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C. Flower
10-05-2016, 06:19 PM
Joan Burton has announced that she will stand down and that a new Labour Party leader will be elected.

Burton's role in Government in "Social Protection" had a scorched earth effect on Labour Party support.

Labour became so toxic that not even Fine Gael wants what is left of it.

There are real questions over Labour's survival as a party.

So, a new thread, for final post mortems over recent Labour history, and for predictions and observations on its future.

Donal Og
10-05-2016, 07:12 PM
I wish I had some dramatic prediction like ' Labour will vanish completely' or ' Labour will become a red blooded socialist party ' But I fear it will just have a slow and weak recovery and return to its old raison d'etre ....representing teachers and civil servants in the Dublin area. Of the putative leaders Kelly is the most ' papabile'. Everyone hates him though.O Riordin sometimes gives vent to an original thought , so that lets him out. Sherlock ? People on the dark side complain about his accent so ditto I guess.Risn Shortall has clean hands but...meh why would she risk it ?

Shaadi
10-05-2016, 09:40 PM
Labour as a party are facing an existential crisis.

They existed as the half party in the 2 1/2 party system and the 2 1/2 party system is now dead with the knock on effect of that being Labour's selling point and raison d'tre has ceased to exist.

Why would anyone now vote for Labour?

They had considerable leverage as PS reps in Govt as the half party, that's now gone and SF and FF are viable competition for the PS worker vote. There are now plenty of Liberal options for voters and the Liberal wing of FG is as Liberal as Labour. The Labour leadership is Right Wing and that position won't yield an increases in Labour's fortunes. The Left is too crowded and Labour have no credibility with Left voters.

How can Labour get back in the race when they've cut their own legs off?

DCon
10-05-2016, 10:13 PM
AK 47 will be on the Late Late making his pitch on Friday

C. Flower
10-05-2016, 10:23 PM
I agree with Shaadi, and would add that in spite of the inexplicable existence of a small but enthusiastic Labour Youth, the Party as a whole is ageing.

The only future I could see for it would be a sort of National Labour Party under the crazed and power-hungry Kelly, lurching to the right even of Fine Gael.

Ceannaire
11-05-2016, 08:44 PM
The most worrying thing for the Labour Party must be not that it only returned seven seats, but that the election results show no future for the party based on the social liberalism that is now its main selling-point. It lost its seats in the liberal bastions of Dublin Bay South, Rathdown and Dún Laoghaire; leading liberal TDs such as Ferris and Ó Riordáin failed to get re-elected; and the party's strongest showing was in Wexford, one of the most socially conservative constituencies in the country, with the party also scoring successes in socially conservative Tipperary and Longford-Westmeath.

As such, it seems there is no future for the party defining itself purely on social issues; on economic issues, it has tried to market itself as fair but sensible, yet that ground has been captured by a resurgent Fianna Fáil.

pluralist
11-05-2016, 09:20 PM
My best guess is eventually they will merge with the Soc Dems at whatever point the latter decide Labour has been sufficiently 'cleansed' and 'detoxified'.

C. Flower
11-05-2016, 09:58 PM
If Kelly gets the leadership, the only way Labour will go is right.

What happens to Labour will also be affected by the pulling power or otherwise of the 'new left' of Right2Change and PBP/AAA.

Richardbouvet
12-05-2016, 12:17 PM
I would say that the worst possible leader at this time would be Sean Sherlock, who would almost certainly do a complete Tony Blair job on the party. Kelly has a slightly better feel for the party's traditional supporters. Jan O'Sullivan would be the least worst option.

However, I do not think the current PLP is capable of reshaping the party as a serious force on the left. The continuing rearguard-action in support of water charges (when they could have just dropped the issue and got on with the future) is a very bad sign.

Sidewinder
12-05-2016, 11:30 PM
Good riddance to bad rubbish.

"Labour", for decades - like since the late 60s FFS - have not been in any way progressive. All they have ever been is the non-clerical wing of FF/FG - right-wing, backward reactionary authoritarian patrician gombeen conservatives....with some small willingness to stand up to the Church on a small subset of socio-sexual issues.

They've been completely silent on a whole range of issues of inequity, inequality, injustice, and rampant corruption for fecking decades. Chancers and trough-snouters the lot of 'em. And they and their snivelling toadies in the meeja were always the most fervent acolytes of the Cruiserology fanatic cult. FG has the likes of Brian Hayes, and most of FF have been revisionist partitionists since the fall of Albert, but everyone in Labour is a deranged anti-national nutjob.

Their only purpose was in providing an outlet for the non-clerical vote, in the full knowledge they were not seriously going to rock the boat or really try to challenge the dominant social or economic orthodoxy of the ruling gombeen class. In return for playing this role they'd get fat pensions and the odd turn in government (even more pensions).

Anyone still willing to vote for these clowns in the hope of real change is wilfully deluding themselves. Another establishment counter-gang, no more no less.

C. Flower
17-05-2016, 09:06 PM
Will Kelly find anyone to nominate him ?

Apjp
17-05-2016, 11:47 PM
Some wally in the Irish media comparing him to Corbyn as an outsider today.

Eh, the whole process is done by the small cabal in parliament, not the party's members, and it is hard to imagine anyone more unlike Corbyn politically or personality wise.

C. Flower
21-05-2016, 01:14 PM
Howlin in, no contest, no vote for members.

Labour has 4,000 members allegedly who had a vote, if there was a contest.

Why do they bother ?

jmcc
21-05-2016, 01:46 PM
Labour is just a monarchy of the mediocre. The queen is dead. Long live the queen. An absolute joke of a political party, even by Irish standards.

Regards...jmcc

C. Flower
25-05-2016, 11:07 PM
My best guess is eventually they will merge with the Soc Dems at whatever point the latter decide Labour has been sufficiently 'cleansed' and 'detoxified'.

Listening to Howlin trying and failing to distance Labour from water charges, and from virtually everything else they did in power, it is hard to see that they have any future.

Sinn Fein and AAA will cover the same issues, but have some credibility.

Richardbouvet
26-05-2016, 11:00 AM
As long as Labour continue to vehemently champion water charges, there is no prospect of a merger with the SDs.

Dr. FIVE
27-05-2016, 01:55 AM
Reposting this for anyone who missed it. How Labour Lost The Election

https://oireachtasretort.ie/2016/05/08/how-labour-lost-the-election/

C. Flower
27-05-2016, 01:42 PM
Reposting this for anyone who missed it. How Labour Lost The Election

https://oireachtasretort.ie/2016/05/08/how-labour-lost-the-election/

Thanks very much for that. Several sins of Labour there that I had forgotten about .

Would a PS on Jobsbridge and Labour and young people would be possible?


Now let us cast our minds back to June 2010. It was a whole eight months before the general election. Labour just hit 32% in an Irish Times opinion poll and for the first time in history are the most popular political party in Ireland.

Labour rose to that peak in the polls at the stage in which their political strategy was to suggest they wanted to lead a Government - when they peaked- there was a reflex retrenchment by Gilmore to a pro coalition strategy.

The more Labour, in the past, suggested the possibility of acturally leading an alternative government, the more popular it was in the polls. That was the pattern in Greece too, but in Greece Syriza actually went on to form a government.

In neither case has the outcome been good. Some conclusions are surely being drawn ? Some people concluding that Syriza and Labour are not fit for purpose and that different politics are needed ? Other people giving up, demoralised and not believing that there can be change ?

Organisation of the working class and young people on the ground (in trade unions and parties), and having parties that are actual socialist parties, with a strategy for dismantling capitalism, is the alternative.

Also, having a proposal for a system to replace capitalism.

Parallel with the downfall of labour, working class communities built up solid organisations opposing water charges, opposing evictions, opposing health cuts etc. Various left groups and Sinn Fein vied with each other to try to co-opt from or get elected by these movements. These groups present themselves as against Austerity and for higher taxes on the rich. Not much different from Labour thb. AAA tail ended the movement and has not put forward any credible strategy for burying austerity alive and replacing capitalism. Right2Water Right2Change seems to have been a complete damp squib mainly concerned to keep AAA out. It's election strategy collapsed in dissarray.

To break out of this cycle there isn't any substitute for studying the history of humans' social and economic and political development and where we are now, and building organsiations that are dedicated to the purpose in hand. And we know in advance that these organisations have to take on massive machines of media, cultural inertia and conservatiism, scepticism, poliitical power, state forces, and the power of big money, so they need to be themselves very powerful, advanced and large organisations, not a charade based images of the past. They have to start small and grow, but they can't think small.

Dr. FIVE
27-05-2016, 04:09 PM
Labour are not fit for purpose and that different politics are needed ?

I made this point in the article and am quite serious about it. The Labour Party needs to dissolve itself


The Labour Party are clearly not fit for purpose and quite arguably never were. For 100 years the party has consistently lagged behind comparable counterparts. There are, how shall we say, some Irish factors for this but the Labour Party itself is also one of these stifling peculiarities and it is time to weigh up the blueprint objectively rather than continuing for another 100 years of mediocrity. Comparing the achievements of parties across different countries is by no means a perfect lens but Labour has clearly not achieved anything approaching the success of others either as Catholic workers party, socialist party or Blairite liberal party.

Labour may have a proud history and tradition that members feel should continue but it is also a history of nearlys and not reallys. The Nol Brownes and Mary Robinsons that the modern party hopes to emulate were hardly even members. Browne was up on screen during the party’s centenary in 2012 but was not a member in 1951, Labour were among those who tuned their back on him during the mother & child scheme. So the, let’s called it restructuring, would provide the space and impetus to seriously re-equip from the bottom up the intersection of politics and trade unionism not just in 2016 but for the next fifty years. Otherwise, Labour’s continued presence is in all seriousness no different to the dance of Fianna Fil and Fine Gael protecting redundant fiefdoms in naked self-interest.


There will be no social democracy in Ireland. Democracy itself is on the way out across the continent and the Labour Party itself as recent as 2012 in the Fiscal Treaty enthusiastically collaborated in the effective outlawing of socialism in the EU.

And not least



The last thing those who rely on a left wing party need is a ‘respectable’ left wing party and in one too many ways Labour have quite contently gone over to the dark side.

C. Flower
27-05-2016, 05:16 PM
I made this point in the article and am quite serious about it. The Labour Party needs to dissolve itself

And not least

Yes, I took note of that. And of the fact that Labour was a leader of the charge to illegalise Socialism through the Fiscal Compact etc.


There will be no social democracy in Ireland. Democracy itself is on the way out across the continent and the Labour Party itself as recent as 2012 in the Fiscal Treaty enthusiastically collaborated in the effective outlawing of socialism in the EU.

Not just in Ireland but elsewhere. The young populations of Arab countries found themselves accepting a military dictatorship under Sisi over the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood. Outside (and inside) interference is constantly stymieing any possiblity of democracy, in the interests of regimes that more efficiently control and rip off the native populations. The respectable left does not even want to think about these things, never mind do anything to counteract or countermand them.

Trade agreements, cross border security agreements, public and secret treaties, the private ownership of the media, all make a mockery of democracy.

The demise of an organised Labour Party, without any alternative being ready, is a mixed blessing. Labour Party membership is I think only around 4000. That is tiny, for a supposedly working class party of government.
The link with Unions has been weakened and some Irish unions operate more for privilege than for raising everyone up.

The business of how to build a party machine of the left of real strength and capability, as well as intent, needs to be debated. It means having people in different roles, with different expertise, in the party, a general good grasp of what socialism is, and a lot of hard work and determination. The ULA debacle was a lesson on how not to do it. Likewise RIght2Change in my view.

Focus groups (open to manipulation) will not do it and neither will protest poliltics. People setting out a left wing political stall need to put forward a substantial position on what kind of society they want and what they think should be done in order to get it.