Sometimes we are very hesitant in expressing an opinion, afraid it may be contradicted by an “expert”, or afraid what reaction speaking your mind might bring. But, it must be understood that an expert’s opinion is not a fact, and there is such a thing as freedom of speech.
After all, an opinion on anything is a personal view on something based on the information available, it is a unique viewpoint. In three marches against the latest austerity measure on water, 350,000 people have actively been on the streets. Each one of these 350,000 would, I’m sure, have a variation of opinion on the matter, however, we come together on one objective.
Don’t let so called authorities intimidate you into accepting new measures against your wishes. Bullies rely on the assumption that people can be intimidated by forceful behaviour. If that bluff fails and you stand your ground it throws them off guard.
The unique viewpoints of individuals expressed on social media, blogs, or the internet in general, are uninterrupted. Once sent, it may get a response and that response may require a reply. Forming an opinion shows confidence and with emotion naturally part of it.
We are entitled to our individual opinion. We accept there is another opinion. However, an indisputable fact is that water is an essential element in life itself.
Just because something is published in newspapers or books or learned journals does not mean that it is always right nor is it the last word on a topic. Just because an academic declares an opinion, be it informed or not, it is still not an indisputable fact. No one should be afraid to have their own opinion. Any interview I have heard given by a protester has been well informed, clearly expressed and based on careful consideration.
*1. As citizens we know there is a cost to treating our water, that is why we already pay for it. That is not an opinion, it is a fact. When PR keeps repeating the lie that Ireland is not paying for water, it does not change the fact – we are. There is one word left out from the above lie, that is “directly”. We do not “directly” pay for water, we pay in a fairer way of progressive taxation. Opinion arises from this lie in that those who ignore the fact that we already pay for water form the opinion that we should pay for water. That sentence seems to make no sense because the opposite opinion to ours is based on a lie, it is nonsensical to say we should pay for water when we already do.
*2. Privatisation will allow corporations dictate how much people will have to pay to get what will become a “product” that is essential. Opinion varies: (a) corporations have no qualms in creating a commodity out of an essential to life, and surprisingly some ordinary people, who will never profit from this, share that opinion; (b) and those of us who find this notion to be obscene could never allow either *1. or *2. to happen.
We are frustrated by political arrogance, bewildered by some public complacency and bemused by journalistic incompetence.
However, when we are derided for our opinion, we are winning, it means the other side has no answer to our view. That is when we are labelled Sinister Fringe, ISIS affiliates, dissidents and other such asinine insults. They have already lost, we are the people of Ireland, if we are what you label us, then you are the leaders of such.
Do not be weakened when you give a wrong figure during a debate, so what, we’re only human and not computers with easy access to minutia of facts and figures. The big picture is what matters to us and our grand children. The posters done by ordinary people state facts and those people are very well informed and confident in their stand. That is why, as we gather actual global and local facts, and share them with those still uncertain as to whether they should step off the footpath and add to our feet on the street or stay in the comfort of avoiding confrontation.
It takes strength to takes sides, to have an opinion and voice it, or to stand against the establishment that is forcing in unjust “laws”. In the blink of an eye, our children’s children could be in under the cosh with corporations deciding their water needs. We need to be prepared to do simple task of protest and boycott for them now and not be afraid to do so, otherwise their task will not be so simple.
Well I and my wife are in our sixties, and because we know what we have lost as a country since we were growing up, we want our grandchildren to grow up in a more improved and fairer country.