A former minister complains ‘I cannot recall when a political party has attracted the same criticism as Labour’ April 7, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Short memory so for Pat Rabbitte, for he writes:
I cannot recall any period when a political party attracted anything like the same unremitting, relentless criticism in the media for its entire five years in government.
Now granted. Five years, perhaps not. But in the year or two in advance of the last election – the then FF/GP coalition saw both constituent elements lambasted. I spoke to an FF member, a long time one, in 2010 or so who expressed utter bafflement at the hostility he and his peers received on the doorstep and in the street. I knew GP members afraid to mention their affiliation publicly. And LP members were not behind the door in venting their ire to them. And Pat Rabbitte may recall his own words with a hapless Pat Carey on live television. Labour post-2011 got it in the neck, but the venomousness was distinctly different.
Moreover it didn’t end in 2011 for FF (whatever about the GP who by fading from sight lived to fight another day). It was both FG and the LP who at every opportunity, when they weren’t berating SF, continued to remind the electorate about the misdeeds of FF.
But for Rabbitte it is as if that never happened. No indeed.
In developing this uniform attritional narrative the media was reflecing a prolonged negative campaign originated by SF, the Trotskyite [sic] left and a few party exiles who could not take the heat in the kitchen. The focus was on the LP and only to a much lesser extent the government.
But this is to gift those parties and groups immense power and to reduce to nothing the agency of the LP, for the LP was the one in government. And this makes his complaints seem hollow.
The government could have taken the SF advice, which was to default. Would default have been an ‘easier’ way for the most vulnerable in our society. For the Trotskyite left the water issue was a godsend as they targeted their venom on Labour and preached permanent revolution.
But again, why didn’t the LP pull back from implementing those policies? Why did it stand over water charges?
He has to eventually acknowledge that ‘Labour had itself to blame insomuch as some of the hyperbole engaged in before the election of 2011 was unwise…’
But he cannot apparently come to terms with the reality of what Labour acquiescing, all too willingly by the way, to the government programme did to it, or meant.
And his conclusion points up this perfectly.
As austerity becomes no longer central to Irish politics, the difference between protest politics and sensible mainstream social democratic politics will become more apparent.
Problem was that this supposed ‘sensible mainstream social democratic politics’ seemed to be no different in practice across those five years than ‘right of centre conservative’ politics.