This piece first appeared on the Slugger O’Toole website on June 14th. Note that I wrote this piece a few days before the horrific murder of Jo Cox, M.P.
Shortly before polling day in last year’s Marriage Equality referendum one of the Irish national daily newspapers ran an opinion piece by a marketing/messaging expert evaluating the Yes and No campaigns to that point.
Though he had several criticisms of those of us on Yes side and even suggested that the Yes campaign was putting the outcome in unnecessary doubt, the subtext to his article seemed to be: this would have been a whole lot better if he had been running things.
I mention this now just in case anyone thinks that the observations I am about to make here about the poor state of the UK’s In/Out debate are intended in the same – if only they had asked me – vein.
They are not. Having worked on the winning side in several referenda from Lisbon II to Marriage Equality and from the Good Friday Agreement to Seanad Abolition, I know how difficult they can be and how each referendum is different from the other.