The long awaited publication of the wording for the Children’s Rights Referendum has been widely welcomed. Since the publication I have been listening to experts and the Minister for Children discuss the merits of the proposal.
I do hope in the coming weeks that some discussion will be on the care system, the lack of supports for many parents in that system and the proceedings and how they occur. The conditions in our family courts are often worse that a cattle market, we don’t hear about that due to the in camera rule. Hopefully there is discussion of this matter also.
The McKenna judgement (1995) maintains that both sides should have equal airtime in a referendum debate. So another part of yesterday has been waiting to see who arrives to say they don’t agree with the wording. We might be waiting a while longer. (And we might need a referendum on the Judgement and it’s impact).
However Kathy Sinnott the former MEP has in the past few months claimed that the referendum would mean enforced vaccinations (no it won’t) and has written a six part series in Alive about why we should not protect children in our constitution.
And then there is the Alliance of Parents against the State.
No I had not heard of them until yesterday either.
I think we might have a lot of Chicken Lickens, Henny Penny’s and Goosey Loosey’s in the weeks to come. Of course we must have robust debate on this matter and ensure people are fully informed. I don’t envy the media or the viewer/listeners or the chair of the referendum commission between now and November 10th. Lots of people (on both sides) are looking at this for a chance to make their name. So expect to hear voices you don’t know (who maybe don’t know much about the law or children) talking about it in the weeks to come.