There are parallels between the matter of Cóir in the Lisbon Treaty referendum ‘debate’ and the fact that the British Labour party is planning on sharing a Question Time studio with a member of the BNP. Dick Roche seemed happy enough to appear on a RTE radio slot with a member of Cóir, having previously denounced them as a ‘sinister and secretive organisation’ . Garret Fitzgerald saw fit to focus on their ‘noxious propaganda’ in his Irish Times article on Saturday. I said on a Slugger O’Toole thread about Cóir that ‘there is no arguing with fascists since they will lie and obfuscate tirelessly, and they have no truck with anything approximating the truth and are bent on the destruction of the liberal order under which reasoned debate can be held. If you want to grant them legitimacy by arguing with them as a means of proving how reasonable you are by contrast, you will inevitably end up looking up like an idiot’. However looking like an idiot scarcely matters when compared to the act of allowing a fascist grouping to determine the course of public deliberations. The point here is that Cóir, or the BNP, are invited to occupy the space in the absence of anything approaching substantial political propositions. Their profile is so high now precisely because mainstream parties in both polities are severely incapable of articulating anything beyond glittering neo-liberal generalities. The fascistic groupings are then used by the same mainstream parties as a fearsome augury of what will happen if you don’t continue to vote for the latter.


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