The situation is an instructive lesson on how the political class, despite the different colours on their jerseys, can unite against the true interests of the electorate.
It doesn’t appear to matter to any of them that, as with the disability legislation before it, the wording of the referendum does not guarantee a single child in Ireland a single enforceable right and that it is in reality about a transfer of power from parents and guardians to social workers and state bodies when it is well understood that they are neither funded adequately nor functioning to reliably safe standards — as the shocking fate of so many children in state and other care has demonstrated.
But there is at least some consistency in the situation.
Despite their oft-stated support for rights-based legislation up to 2005, all of the opposition parties refused to commit to making rights for people with disability (many of whom are children) non-negotiable policy when asked to do so before the last election.
So it is easy to understand why they are in so much happy agreement about the children’s rights referendum now — it doesn’t require them to make any real commitment to anything while they get to sound warm and caring about children at election time.
Read more: Children?s rights reduced to a game of political bluff | Irish Examiner