Lisbon Treaty posters are a complete joke this year. The pro-Lisbon people are essentially trading on their obligations to their old friend Europe, and trading vague ambiguous slogans which often border on the extremely patronising.
The anti-Lisbon side aren’t sure whether they’re anti-Europe as well, but to be on the safe side, they’ve decided that any of the several hundred good reasons to reject the treaty won’t cut it, so they’re reverting to lies. This post will look at some of the posters from two groups, Cóir and ‘We Belong’ critically assessing some of them and then making fun of the rest. I hope to get high def versions of posters from two other organisations, to which I shall apply the same treatment later. I’ll look at the deeply unpleasant anti-Lisbon posters first, and let you judge for yourself.
Youth Defence Cóir
First, let’s start off with the most prevalent posters I’ve seen. Step forward, Cóir, who last time pretended they weren’t the unambiguously god-awful Youth Defence (Warning, not safe for humans) and now seem to be offering to fight anyone who has a problem with the fact they actually obviously are. Their posters follow a theme. The theme is ‘Lies’.
So, impressed? Youth Defence members aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, but I would have hoped for something a little less bone-shakingly arse than these posters. Scaremongering ? Check. Hyperbole? Check. Moronic nationalism pretending not to be racism? Check. Well done, Cóir. Well done on making what should be an easy vote for No into the moral danger of being seen as a support for you.
The most surprising thing about the We Belong campaign is its total banality. They’ve mistaken black and white for edgy, they’ve mistaken the need to have pictures of attractive people on posters for originality, and most disturbingly, they seem to have mistaken vague, abstract statements for actual arguments for the treaty. To top it all off, they’ve mistaken ‘you decide’ for a call to action.
They also seem to have forgotten this is a fucking referendum campaign, and that it’s a good idea to give people a call to action. Bill Cullen, the star of Ireland’s The Apprentice, is not a boring or banal man. Why on Earth he approved posters for a referendum without a call to action is entirely beyond me. I can only assume that there are special surprise panels on all the posters which reveal closer to the time of the referendum that the We Belong campaign actually wants you to do something. It is self evident that the people will decide, so saying ‘you decide’ on a poster is a waste of time, effort and money.
They think they’re being laid-back and intellectually engaging, by presenting the facts and hoping the facts speak for themselves, but they’re wrong. This is not a marketing campaign for a car. Bill Cullen should have known better than to be associated with this crap, and I am expecting a much stronger campaign to unfold from We Belong soon. It’d better, or someone will be not so much fired, but set on fire.