View Full Version : Candidates for Labour Leadership 2014 - Old Book in New Cover ?

C. Flower
30-05-2014, 04:23 PM
It is really quite amazing that Alex White is standing for the leadership, when he is the Minister (after Gilmore) most responsible for Labour's thrashing in the polls.

He and his supporters clearly propose no change whatsover from the road taken under Gilmore. White deliberately calls himself a Social Democrat, rather than a socialist.

Derek Nolan, one of his supporter TDs, could not come up with a single reason to support White other than that he was voting for his personality.

The main qualities needed for candidates seems to be a pompous and self regarding tone, to be used when pontificating at us and brass neck to be used when selling out.

Is White only standing to give Burton some undeserved credibility ?

Minister for State with responsibility for Primary Care at the Department of Health
Friday 30th May 2014


I am today announcing that I will be a candidate for the leadership of the Labour Party. My grandfather was an active trade unionist and a Labour candidate in this city in the 1950s. As a child I helped my dad canvass for the party. So I grew up with the principles of social justice, equality, and democracy.

These Labour values have been a progressive force in Irish life for over a century. They are as relevant today as they were at any time in our history. But we must attune those values to the very real problems of today, and to the challenges of tomorrow.

In last week’s local and European elections Labour suffered very serious losses. While we have strained the loyalty of our supporters on many occasions since we entered government in 2011, the scale of our defeat in the recent elections demonstrates a clear disconnect with our traditional support base.

Across Europe social democratic parties have been rebuffed in favour of a kind of ‘anti-politics’. Anti-politics will only lead to a more uncertain future: unregulated market-driven capitalism, a retreat from the public sphere, and system breakdown. I believe that social democracy is our greatest protection against such a prospect. The Labour Party from its inception, more than any other party in this State, has single-mindedly, consistently and without fear or favour, promoted the ideals of equality and justice for all.

Anti-politics robs us of ideals. As the great social historian Tony Judt has remarked: “Ideals matter: without idealism politics is reduced to a form of social accounting”.

We have an opportunity now to address the deep crisis for our party – energetically and openly. My task – our task – is to make the Labour Party – the party of social democracy – relevant again both to its core constituency and to the people of Ireland.

To do so, we will need the active support and involvement of all sections of our party. We will need to listen, and to empower our party representatives, members and supporters in a way that captures their energy and their idealism, and that renews their trust.

This calls for clarity about our fundamental principles and objectives; honesty about the future and what can realistically be achieved; and a shared vision for Ireland that takes us beyond the shocks of the economic collapse.

People have demanded political reform and constitutional change, and we must fight for its delivery. People have demanded a more equitable form of resource distribution, and we must use our role in government to vigorously make this case. But we also need to be straight with people about the limits of what we can achieve, and within those limits where the priorities should lie.

We must steady our resolve as a party, and as a party in government. This requires steely determination, strong negotiating skills, and an ability to resolve problems. I will bring those skills to the leadership drawing on my track record inside and outside of politics.

I want to pay tribute to the stellar contribution made by Eamon Gilmore at the helm of the Labour Party since 2007. He brought us to our greatest ever election victory in 2011.

Since then, as a party we have come through a testing period in government. We have suffered a traumatic election reverse, and we need to embark on a project of renewal. This begins with the choice of a new leader - a new voice, a new style, and a new approach.

I believe I am the right person at the right time to lead this project of renewal and restoration. I believe that I can be a bridge to the new generation that must lead Labour in the coming years.

I am looking forward now to the engagement we will have during the course of the campaign.

disability student
30-05-2014, 05:24 PM
Forgive my cynicism, it's all hot air and cheap talk. That very same man who had endorsed all of Labour's previous actions in government. So expect no change there.

The job of any govt politician is to fool the people with their auction politics or empty promises :mad:

30-05-2014, 05:35 PM
Just watching TV and that damned Trivago ad with the whiney metrosexual and his guitar music distracting from the voiceover is on. This is the political equivalent. The real battle is between SF and FF and Labour and its whiney "social" democracy waffle is irrelevant to most people who once would have voted Labour. They've changed the channel and now vote for SF. The bien pensant Middle Classes, the kind of people who read the Irish Times and believe the waffle, who once voted Labour are the new poor - taxed to oblivion by scumbag Dail lifers who have no idea of the financial pressures ordinary people are under. They now vote for the Greens. This is just replacing the captain of the Titanic after it has hit the iceberg. Instead of sending out SOS messages, Labour is still releasing press releases to an electorate that is no longer there.


C. Flower
30-05-2014, 05:46 PM
Forgive my cynicism re SF / FF /FG as well as Labour.

White seems to be saying Gilmore didn't have enough steel to fully see through the FG EU Programme.

01-06-2014, 02:33 PM
Old book in airbrushed cover.

This leadership battle does seem to be taking some of the heat off Labour and their massive failure in Government.

C. Flower
01-06-2014, 02:51 PM
Old book in airbrushed cover.

This leadership battle does seem to be taking some of the heat off Labour and their massive failure in Government.

By 2016, it may not be possible for FG/Lab to continue the big lie that the corner is turned.

01-06-2014, 03:05 PM
By 2016, it may not be possible for FG/Lab to continue the big lie that the corner is turned.

John Moran out telling us austerity is here to stay The brass necks of labour and fg have no intention of changing anything.

"Even if there was a windfall in the morning, we couldn't necessarily go off spending it without understanding how you get back to a structural balance along the way, and that was signed up to by the Government and all the [Coalition] parties," he said.

Mr Moran is working out his notice after resigning his public sector job at the start of May. He is expected to move into a senior financial role in the private sector.

He said his department had laid out a path in its Medium Term Economic Strategy (MTES) to show how this balance might be achieved through a combination of reduced expenditure and increased productivity.


C. Flower
01-06-2014, 03:15 PM
John Moran out telling us austerity is here to stay The brass necks of labour and fg have no intention of changing anything.



Yes, but Joan Burton (and the whole Government in fact) say that tax cuts are fine.

They know their remaining voter base doesn't give a damn about fairness, equality or human need. Tax cuts and privatisation will suit them nicely.

C. Flower
01-06-2014, 03:18 PM
Wage cuts and longer working hours are Moran's fix.

On the Medium Term Economic Strategy


02-06-2014, 09:28 PM

Yes, but Joan Burton (and the whole Government in fact) say that tax cuts are fine.

They know their remaining voter base doesn't give a damn about fairness, equality or human need. Tax cuts and privatisation will suit them nicely.

Dont know if any of you missed this the other night.

Joan the moan appeared on the Saturday night show Saturday just gone...


My view has always been very strongly – and it’s a Labour view – that you build a strong, eh, you build a strong middle class, people at work, people who pay the taxes, pay the PRSI, that keeps the social welfare system going and that you have to do that, there’s two different…One is building from the middle and the other is top down.”

Reading between the lines, the working class can **** right off....

02-06-2014, 09:49 PM
They just don't want to get it, they're convinced they can BS their way to safety.

How'd that kind of BS work out in the run up to the last election?

I have to say Labour are simply the most insincere outfit in the country and everyone knows it including themselves.

02-06-2014, 09:50 PM
Reading between the lines, the working class can **** right off....People finally copping on that Irish Labour doesn't really care about the Working Class? :)


02-06-2014, 10:04 PM
Reading between the lines, the working class can **** right off....Stupid stupid Labour, chasing the middle-class and baby boomer fat arse vote which votes more for FG, FF and even SF than it does for them.

It's all there in the opinion poll data and still those thickos keep chasing the "middle class" vote when the majority of workers are scraping by to survive.

02-06-2014, 10:14 PM
Stupid stupid Labour, chasing the middle-class and baby boomer fat arse vote which votes more for FG, FF and even SF than it does for them.

It's all there in the opinion poll data and still those thickos keep chasing the "middle class" vote when the majority of workers are scraping by to survive.Wonder if there's a correlation between the number of school teachers in Irish politics and their pursuit of the "Middle Class" vote? :) (Approximately 26% of the Dail are teachers/lecturers.)


C. Flower
19-06-2014, 07:21 PM
Am wondering if "civic society" is shorthand for school teachers, or what?

Joan Burton is in Cork tonight.


Labour Party Deputy Leader and Minister for Social Protection
Labour Leadership Hustings - Cork
Thursday 19th June 2014

Members, colleagues, friends,

I’m delighted to be in Cork tonight and to see such great numbers here - because I know this meeting is clashing with a big World Cup game.

But then, I’m told the only match that counts was last Sunday, and that one produced the right outcome for Cork!

Sportsmen and women know something about overcoming past disappointments and stepping onto the pitch again.

And that is the secret about dealing with defeat – stepping onto the pitch again.

I repeat here what I said in Galway: rumours of our demise are greatly exaggerated.

I recall a sense of depression after one election in which Labour had failed to elect a single woman TD.

Within three years, we had helped elect Ireland’s first woman President and had a greater number of women TDs than any other party. The lesson is simple.

A party can change when survival demands change and circumstances permit it.

Yes, Labour is facing significant obstacles and I don’t underestimate them.

But I firmly believe we have the capacity to confront our difficulties honestly and to turn the situation around.

Now, absolutely none of that is to belittle the incredibly traumatic election that many candidates in this room have endured.

I am acutely aware that Labour no longer has a Council presence in Cork City, and that our presence on the Councils in Cork County, Kerry, Waterford and elsewhere in Munster is massively reduced.

Let me say first that candidates across the country lost through no fault of their own – and their defeat was no reflection on their admirable track records of working for their communities.

Candidates lost because voters were unhappy with our performance in Government.

Let me say secondly that I recognise this is no consolation – the opposite, in fact – and that members didn’t come here to tonight for consoling words anyway. You came to hear a plan of action.

To all the candidates who ran last month – successful or unsuccessful - my promise to you here tonight is that, if I’m elected leader of the party, you won’t be on your own and I want your input and your continued active involvement.

One of the first things I’ll do is ask the candidates who were not successful to continue their work for the party and their local communities as Local Area Representatives.

I will also examine, in consultation with our TDs, Senators, Councillors and candidates, how we can rebuild effective teams in parts of the cities and counties where we no longer have representation.

We need a genuine process of engagement and my record of pre-budget forums in both Government and Opposition shows the bona fides of that commitment.

Recovery for this party will be a collective endeavour – and it won’t be done without the people here in this room.

A major part of this outreach process will be to reconnect with those who share our values - our colleagues in the trade union movement and civic society.

And most importantly, of course, we need to reconnect with the public, the voters who have lost faith in us, who stayed at home on Election Day or voted for others.

The first phase of our time in government has been about ensuring economic recovery, but this has meant asking an awful lot from people, and we undoubtedly made mistakes along the way.

We must now focus relentlessly on the second phase - repairing society just as we repaired the economy.

This means getting more people back to work, helping small businesses to prosper, building social and affordable homes and new schools, investing
in health and reducing inequality.

It means building a social recovery as well as an economic recovery.

Or to paraphrase what Sean O’Casey said of Jim Larkin, to fight not just to put bread on the tables of working families, but a rose in the vase on the table too.

There are those on the right who argue the State cannot seek to provide both – that the State’s role should stop once the economy is functioning and leave the functioning of society to someone else. I couldn’t disagree more.

I see no conflict between the egalitarian agenda of social democracy and the demands of a mixed economy.

In fact, one complements the other in that the most successful knowledge-based economies are driven by a distinct democratic streak, involving the participation of all in lifelong education and other policies that promote social cohesion.

I want Labour members to resolve that our ambition is to embrace government as long as we have the ways and means to have a decisive impact on policy, on the share-out of public resources, on tax justice and on the creation of an open, liberal and tolerant society.

And on the issue of Government, let me say a few words about the Budget.

The fiscal hawks are insisting we proceed with a €2 billion adjustment even though it is becoming increasingly likely that we won’t need an adjustment of that size to reach the only important target – getting the deficit below 3% of GDP.

I’ve repeatedly said we must meet the 3% target – but that means doing only what is necessary, and no more.

Implementing a €2 billion adjustment just for the sake of it would be massively counterproductive.

At a time when a modest recovery is under way, people are returning to work, and the public finances are improving, we want to sustain that progress,
not stop it.

As Social Protection Minister, I have fought to protect the welfare safety net, because of its importance in safeguarding against poverty and maintaining social cohesion – leading to suggestions in some quarters that I am “difficult”.

If I am difficult, it is simply because I stand my ground for what I believe in. And I would do nothing less as Labour leader.

Friends, my father was an iron-moulder in the CIE works in Inchicore, just as his father was before him.

So you will forgive me if I conclude using a word closely associated with that particular trade. His job was to forge metal at the furnace.

My job as leader will be to forge Labour once again into a national movement that challenges the old ways of doing business, that seeks to reconcile social progress with economic realities, promotes an open, liberal society and shapes the centre-left agenda.

Nobody else can do that job if we falter, because no one else speaks with a true social democratic voice in Irish politics.

A new leadership has to be candid about past mistakes, proud of genuine achievements and optimistic about our future.
That is what I offer and that is why I ask you, the party membership, for a decisive mandate in this election.


C. Flower
19-06-2014, 08:07 PM
So is Alex White. They seem to have shared speeches. White's gambit appears to be that he is younger than Burton.

Labour TD for Dublin South / Minister of State for Primary Care
Labour Leadership Hustings in Cork
Thursday, 19 June, 2014

I once wrote to Brendan Corish, leader of the Labour Party, looking for a signed copy of the 1969 election manifesto. That was in 1971 when I was 12. It arrived shortly afterwards and I still have it.
It was from my father that I got my Labour values…the ideals and the principles that shaped my life, and my perspective on the world. Like his father before him, my Dad was a railway worker, a trade unionist, and a Labour man.
In common with many people of my generation, I was the first in my family to go to university, and it was an opportunity I grasped with huge enthusiasm and a sense of great promise for the future. I studied in TCD, became a student activist, a campaigner, and a bit of a thorn in the side of the establishment. In those years we campaigned not just on student issues but also for contraceptive rights, civil rights, community action, and democratic rights in Eastern Europe.
Later I spent ten years as a producer in RTE, and became quickly immersed in trade union activity – the old FWUI, and was very much involved then in the early years of SIPTU. After RTE I worked for almost 20 years as an employment lawyer.
I joined the party in 1998 in Dublin South. I’ve been a public representative for ten years, elected to Dail Eireann for the first time in 2011.
As a junior Minister in the Department of Health I negotiated and delivered on Labour’s commitment to legislate for the X case. I secured government agreement on the alcohol strategy – the first time in this country that alcohol misuse is being addressed in public health legislation. Just this morning the Committee Stage of the Free GP Care Bill – the Under 6s legislation – was completed in the Dail. This is the first step in delivering Universal Primary Care and I am honoured to be the Minister responsible.
It is a great pleasure to be here in Cork for these hustings. It is a City and a County which has contributed a huge amount to the Labour Party and the Labour movement over the decades. I am thinking of people like Gerry O’Sullivan, Toddy O’Sullivan and Joe Sherlock, all of whom served in Government in one capacity or another. I am thinking of Michael Pat Murphy, Paddy Kerrigan and of course, the Desmond family through the generations. At least fourteen members of our Party have been Lord Mayor of this City in our one hundred years of existence.
We are right to be proud of our record, and of our history. But however great our history, however inspiring it may be to younger members of the Party, the past cannot guarantee us a future. The fact that we have been around for a hundred years does not in itself guarantee that we will still be around in a hundred years’ time, or even in twenty years’ time.
We suffered a bruising defeat a few weeks ago. We lost many good comrades, some of them here in Cork. Since then, I have heard it said more than once that we have been here before – most recently in 1985 and that within a few years, we were back on track.
There is some truth in this. We are resilient. We have been in tight corners before and we have pulled through.
But, and this is my message here this evening, the recovery of this Party is not guaranteed. There is no certainty that the pendulum of history will swing back in our direction. There is no certainty that this Party will survive as a major political force into the future - unless we act.
We cannot simply assume that the voters who deserted us in such numbers on May 23rd will come back sooner or later.
The stark truth is that they will only come back if we respond to the message which they sent us on that day in May. And that message was stark, very stark. Quite simply they told us to change or move off the stage.
We need to change our message; we need to change the way we do things; we need to change the image we present to the electorate. That process of change will take time. It will not happen overnight. We have the opportunity to start that process of change when we elect a new leader on July 4th next.
In simple terms (and I appreciate it is often dangerous to reduce something complex to “simple terms”) our message to the electorate over the last while has been this. The country was broke in 2011. We couldn’t borrow money. We had no choice but to raise taxes and cut spending. We faced up to economic reality unlike Sinn Fein and the extreme left, and we did it in a fairer way than either Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil did, or ever would do.
In essence what we are saying is that things would have been worse if Labour were not in Government, possibly much worse. And I believe that. I do believe that we have saved the country. I do believe we did a job that needed to be done.
That said, colleagues, simple, clear and true as our message may be, it clearly cut little ice with the electorate on May 23rd last, and there is little reason to believe that it will fare any better in eighteen months’ time.
We need to change the message.
When we go to the electorate in two years’ time it will not be enough for us to point to our record and ask them to imagine how much worse things might have been. We will need to tell them that the lost decade is over. We will need to present them with a vision of the future that is relevant to them and their families. We will need to offer them policies on health, on pensions, on taxes, on social change; policies that will make life better for them and their children. It needs to be a positive forward-looking message that speaks to the lives of the people we look to represent. We cannot rely on a core vote, our record in Government, or constituency work to get us over the line.
Getting that message right will be my main task over the next year. And make no mistake: that will entail a shift in our priorities as a Party. We need to strike a balance between doing our best in Government and developing the Party for the future. All too often we get this wrong. All too often (and for understandable reasons) we get sucked in to the day to day business of Government and fail to pay enough attention to the Party, our message and our organisation. If I am elected leader that will not happen.
We also need to do great deal to reinvigorate our organisation, to help the members of the Party to work better together, to use Information Technology to better effect. For any of this to be effective we need to get the message - the mission if you like - right in the first place.
Fourteen men and women, members of our Party, served as Ministers or Ministers of State when Labour and Democratic Left were last in Government – in 1997. Of those, eight have since left the Dail. One of those eight is now President; another, Toddy, is with us here this evening. Of the remaining six, three have since been Party Leader, one (Emmet) last expressed an interest in being Party Leader a quarter of a century ago, and one, Brendan, decided not to seek the leadership a few weeks ago. The "last man standing", or rather the last woman standing, is the person I have the honour of sharing the stage with in these election hustings.
Sooner or later we will have to look outside that class of ’97. There will simply be nobody left. The question for all of us, now, is whether to return for one last time to that generation, or whether to move on now.
In ten years’ time, this Party will be led by a new generation of men and women, people in their forties or perhaps even younger. We can start the transition now or we can wait a few more years. The timing of that transition is crucial. We have seen how some of our sister parties have suffered badly by delaying change for a few years too many. We cannot afford the same mistake.
I believe the change we need must start now, and I want to lead that change - to be a bridge to the new generation of our party.
I am asking for your support on July 4th to make it happen.

21-06-2014, 05:12 PM
White says it's ok to lie

Labour: White on college fees: "I know we didn't keep our promise on the registration fee. But we have not reintroduced full tuition fees."

Labour: White says Labour shouldn't apoligise over promises: "I don't think we should apologise" - should explain instead