That Keaveney vote. Interesting. Who next? December 14, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics, The Left.
Every time there’s a crisis and another person leaves the Labour Party, or rather loses the whip – which is not, it has to be noted, entirely the same thing, I am left wondering ‘who else?’. Of the five who have detached themselves, some – the name Penrose comes to mind for some reason – very gingerly indeed, three can be said to be clearly on what could be termed the broad aspects of government policies, and LP acquiescence for these policies. Those would be Broughan, Nulty and now the late adopter, Keaveney. But credit where credit is due, Keaveney made the move. Penrose seems to some what different, resigning over a local issue. Shortall different again, in fairness her resignation (as Junior Minister) was over in part a philosophical difference with Fine Gael. Yet she seems an unlikely addition to the Broughan, Nulty – and let us not forget – Nessa Childers axis. Keaveney could, one would imagine fit quite comfortably into that grouping. Whether he does or not remains to be seen.
Not good news, though, for a Labour Party with declining poll figures – it undermines authority, diminishes cohesiveness. The next poll will be of considerable interest – not least to see the positions of Fine Gael and the Labour Party, though I presume there won’t be one until the New Year. But paradoxically, or not, I have to admit that all this makes me more and more certain that the Labour Party is set to stay in for the duration – though their numbers are now, if I calculate correctly, down from 37 at the election to 33 (Nulty being an additional LP TD gained through a by-election). With Fine Gael on 74, and only down one TD, though Peter Mathews cuts an increasingly apostate figure on some issues, and 83/84 being the crucial figures for a majority in a Dáil of 166 TDs FG and the LP still retain 107. Little chance that sort of majority is going anywhere soon.
Naturally all involved in the government parties must hope that things will improve for the better. And that is particularly so for the individual TDs who can’t be happy at the sight of the poll ratings declining rapidly. That could, I suppose, generate further attrition. But I’m not so sure. Having had some contact with those wedded to the leadership line I suspect they buy into the idea that there will be growth, that all will come right eventually and in time for Election 2015 or 2016, and of course we have seen that dynamic in play in the run up to the last election where Fianna Fáil remained, all things considered, fairly cohesive right up to the final hour.
That being the case Keaveney may be joining a crew that will remain small. At least he and they can reflect on the idea that they’ve done the right thing. As to the rest…
But that still leaves questions. What of others who raised concerns in the last week? Why didn’t they jump, and is there any possibility that they will?