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Donal Og
25-05-2014, 01:48 PM
I would welcome contributions or opinions on the above subject. Today I had an online conversation with my son who asked : why are the public so hostile to Labour in general?

I gave him my stale old opinions - Urban / rural split. Civil war politics. And so on but he says he never hears those particular reasons . Then again he is nearly 40m yrs my junior and lives in Galway city - these factors would give widely diverging 'optics' maybe?

So fire away people - and be as brutally frank as you like!:rolleyes:

Pearse Monnet
25-05-2014, 02:07 PM
It seems curious alrite that Class Consciousness is not stronger in the 26 Counties. There has been loads wrote about it over the decades.

The topis is dealt with succintly in Kieran Allen's book
Allen, K. (1997) Fianna Fail and Irish Labour: 1926 to The Present; Pluto Press

cheap and very readable book. You / he would fly thru it in a sitting.

Donal Og
25-05-2014, 02:18 PM
Must recommend it to him. For what it's worth here are some things people in rural Cork say-

1. Labour is just out for public sector workers.


2. Labour don't care about rural Ireland
3. It's a 'teacher's party' ( I know - but several ppl have said it!)
4.Labour - and the Trade Unions - are very pro British and therefore somehow:

5. Not 'really Irish'
Now my son is not hearing these complaints - so what are young ppl saying I wonder?

Saoirse go Deo
25-05-2014, 02:26 PM
Its pretty simple, they lied to everyone and did the exact opposite of what they said they would when they entered government.

Frankie Lee
25-05-2014, 02:51 PM
The smugness and arrogance of Gilmore, Rabbitte, Quinn and Howlin is enough to turn anyone off them. That coupled with Joan Burton's vicious erosion of workers rights with the introduction of schemes such as jobbridge. Jan O'Sullivan's pathetic handling of the housing crisis. Sean Sherlock simply is an arsehole. Their backbenchers are spineless. Their only likeable politician Michael D is out of the game in the Aras. They are finished.

morticia
25-05-2014, 03:01 PM
Its pretty simple, they lied to everyone and did the exact opposite of what they said they would when they entered government.

That just about sums it up. FG lite for Dublin wealthy with a social conscience. In fairness though, they have done good stuff in the past and I suspect austerity would have been even worse without them. Quinn's moves on secularisation of education have my support.

Slim Buddha
25-05-2014, 03:11 PM
Must recommend it to him. For what it's worth here are some things people in rural Cork say-

1. Labour is just out for public sector workers.


2. Labour don't care about rural Ireland
3. It's a 'teacher's party' ( I know - but several ppl have said it!)
4.Labour - and the Trade Unions - are very pro British and therefore somehow:

5. Not 'really Irish'
Now my son is not hearing these complaints - so what are young ppl saying I wonder?

1. The public sector is really the only place where unions are really active these days.
2. Labour have plenty of representation in rural Ireland though I suspect this support to be personal rather than political.
3. They are ALL teachers parties.
4. Pro-British? I cannot say I noticed.
5. They are very Irish. self-interested, self-serving, smug and self-satisfied, they are part of the problem, not any part of a solution.
Not as shamelessly corrupt as FF, not as spineless as Noonan in the face of Richie Bouchers salary cap, they are still a pro-austerity party
and thus have stripped themselves of any credibility.

Donal Og
25-05-2014, 03:14 PM
Like FG? And the latter seem to be thriving on it...

morticia
25-05-2014, 03:19 PM
Like FG? And the latter seem to be thriving on it...

Delighted to see they aren't entirely, down to 22 odd percent.

Pearse Monnet
25-05-2014, 03:21 PM
Labour - and the Trade Unions - are very pro British and therefore somehow:

5. Not 'really Irish'

The pro-British thing is funny.

a li'l story. . .
when i was living in Castlebar, the fact that I read the Irish Times (from time to time) was treated by some people as if i was walking around with some explicit magazine.

Like anywhere there are people who are politically apathetic and then there are those who have some opinion about stuff. Unfortunately a lot of the politically switched-on that I came across are somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan.

I was sitting drinking coffee one particular Saturday morning leafing thru the Irish Times. The coffee shop was packed, and a chap sat done beside me because there was nowhere else to sit. I knew him to see and him me but we didn't chat. The two of us read our newspapers. I was ready to leave and i just thought I would make some passing comment to him, some banal statement about something in the news.

Well, he was pig-ignorant. He snorted at me from over his glasses something like, "I don't know what's in THAT paper".

By his reaction i guessed he was hostile to the Times but I let on to be an eejit (I always find it easy to plat that role!) and said "What? What are you talking about?"

To which he replied, "That paper ya have, it's only an aule English paper."

I said "Really!? How do you mean?"

He said "look" pointing to the title "look, the IRISH Times. That started as an English paper and that's the Irish version. If it was an Irish paper, it wouldn't need to have the word Irish in its title."

I wasn't getting into an argument with him. I know his type, i was looking at him from some distance for years. Attitudes like his have kept this country backward for too long.

When i was I clear of the chairs and ready to head for the door, i pointed down at the title on his Irish Independent and just said "Same with that paper". And left it at that.


I know that the Indo was the newspaper of the Catholic middle classes - rural and urban; it was nicknamed the "Castle Catholic". While also the Times was a Unionist paper mainly read by Protestants, and whose circulation ended at Dun Lerry until about 1980.

It is worth pointing out that both newspapers are in ENGLISH.


Perceptions are strongly felt in a country where national identity was / is so strongly contested. The Labour Party and also the Irish Times are viewed as residual British vestiges, and even by some as a wrecking enemy Fifth column.

Donal Og
25-05-2014, 03:22 PM
Well I am only reporting what people say here in North Cork. But there must be some overarching reason Lab are blamed for the entire administration when they are the minority party.

It's like ppl are saying: I/ we didn't have the balls to kick out FF/FG so Lab is to blame for the consequences of our fear/greed/stupidity. We are very upset and will take revenge by electing a right wing govt, as we always have since 1923 without exception. But that isn't very helpful really. So it is destined to remain a mystery - at least until I read Mr Allen's book - perhaps.

C. Flower
25-05-2014, 03:25 PM
If Gilmore is anything to go by at this stage it is an American party. Cheering on for a regime in the Ukraine that depends on fascists who burn out left wing premises.

Labour is bought and sold a few times over.

C. Flower
25-05-2014, 03:30 PM
Well I am only reporting what people say here in North Cork. But there must be some overarching reason Lab are blamed for the entire administration when they are the minority party.

It seems to me that Labour is in a total bubble, if this question needs even to be asked. People are dying from debt and want of services, and the Labour leadership has its collective face in the trough, is voting to privatise and decimate services and public resources, and is suggesting tax cuts.

It appears that without Labour's support Fine Gael could not be carrying out its programme - minority numbers, majority responsibility, overall betrayal.


It's like ppl are saying: I/ we didn't have the balls to kick out FF/FG so Lab is to blame for the consequences of our fear/greed/stupidity. We are very upset and will take revenge by electing a right wing govt, as we always have since 1923 without exception. But that isn't very helpful really. So it is destined to remain a mystery - at least until I read Mr Allen's book - perhaps.

I'm bemused by this. Labour has elected a right wing government, and is part of it.

I don't get how you don't get it.

North West Cork is a remote rural area. Perhaps you should ask the question somewhere where there a numbers of working class people - who were the people who formed the Labour Party, and for whom it was named.

Donal Og
25-05-2014, 03:33 PM
The pro-British thing is funny.

a li'l story. . .
when i was living in Castlebar, the fact that I read the Irish Times (from time to time) was treated by some people as if i was walking around with some explicit magazine.

Like anywhere there are people who are politically apathetic and then there are those who have some opinion about stuff. Unfortunately a lot of the politically switched-on that I came across are somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan.

I was sitting drinking coffee one particular Saturday morning leafing thru the Irish Times. The coffee shop was packed, and a chap sat done beside me because there was nowhere else to sit. I knew him to see and him me but we didn't chat. The two of us read our newspapers. I was ready to leave and i just thought I would make some passing comment to him, some banal statement about something in the news.

Well, he was pig-ignorant. He snorted at me from over his glasses something like, "I don't know what's in THAT paper".

By his reaction i guessed he was hostile to the Times but I let on to be an eejit (I always find it easy to plat that role!) and said "What? What are you talking about?"

To which he replied, "That paper ya have, it's only an aule English paper."

I said "Really!? How do you mean?"

He said "look" pointing to the title "look, the IRISH Times. That started as an English paper and that's the Irish version. If it was an Irish paper, it wouldn't need to have the word Irish in its title."

I wasn't getting into an argument with him. I know his type, i was looking at him from some distance for years. Attitudes like his have kept this country backward for too long.

When i was I clear of the chairs and ready to head for the door, i pointed down at the title on his Irish Independent and just said "Same with that paper". And left it at that.


I know that the Indo was the newspaper of the Catholic middle classes - rural and urban; it was nicknamed the "Castle Catholic". While also the Times was a Unionist paper mainly read by Protestants, and whose circulation ended at Dun Lerry until about 1980.

It is worth pointing out that both newspapers are in ENGLISH.


Perceptions are strongly felt in a country where national identity was / is so strongly contested. The Labour Party and also the Irish Times are viewed as residual British vestiges, and even by some as a wrecking enemy Fifth column.
Yes I have had similar experiences. But I must say Labour don't do much to help themselves in this regard.EG Adopting the rose logo just because the UK Lab party did was really crass and cringeworthy. Another example - I'm told Sean Sherlock is seen by some in the party as a future leader. But he must lose ' that accent' ! And so on. keep it coming guys - very interesting so far...

Saoirse go Deo
25-05-2014, 03:38 PM
The pro-British thing is funny.

a li'l story. . .
when i was living in Castlebar, the fact that I read the Irish Times (from time to time) was treated by some people as if i was walking around with some explicit magazine.

Like anywhere there are people who are politically apathetic and then there are those who have some opinion about stuff. Unfortunately a lot of the politically switched-on that I came across are somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan.

I was sitting drinking coffee one particular Saturday morning leafing thru the Irish Times. The coffee shop was packed, and a chap sat done beside me because there was nowhere else to sit. I knew him to see and him me but we didn't chat. The two of us read our newspapers. I was ready to leave and i just thought I would make some passing comment to him, some banal statement about something in the news.

Well, he was pig-ignorant. He snorted at me from over his glasses something like, "I don't know what's in THAT paper".

By his reaction i guessed he was hostile to the Times but I let on to be an eejit (I always find it easy to plat that role!) and said "What? What are you talking about?"

To which he replied, "That paper ya have, it's only an aule English paper."

I said "Really!? How do you mean?"

He said "look" pointing to the title "look, the IRISH Times. That started as an English paper and that's the Irish version. If it was an Irish paper, it wouldn't need to have the word Irish in its title."

I wasn't getting into an argument with him. I know his type, i was looking at him from some distance for years. Attitudes like his have kept this country backward for too long.

When i was I clear of the chairs and ready to head for the door, i pointed down at the title on his Irish Independent and just said "Same with that paper". And left it at that.


I know that the Indo was the newspaper of the Catholic middle classes - rural and urban; it was nicknamed the "Castle Catholic". While also the Times was a Unionist paper mainly read by Protestants, and whose circulation ended at Dun Lerry until about 1980.

It is worth pointing out that both newspapers are in ENGLISH.


Perceptions are strongly felt in a country where national identity was / is so strongly contested. The Labour Party and also the Irish Times are viewed as residual British vestiges, and even by some as a wrecking enemy Fifth column.
The view of the labour party being "pro-British" surely stems from their approach to the north and British/Irish relations, a strategy and policy formulated by the loon Conor Cruise O'Brien (it's still adhered to) - rather than any backward ignorance.

Donal Og
25-05-2014, 03:44 PM
No doubt I should ask some city folk Cactus, why they consistently vote FF/FG and then blame Labour. Their response may shed more light on this. Or vote Labour in such small numbers. Perhaps this lets the Lab TD off the hook?

Here's another oddity- recently I was talking to a guy who didn't vote Labour ( can't recall his affiliation) and he had just the same take on this 'Labour should be stopping this/ doing that'. Quite bizarre, are we all little children? And this is not a new thing that fell out the sky with the 08 recession. I was in a pub in Leitrim once in the good old days of the mid nineties when Spring came on the TV. The hatred was palpable. That govt. was booted out and the rest is the living nightmare we cant wake up from. Was it Freud who said the Irish could not be psychoanalysed?

Pearse Monnet
25-05-2014, 03:50 PM
The view of the labour party being "pro-British" surely stems from their approach to the north and British/Irish relations, a strategy and policy formulated by the loon Conor Cruise O'Brien (it's still adhered to) - rather than any backward ignorance.

Yea, Saoirse, you're right on the damage done by Cruise O'Brien.

But for some Irish people the labour party were always seen as "other" or "English" or outside the tribe.
"That aule socialism sh!te is English!"

I've other points to add, but i'm out the door to RDS for the evening. I'll "report" from there if i get a chance.
- over and out for this land-grabbin', commie, godless, Jew-loving, internal foreigner.

Donal Og
25-05-2014, 03:58 PM
Saoirse - I'd say the pro British image even predates the Cruisers unionist policy. But is it a 'doorstep issue' now?

I don't think anyone has raised it with me more then a handful of times since the GFA. And even then its on the lines of 'they are still at marching ..' when some news item comes on the tv. The issue is parked for some years now.
Another anecdote if you will... was in local pub when the barmaid said ' have you a number for English Richie?'
Sorry , I know a couple of English guys, but no Richie.
She then described him to a mate of mine ' Oh him - but he's from Co Derry!'
Barmaid: ' Whatever. Northern Irish Richie then . Jeez!'
And this is rebel Cork.

Saoirse go Deo
25-05-2014, 04:10 PM
Saoirse - I'd say the pro British image even predates the Cruisers unionist policy. But is it a 'doorstep issue' now?

I don't think anyone has raised it with me more then a handful of times since the GFA. And even then its on the lines of 'they are still at marching ..' when some news item comes on the tv. The issue is parked for some years now.
Another anecdote if you will... was in local pub when the barmaid said ' have you a number for English Richie?'
Sorry , I know a couple of English guys, but no Richie.
She then described him to a mate of mine ' Oh him - but he's from Co Derry!'
Barmaid: ' Whatever. Northern Irish Richie then . Jeez!'
And this is rebel Cork.

Sure it was the folk from Cork who were out waving their butchers aprons for Lizzie - the Dubs didn't shame themselves like that

The main reason people don't like the labour party is really very simple, they lied to the voters faces and betrayed the people who voted for them. There is no deeper reason like some sort of backward ignorance which makes people unfairly dislike the labour party.

Personally I'll never forgive the labour party for blatantly lying about universities fees, signing a pledge and everything saying they wouldn't raise them.... their candidates down my way lied to my face and promised they would not increase fees no matter what and would vote against it because they put young people first, our future etc... it was one of the first things they did and they have led the war on young people with jobsbridge etc

Shaadi
25-05-2014, 04:23 PM
Labour = Good in the modern era on socially Liberal issues, aside from that they believe in zero other than the right of the Baby Boomer middle classes and PS technocrats to milk the system as much as is possible.

Labour have not shown any solidarity with the poor for a very long time, a bit of rhetoric, but SFA action. They are a Social Democratic/PS technocrat Wing of FG.

Their technical performances in Govt are usually fine, sort of, as in they're not as incompetent as FG, but their moral compass is firmly pointed towards the interests of the Chattering classes.

They abused in perpetuity the mandate they were given as a supposedly socialist party, there is zero socialism attached to Labour. They are Ireland's Liberal party with a PS client base.

As for them being pro-British or whatever, sort of meh on that. They are the spawn of the garrison town tradition so are naturally hostile to Independence, something exacerbated to a large degree by the DL merger. They're just naturally inclined towards union with others, regardless of the consequences.

Their worst crime has been to prop up the nasty right wing element of FG in perpetuity without extracting anything of note from the deal. No NHS for Ireland despite Labour being in Govt many times, no check on the predations of the church, Gardai and business community when Labour were in power in the 70s and 80s. No mass social housing building under Labour ever, no desire to build on the decent vote they were given from time to time. No hunger to expand into rural Ireland or their small towns.

All that is burned inside peoples heads and still we gave them chance after chance, but they've lurched to the right in terms of a selfish-elitist society and are paying the price.

Donal Og
25-05-2014, 04:57 PM
Good stuff Shaadi,I go along with a lot of that. Though 'chance after chance' means a maximum of 19pc of the vote. Without PR they'd be lucky to get 3 or 4 TDS with that, so hardly a mandate to build an NHS or millions of council houses alas. Zero Socialism - sound s about right. Not that there's any in SF And some of the Indies would be at home in the Tea Party. Ah... Ruth Coppinger. La lotta continua and all that!
Now I must go about among the plain people who 'wore the Sam Brown belt, bai' because I'm out of milk. No RDS for me - yerra no indeed.Slán libh go foil and thanks for this feedback.

Spectabilis
25-05-2014, 05:29 PM
I agree with most of Shaadi's analysis above. Having voted Labour since the age of 21,( 'The seventies will be Socialist.' Ah the nostalgia of it all.) I finally reached the point this year of not being able to vote Labour. So tread softly guys, because you tread on my dreams.

C. Flower
25-05-2014, 05:33 PM
[QUOTE=Donal Og;387140]
It's like ppl are saying: I/ we didn't have the balls to kick out FF/FG so Lab is to blame for the consequences of our fear/greed/stupidity.

People swung left to Labour in droves in the General Election away from FF/FG - so they were trying to kick FF/FG out.

It isn't right wingers who blame labour - they are delighted with them, whether quietly or out loud, for keeping FG in. It's the left.

Donal Og
25-05-2014, 05:40 PM
Well, I am back from my adventure among the people, Pobal Dé, the ould stock, who vote conservative and think Derry is in England. Yes it is all very dispiriting, Spectabilis. But come the GE, I'm sure I wont be alone in thinking; how best to stop the FF*ckers. And do whatever it takes....

Now for that cuppa.

C. Flower
25-05-2014, 06:12 PM
Well, I am back from my adventure among the people, Pobal Dé, the ould stock, who vote conservative and think Derry is in England. Yes it is all very dispiriting, Spectabilis. But come the GE, I'm sure I wont be alone in thinking; how best to stop the FF*ckers. And do whatever it takes....

Now for that cuppa.

I'm sure we'll come up with a few ideas. :)

yi25
25-05-2014, 09:06 PM
My granda a strong union man always said Labour were founded by Larkin.... and buried with him, they betrayed the working class for personal monetary gain, and the dissenters were killed in the Spanish civil war.

They probably had a few good people like Kemmy, Desmond, Higgins,Clusky down the years but, the public service union mentality/money and a dilution of their social policies has brought a new breed of self-serving careerist politicians to the ranks.