money and jobs, none of which have since materialised -- though a great deal of debt has.
Carrigaline, Co Cork
- We all hear that a negotiation is like a game of poker so here's my advice: Yes voters -- say No (for now, at least!)
From now on, opinion polls on the referendum will be issued faster than a Sinn Fein printer, but I can't understand why any pollster would let the Government know they are going to support them. Try bluffing -- let them work for their vote. It's in their own interests that this happens.
If Europe checks the polls and it appears that Ireland is on the verge of dissent, then there's a far better chance they will offer concessions -- we might get something to ease the burden. If Ireland ratifies this treaty, we may as well get something for it!