A tale of two (Labour) Parties October 12, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
I was just thinking about the Irish Labour Party the other day. What a strange time for it. There in the UK the LP under Corbyn gaining members – making political weather and while far from on track for power, at least getting itself together in way that is quite admirable.
Whereas… Irish Labour is AWOL. Of course part of this is a basic problem. The last decade saw almost all remaining leftists flake away from the LP and intriguingly at different time and places. Indeed one might even argue that this is a process that if one includes Catherine Murphy has been going on for longer than that. And that some of those who have walked would only be mildly social democratic as distinct from particularly leftist is in a way even more telling.
Be that as it may that leaves a huge problem, for there’s pretty much no one left to lock into the Corbyn dynamic. Who in this state represents that? A number of people will vie for that honour. Roddy on here may have a point that Corbyn has never been shy in articulating his closeness to the Sinn Féin leadership. Ironic if they benefited more from this. The Social Democrats aren’t quite such a good fit. Others further left have the essential problem that Corbyn’s programme isn’t…well… all that far left. I was just thinking that Jim Callaghan – whose government I remember and was hardly preaching red revolution, would probably have stood over a broader range of nationalisation (and indeed did since Thatcher had still to wreak her malign magic) than Cobyn can (though in fairness I’m sure Corbyn would be delighted if it were possible to have as many areas in state ownership as even Callaghan had).
But even that points up how detached from the left the LP is now.
I suppose that one could argue that the LP is closer to power – but then that raises the question. In power or out of it how can one tell the difference?