Always follow the money

This Twitter thread, by Gavin Sheridan, is worth reading.

Sheridan noticed some very odd YouTube and Facebook activity around the Irish campaign to repeal the anti-abortion 8th Amendment. There appears to be an enormous amount of money being spent on supposedly unbiased adverts, and that money appears to be coming from US evangelicals.

This is very dangerous. As Sheridan says later in the thread:

We have no idea who’s doing what, with what money, with what motivations, from where. And now buttons are being pushed somewhere – and we have to deal with the consequences of political inaction.

These people are very rich, very dedicated and very powerful, and they aren’t just anti-abortionists. They’re anti-LGBT equality, viciously anti-trans, often racist, and quite willing to use dying children as cannon fodder. Just last week the tragic case of Alfie Evans was hijacked by The Christian Legal Centre, parasites who clearly thought the misery of Alfie’s parents would make good headlines.

As Gaby Hinsliff writes in The Guardian:

The most disturbing aspect of this case is the sense that it is now being exploited by those who see Alfie not as a desperately sick little boy, but as an expedient means of advancing their own ideological cause.

That description doesn’t just apply to the pro-life movement, of course. Among Alfie’s viscerally engaged army of Facebook supporters, which includes many parents of small children, you will find anti-vaxxers using the story to peddle utterly deluded junk science theories about the Vitamin K injection every newborn gets. You’ll find American gun lobby enthusiasts ranting on about how this is what happens when “the government” runs people’s lives and that’s why everyone needs to keep hold of their weapons…

The US religious right have deep pockets and can usually be found in the background of the most controversial, high-profile cases: when there’s a right to life debate about a terminally ill child, when a teacher is disciplined for bulling LGBT children, when an evangelical employee refuses to do their job or any other hot-button issue that gets the God-and-guns lot frothing, you don’t need to look too far to find evangelicals pulling the strings.

These groups are attempting to pervert British and Irish politics, and again and again the media is letting them set the agenda and the terms of “debate”.

As Sheridan put it on Twitter.

Everyone needs to *wake the fuck up*.