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New Dail / New Taoiseach

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  • 04-02-2020 10:17am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,948 ✭✭✭dixiefly


    I have to say as a person who does not follow a huge amount of politics that I am really surprised (and disappointed) at the showing of the Labour Party in the polls.

    Labour got an unfair amount of the blame for the bad parts of their government but very litte of the credit for what went right.

    What sparked this thought was that someone said to me that they would vote Labour but they had no chance. To me I would far rather Labour than Sinn Fein as I feel they have a record of delivering a level of change - but one that is affordable.

    Is it Brendan Howlin as a leader or did they just lose so many T.D.'s that they have no traction anymore?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,235 ✭✭✭blackbox


    They became lefty and obsessed with the disenfranchised and forgot that they were supposed to represent working people.

    There is an opportunity for them to come back if they decide to represent PAYE workers and self employed as there is a void here in Irish politics.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 36,137 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    Labour became "lefty"?
    Uhmmm... right then.

    Well to parrot what has already come up in the Polling thread, when I asked the same question, the reckoning basically amounts to a brain drain of younger candidates to the Social Democrats, leaving the main Labour party full of old blood. Certainly looking at the posters dotted around the 2 or 3 constituencies I'd drive through, you definitely notice a demographic difference between Labour and SF candidates.

    Hard to build up momentum and relevance when the party consists of older heads, with "youth" basically amounting to Alan Kelly and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the former not exactly endearing himself in a national context with his waxing lyrical on the lust for power.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,279 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    Was I the only one opening the thread and getting confused about Corbyn not being mentioned? Maybe I'm Brexitoxified or something :P


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,664 ✭✭✭sid waddell


    pixelburp wrote: »

    Well to parrot what has already come up in the Polling thread, when I asked the same question, the reckoning basically amounts to a brain drain of younger candidates to the Social Democrats, leaving the main Labour party full of old blood. Certainly looking at the posters dotted around the 2 or 3 constituencies I'd drive through, you definitely notice a demographic difference between Labour and SF candidates.

    Hard to build up momentum and relevance when the party consists of older heads, with "youth" basically amounting to Alan Kelly and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the former not exactly endearing himself in a national context with his waxing lyrical on the lust for power.
    Rebecca Moynihan in Dublin South Central is a rare exception to this. It'll be interesting to see how she goes. She's been making positive noises towards SF in the last week, perhaps in an effort to pull in some of O'Snodaigh's transfers after he smashes the quota.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,948 ✭✭✭dixiefly


    Nody wrote: »
    Was I the only one opening the thread and getting confused about Corbyn not being mentioned? Maybe I'm Brexitoxified or something :P

    Maybe that in itself is an indicator of just how irrelevant the Labour Party in the Republic has become.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,244 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm


    Labour has no pizazz. Dick Spring brought them up the scale in 1992 and they fell back before resurging post 2008. Coalition with FG was more toxic for them and they need a proper renewal to move out of th 5-7% range. Brendan Howlinnis not the answer and neither is Bruiser Alan Kelly. Aodhan o Riordan might be able to help but he is not charismatic. Their message is too mainstream to get protest votes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,384 ✭✭✭nigeldaniel


    Politics these days has become an entertainment industry like it or not a major number of voters [25%) only vote for those who keep on entertaining them. Labour just appear too shirt and tie with no real gusto attached. What they need is someone who can play the press and the media at large.

    Dan.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭Tacitus Kilgore


    blackbox wrote: »
    They became lefty and obsessed with the disenfranchised and forgot that they were supposed to represent working people.

    There is an opportunity for them to come back if they decide to represent PAYE workers and self employed as there is a void here in Irish politics.

    When did they make the big switch to the left?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 263 ✭✭PatrickSmithUS


    Essentially they moved to the centre to seek votes under Dick Spring.

    When they played the role of Junior partner in various coalitions since then they've had their true self eroded.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the same happened to Sinn Féin should they enter coalition as a junior partner.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,435 ✭✭✭Scoundrel


    They have the same stale old FG puppets running them Howlin Burton etc completely discredited Stagg and Costello are standing still with a combined age of about 150 they need to sweep all the old deadwood out of the party and reinvent themselves as a proper labour party quickly. SF is already stealing plenty of ground from them soon enough they'll wipe them out entirely.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so


    Essentially they moved to the centre to seek votes under Dick Spring.

    When they played the role of Junior partner in various coalitions since then they've had their true self eroded.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the same happened to Sinn Féin should they enter coalition as a junior partner.
    It happened earlier than that, really signs of it in their first coalition back in 1973 under Corish. Spring exploited that creep towards being social democrats but he was the Gilmore of his day. Here's who's running for Labour.
    https://www.labour.ie/people/


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,108 ✭✭✭boombang


    I think Labour promised too much at a time of profound fiscal crisis. The electorate projected economic realities coming home onto those who deluded them. If SF get in to govt we can have this same discussion about them in a few years' time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,258 ✭✭✭prunudo


    Have to say that I've been impressed with Howlin in some of his recent interviews I've heard. Hadn't really been on my radar up until then.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,856 Mod ✭✭✭✭DOCARCH


    prunudo wrote: »
    Have to say that I've been impressed with Howlin in some of his recent interviews I've heard. Hadn't really been on my radar up until then.

    Not dissimilar myself. I have never voted Labour in my life, but in debate last week I thought Howlin was the only leader talking (a bit of) sense, and with no auction politics!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,754 ✭✭✭satguy


    The damage was done when Joan Burton took them into coalition with Enda Kenny's then very right of center FG.

    Kenny then talked Joan Burton into taking the ministry at the Department of Social Protection, a good place for a left of center TD you would think.

    Labour then sat at the cabinet table while FG were busy doing what right of cente patries do.

    (cutting loan patents allowence, installing water meters, and raising the pension age to 66, with 68 as a target.)

    And all this while Labour sat at the table, a left of cente patry !


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    Labour appear to stand for nothing. And I say that as someone who follows politics quite closely


  • Registered Users Posts: 36,261 ✭✭✭✭LuckyLloyd


    Labour appear to stand for nothing. And I say that as someone who follows politics quite closely

    They certainly stand for getting into power. They’re all about being in power. I suppose that’s a policy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    I supported Labour in 2011 (Gilmore #2 after Boyd Barrett #1) and for me it was their refusal to do anything about the numerous scandals which engulfed the government during that period, in particular Alan Shatter's appalling reaction to numerous justice system scandals and James Reilly's Primary Care Centre shenanigans. As a coalition partner, they could have demanded that people in government be held accountable and removed from office over the kind of gigantic f*ck ups both of these ministers presided over, but instead they simply acted as kingmakers following the election and then fell silent when things went wrong. Their role should have been as a check and balance against FG, and they abdicated this responsibility.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,055 ✭✭✭JohnnyFlash


    Labour are a party of Government. It’s very easy to be some ideologically pure party of the left spouting on about Marx and Connolly knowing bloody well you are never going to have to implement any of the stuff you waffle on about.

    It’s much more difficult to stand up for moderate left wing politics and go into coalition so some of your policies can be implemented. And Labour did that in 2011. And tried to bring in fairly basic tenets of European moderate socialism - the USC, property tax, water charges. And were then thrown out on their ear.

    People say they want socialism. They don’t really though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,128 ✭✭✭Tacitus Kilgore



    People say they want socialism. They don’t really though.

    They do, but in the *true sense of socialism, they want someone else to pay for it.



    *may not be true


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,664 ✭✭✭sid waddell


    LuckyLloyd wrote: »
    They certainly stand for getting into power. They’re all about being in power. I suppose that’s a policy.
    Politics is about power.

    SF are about staying out of power, party over country. Easy to throw stones from the cheap seats.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,205 ✭✭✭cruizer101


    OSI wrote: »
    Well why else would you run for a seat in the Dail? You'd hardly being running because you like the decor and just wanna see what all the fuss is about. If you're not there with the intentions of representing your constituents by exercising your power as a TD, then you have no right to be there.

    I think many in there are quite happy to be in opposition to the government and would never have any real interest in being part of the government, much easier to give out about the government than make the hard decisions yourself


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    Labour are a party of Government. It’s very easy to be some ideologically pure party of the left spouting on about Marx and Connolly knowing bloody well you are never going to have to implement any of the stuff you waffle on about.

    It’s much more difficult to stand up for moderate left wing politics and go into coalition so some of your policies can be implemented. And Labour did that in 2011. And tried to bring in fairly basic tenets of European moderate socialism - the USC, property tax, water charges. And were then thrown out on their ear.

    People say they want socialism. They don’t really though.

    Would you agree that one of the major roles of a junior coalition party is to hold the senior party to account for their failures and wrongdoings? Obviously this is just one voter's opinion, but Labour's policy positions and compromises weren't the problem, the problem was that FG were hit by scandal almost immediately upon taking office (Noonan and Kenny breaching salary caps for their own personal advisors, I believe this broke mere weeks after the coalition was formed), which continued and worsened throughout their term, and at no point did Labour force them to hold anyone accountable for any of the numerous instances of wrongdoing and incompetence which took place.

    A junior coalition partner should be the ones to demand the resignation of ministers from the senior party when they are conclusively shown to have done something wrong. This should have happened after Noonan's aforementioned salary cap breach, Reilly's stacking of primary care centres around his own constituency and Shatter's appalling leaking of confidential police information live on national television to smear a political rival.

    None of these things are acceptable in a democratic society and any party which was willing to stand over such outrageous instances of flagrant wrongdoing and do absolutely nothing to stop it or punish those responsible cannot call themselves any kind of legitimate counterweight in coalition. That is why I and I suspect many others lost faith in Labour. It wasn't about policy but about procedural inaction in the face of people blatantly and publicly breaking the rules (or in Shatter's case, the law) and getting away with it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,664 ✭✭✭sid waddell


    Politics these days has become an entertainment industry like it or not a major number of voters [25%) only vote for those who keep on entertaining them. Labour just appear too shirt and tie with no real gusto attached. What they need is someone who can play the press and the media at large.

    I agree to a large extent with this. Politics is largely about entertainment these days and SF have learned that. Mary Lou McDonald is great for the zingers and the vague, angry, emotional rhetoric which goes down well on Twitter but when she's pinned down on policy she's very poor. SF are great at portraying themselves as miracle workers and peddling easy answers yet they don't want power, and that's what people are referring to when they compare them to Trump - the simplistic populism and telling people what they want to hear.

    Labour are too damn honest for their own good and rubbish at talking themselves up.

    What they actually need is to look at what Corbyn did with Labour in Britain and take the best of that experiment, try and revitalise the party at grass roots level and make it a mass movement.

    There's a real problem of political discourse that lies beyond Labour here, though, and it's systemic. Social media discourse is usually simplistic and peddles and believes in easy answers. So much of it just empty sloganeering and shouting. Look at some of the replies on this thread for an example. Labour have been simultaneously accused of being too left and too centrist. We talk about the dumbing down of society but political discourse has been dumbed down to a ridiculous level.

    This sort of discourse means that any pretty much any party that goes into coalition, or even into government, and doesn't magically make everything better is going to be vilified - unless they're populists, who specialise in getting into power, doing a terrible job and spinning narratives of being eternal victims and somehow maintaining their popularity. If SF ever do get into government, that's exactly what I expect them to do - play the victim about everything.

    And I'm not singling out SF here - FF have been the masters of that for decades, and FG go in for their fair share of it too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,593 ✭✭✭quokula


    Would you agree that one of the major roles of a junior coalition party is to hold the senior party to account for their failures and wrongdoings? Obviously this is just one voter's opinion, but Labour's policy positions and compromises weren't the problem, the problem was that FG were hit by scandal almost immediately upon taking office (Noonan and Kenny breaching salary caps for their own personal advisors, I believe this broke mere weeks after the coalition was formed), which continued and worsened throughout their term, and at no point did Labour force them to hold anyone accountable for any of the numerous instances of wrongdoing and incompetence which took place.

    A junior coalition partner should be the ones to demand the resignation of ministers from the senior party when they are conclusively shown to have done something wrong. This should have happened after Noonan's aforementioned salary cap breach, Reilly's stacking of primary care centres around his own constituency and Shatter's appalling leaking of confidential police information live on national television to smear a political rival.

    None of these things are acceptable in a democratic society and any party which was willing to stand over such outrageous instances of flagrant wrongdoing and do absolutely nothing to stop it or punish those responsible cannot call themselves any kind of legitimate counterweight in coalition. That is why I and I suspect many others lost faith in Labour. It wasn't about policy but about procedural inaction in the face of people blatantly and publicly breaking the rules (or in Shatter's case, the law) and getting away with it.

    A politician overclaiming expenses raises issues of trust, but the impact on the national budget is too tiny to measure, so while it would put me off that particular politician, I wouldn't want other parties to dedicate so much of their time to attacking them, rather than doing their own job.

    A politician revealing that another got away with driving dangerously because he got information from the Gardai he shouldn't have, again raises some questions about both those politicians, but a third party should be getting on with doing their jobs rather than getting involved in the tit for tat and trying to take snipes and score cheap points.

    So I don't fully agree with what you're saying, and would be far happier with a smaller coalition partner focussing on their brief and implementing policies they believe will be beneficial to the country, than belligerently threatening the stability of the government every time they saw an opportunity to take a cheap shot at their larger partner.

    The stuff you're describing is what the likes of Sinn Fein love to do, sitting on the sidelines taking potshots at the big parties and acting holier than thou, without ever offering solutions of their own. Labour have proven willing to get on with the job of governing and trying to pragmatically solve the problems facing the country. Which might not be the popular thing right now but it's the right thing.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    According to labour's diamond posters they're gonna

    FIX HEALTH

    FIX HOUSING





    Rouisshhh


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,281 ✭✭✭CrankyHaus


    Labour played their time in Government terribly and FG must have laughing at them.

    The best example is Irish Water. Labour let Phil Hogan of FG set up a disastrous mess of an organisation that retained all of the inefficiencies of the existing system and then added a few on top. Then Hogan flew off to Brussels just as resistence was heating up and Labour were clueless enough to be left holding the bag with Alan Kelly being reshuffled in as Minister of the Environment. Labour doubled down on this farce by turning Joan Burton's car being delayed in Jobstown into a long running saga of massed dawn raids by Gardai to press kidnapping charges against political protestors that collapsed at trial when video evidence showed the suspiciously uniform testimony of the Gardai was entirely false.

    Meanwhile FG were laughing all the way to the polls getting the credit for an improving economy and the end of austerity. No wonder they want Labour back in government after such a great performance as a mudguard.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    blackbox wrote: »
    They became lefty and obsessed with the disenfranchised and forgot that they were supposed to represent working people.

    There is an opportunity for them to come back if they decide to represent PAYE workers and self employed as there is a void here in Irish politics.

    The 'lefties' main focus is working people. They got too cosy with Fine Gael and got punished for it.
    You may hear guff about being tied to the unions. Spoiler, union members generally have jobs.

    FYI: the tax paying workers struggling to pay rent were home ownership is a fantasy are the disenfranchised.

    SF are doing well because FG, supported by FF, looking after vulture funds isn't helping the working tax payer. Labour missed the boat on that.
    I say all this as a former card carrying Labour Party member.


  • Registered Users Posts: 55 ✭✭Alan Smithee


    I think the country will be poorer for the demise of the Labour Party. They look like yesterday’s party and are becoming irrelevant.I can’t see a way back for them in the medium term if at all.
    This is unfortunate as they have always accepted the challenge of government, lead on social issues (before they became popular/cool) and in the main held office in high regard with very few scandals to their name.
    But now is the era of the soundbite and while Brendan Howlin has performed well during the debates (by simply speaking common sense) all twitter could do is laugh at his height or blame him for the years of austerity (quick reminder they were the only party that voted against the bank guarantee and weren’t the cause of the crash).
    As a centre left leaning voter I worry about future options at the polls as ideologically I’m don’t support a populist Sinn Fein nor either of FF/FG. Still I suppose that’s democracy folks!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,016 ✭✭✭✭rob316


    Joan Burton was what happened, talk about a disaster.
    Took the full brunt for water meters and they are to be remembered as the party that took medical cards from disabled children.
    They betrayed absolutely every ideology and principle they had.


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