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A view from Labour April 25, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

That can be found here…

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1. combatliberalism - April 25, 2012

Nice to see Paul Dillon still tipping at windmills. Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this is the fact that he seems to believe that the problem is the bureaucratic process within the conferences and LP structures rather than the fact that the Labour Party membership is simply as cretinous and right-wing as its leadership. This is why there has been no rank and file or backbench revolt against their disgraceful hand-wringing response to X-case legislation. The sickness that has rotted the Labour Party to Fine Gael junior is an infection that has spread to every branch of their organisation, not simply their leadership. Frankly, anyone still hoping that the LP will move in a remotely progressive direction deserves a solid spanking for their blindness.

2. Repsol - April 25, 2012

Who are ‘Fightback’?

combatliberalism - April 25, 2012

Two English lads. They are the split that occurred in the Militant tendency when the majority left the Labour Party to form the Socialist Party in the Open Turn. What remained are an utterly insignificant force that have transformed into a Ted Grant personality cult who have elevated entryism from a tactic appropriate prior to the 1990s into a holy sacrament.

Ed - April 25, 2012

Are they English? I thought the Irish section of the Grantites was two guys, one from Italy, one from Spain.

I met them a few years ago when they organised a meeting of Hands Off Venezuela in UCD, had a long discussion with them in the bar afterwards about why there was really no point trying to work through the Labour Party—the left outside Labour might be small but the Labour left was even smaller—but they were absolutely unyieldingly convinced that the only place to be was in the Labour Party and anything outside of it was utterly futile. I couldn’t get them even to consider the possibility that they might be mistaken about it.

combatliberalism - April 25, 2012

That’s them alright. I never met them myself but I knew they weren’t Irish so I just assumed they were from the English section.

3. EamonnCork - April 25, 2012

Thought it was quite an interesting piece myself. Though it is true that the Labour leadership probably aren’t having to work too hard to keep the innate radicalism of the rank and file in check.

4. Alan Rouge - April 25, 2012

“Sinn Fein will emerge as the 2nd largest party, but will be unlikely to be able to form a government.”

What makes him so certain of that?

EamonnCork - April 25, 2012

I think given the current levels of party support that’s a pretty unremarkable prediction on his part. Even if SF do extraordinarily well next time out they’d be unlikely to top 40 seats at the very best. It’s very hard to see how they’d knit together any kind of governing coalition.

WorldbyStorm - April 25, 2012

That’s what I feel. 30 plus, perhaps, on a good day. Not that good a day. But with FF perhaps on 24 and the LP on… well, pick a number but say 15 to 25… and a visceral unwillingness on the LP to work with SF, or the remnant of FF, even if FG only get 50 odd TDs they’re well positioned to go into govt, either with FF or with Indo’s of a like mind. Thats said it’s going to be messy.

5. Jim Monaghan - April 25, 2012

“The new practise of asking each party member to turn up with identification and a letter from the party to be registered as a delegate is likely to continue. This is a really unnecessary move and offensive to many. It heightens tension and fear among party members and ads to a siege mentality. ”
The poor things.

combatliberalism - April 25, 2012


6. Ed - April 25, 2012

On the main article anyway – it’s interesting to hear about this sort of carry-on at the Labour conference, just what you’d expect from that party’s leadership but good to have it detailed. But surely the main problem is that there just aren’t enough people with left-wing views in the Labour Party, even if they didn’t have these practices at the conference I doubt it would make very much difference to the outcome.

When Tony Benn’s supporters in the British Labour Party were arguing for changes in the way conferences were run etc., it was vitally important, because the Left was very strong at all levels of the party except for the parliamentary group and the leadership, and they could have pushed through the adoption of radical policies if they changed the way the party made decisions. That’s just not on the agenda today, unfortunately. And it doesn’t seem like there’s any chance of that changing – over the next few years, the most likely trend is going to be for left-wingers to leave Labour, not to join it, so things are only going to get worse.

Mark P - April 25, 2012

To be fair to Paul’s article on that point, it does make it clear that the original destruction of the power of Labour conference in Ireland in 1989 was a leadership response to the strength of the left at the 1987 conference.

What it doesn’t do, beyond a reference to the Labour Left group “going out of business” is explain that the reason why every Labour conference has been “pedestrian”, and why there has been no even slightly significant challenge to coalitionism in all the years since, is that the left wing of Labour completely collapsed and has shown zero sign of reappearing as a force in the last twenty years. The Labour left, taken as a whole, has roughly the activist base of the Workers Solidarity Movement, but is far less well organised.

The Labour rank and file voted, almost to a man and woman, for coalition with Fine Gael on the basis of the most right wing programme for government ever. That is who we are talking about here: A bunch about as promising for genuinely left wing politics as the rank and file of Fianna Fail. Now that said, I do expect there to be serious ructions inside Labour as this government is seen to be a disaster for both country and party, but it will be loud complaining about the policies those same people voted for and the inevitable results of a coalitionism those same people have supported consistently for two decades.

The perspective of “Fightback” (both of them), that militant workers will move into the Labour Party, seeking to reclaim it, is clearly nonsense. The trend, as with the Greens, is going to be dissidents (whether new or old) leaving. But there will be some trouble inside Labour and, you never know, they may be able to cohere a few people from what little remains of the Labour left.

7. GE - April 25, 2012

“Labour Left had at this stage gone out of business. Key figures had either departed the party altogether or were due to participate in the government as office holders.”

Interesting how the expulsions aren’t mentioned. Could it be that they don’t want to face up to the reality in the unlikelihood that the left in labour gained any significance, they could easily be expelled?

“However, at this stage, is safe to assume that Fine Gael and Labour will be re-elected.”

Is it? Is it really though? They have another 4 budgets to introduce assuming they last the term. Whatever about Fine Gael, after the next election the Labour parliamentary party will be about the size of the labour left.

1798Mike - April 25, 2012

There is no significant organised left wing left in the Labour Party. That is true. But there are small numbers of excellent individuals who are indeed principled social democrats. They have no influence over the sheep-like majority such as it is.Yes, I am able to name three!
In my own constituency, I gave up going to meetings years ago. Active members, who discussed and challenged things, were not wanted. The local TD, his family and pals needed retainers not an engaged membership. Over the past 15 years many good progressive people – many of them incomers to the constituency – joined and left utterly disillusioned.
Gilmore is utterly discredited in the wider population. He stands revealed as an empty vessel. Nobody, except the corporate media treats him seriously any longer.
It is urgent that the ULA treats its own development seriously and broadens its appeal. I fail to see why no effort, as far as I can see, has been made, for example, to bring the CP and WP and other groups into the ULA. The success of the Front Rouge in France is the example to follow.

1798Mike - April 25, 2012

Correction: At the end of the above, I meant to refer to Melenchon’s Parti de Gauche or Front Gauche. ‘Front Rouge’ was a clandestine 1970′s grouplet

Mark P - April 25, 2012

“There is no significant organised left wing left in the Labour Party. That is true. But there are small numbers of excellent individuals who are indeed principled social democrats”

I think that’s a pretty fair summary. There are still some scattered principled social democrats in Labour, a TD who has lost the whip, a couple of councillors, some dozens of rank and filers.

Follix - April 25, 2012

There is hardly an organized Labour party in most places, never mind a left wing element.

combatliberalism - April 25, 2012

‘I fail to see why no effort, as far as I can see, has been made, for example, to bring the CP and WP and other groups into the ULA.’

Just to clarify, the WP were invited into the ULA but decided not to join. Nobody gives a fuck either way about the CP.

D_D - April 26, 2012

“Nobody gives a fuck either way about the CP” .

This is not the stated position of the ULA. Nor is it a mode of expression that should be associated with the ULA. The ULA could learn a bit from the CP about raising its profile with even small resources, as seen for instance in next weekend’s interesting day on class and culture, which as Julian has said unfortunately clashes with the ULA conference.

combatliberalism - April 26, 2012

It’s my own opinion, not that of the ULA.

8. Tom Redmond - April 26, 2012

“Nobody gives a fuck either way about the CP” .

The CPI has met the ULA several months ago. It was a useful meeting and the CPI will return the dialogue when the ULA has finalised irs structures and methods of organisaation.

9. Sarah - April 27, 2012

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