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Unsightly posters? May 16, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I was amused and irritated by the following letter to the Irish Times…

As an active member of our local Tidy Towns group, I feel that I cannot let Niamh Bhreathnach’s view of our activities go unchallenged (Letters, May 11th). The purpose and aims of Tidy Towns – which extend far beyond tidiness and encompasses, for example, maintaining and improving biodiversity – is to make our towns, villages and communities pleasant places in which to live, work and visit.
The Tidy Towns aim is certainly not to maintain “such a pristine condition that no hint of active daily life is visible”. However, if evidence of daily life involves the presence of litter, rubbish, and poorly positioned unsightly posters which detract from the appearance of the area then it is quite reasonable that they be removed.
The Tidy Towns organisation relies on the dedicated, unpaid action of willing hardworking volunteers. Maybe the letter writer should consider joining her local Tidy Towns group to support them in their endeavours. – Yours, etc,

I find the idea that election posters are ‘unsightly’ – whatever about poorly positioned – very much open to question. In truth I’d argue that, as someone with more than a passing familiarity with the area, that most election posters, indeed the overwhelming majority, are reasonably well designed at this stage.

I also think there’s a curious juxtaposition, in the above, between rubbish and unsightly posters. Is the letter writer really saying that an election poster is equivalent to trash on the street? Isn’t that a stretch conceptually? I’ve seen the occasional bad poster – a friend running the council in the 2000s had one that was, locally, well known for being rough and ready, but… few enough that would be rubbish.

And that’s before we get to the fact that an election has a time-limited aspect, is central to our democracy and so on. IEL has long spoken up for the necessity of posters. I think he’s right.

Comments»

1. GW - May 16, 2019

But the ubiquitous advertising billboards flogging some old shite is fine, I guess.

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Aonrud ⚘ - May 16, 2019

Precisely.

“poorly positioned”, “unsightly”, “detract from the appearance of the area”… sound like someone who isn’t averse to the phrase “keep off the grass”.

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2. Dearbhla - May 16, 2019

I’m not a tidy towns person, but I have to say I do wish election posters were banned, or at least limited to one lampost on a road (per candidate). What possible need is there for 20 or 30 posters on the one road for one candidate.

Also, the recent development of the giant posters which people seem to have no problem putting up on junctions completely blocking line of sights for traffic is a serious issue.

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WorldbyStorm - May 16, 2019

I had a similar experience with traffic lights today on the bicycle. But those are easily sorted out if people adhere to rules. And I’m happy for people to be fined if that is what it takes to get them to adhere to them.

I know what you mean re 20 consecutive ones. I get why that’s done, having put up posters myself in my time (both in the WP and Tony Gregory days – holding the ladder with TG on it was no fun). But it can be excessive as you say.

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3. makedoanmend - May 17, 2019

I think the posters add a certain atmosphere – as if an event is going to take place – like a local sports team getting to final and so the the town is covered in bunting. More than once I’ve heard tourists who were impressed by seeing both colourings of the local scene. They seem to equate it as some sort of Irish cultural thing.

Let’s face it, if we allow the corporate (read oligarchic) media to rule the roost, certain candidates and parties will not get the time of day. That’s what the ruling class and their parties want. They own the means of mass communication and they fund their parties lavishly. They will dominate the political arena even more they do now. Is that democratic?

In a world of ever increasingly homelessness; vulture financial institutions; soup kitchens for the working poor; early death because one is denied health care; and the endless wars of the imperial powers are a few posters once every couple of years really that worrisome?

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WorldbyStorm - May 17, 2019

+1

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