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Labour rebuild January 19, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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There’s a piece on Labours rebuild in The Examiner

While Labour faced a near wipeout in last February’s election, its membership has now increased by more than 1,000 in recent months as leader Brendan Howlin aims to secure the party’s future.

Mr Howlin and other senior party figures are moving away from campaigning in middle-class areas and instead focusing on attracting working-class support once again.

You’d wonder about the increase in membership. As for campiagning in working class areas……. There is also a lot of talk about doubling. …double the membership numbers, double the number of Councillors and double the number of TD’s.

I think it’s a long hard road for them and it’s hard to see how they make their targets.

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1. 1798Mike - January 19, 2017

Take anything Howlin says about Labour membership with a grain of salt. As an ex-member, I came to the conclusion that Labour’s membership had reduced itself to the relatives, pals and ‘clients’ of TDs & councillors. For years, I was still receiving notices from the party, despite having ceased to pay any membership subscription – so maybe even I was still being counted a ‘member’!
If there has been any increase, it may be down to the mining of the above-mentioned apolitical base in order for individuals to ensure reselection as candidates.
Labour’s problem is that it surrendered the electoral base it had in urban areas through the opportunism, careerism and lack of any firm conviction of its leadership & its TDs, in any progressive form of social democracy. Labour has been redefined by those who once voted for it, quite correctly, as being part of the same right-wing political stable as the Fianna-Gael political elite.
Sinn Fein, the SDs & AAA/PBP offer a variety of alternatives. The liberal middle class vote that, for example, voted for Ruairi Quinn or Alex White on Dublin’s south side, will just as happily vote for the Greens – as the last election showed. On all sides, Labour is surrounded. Its avenues for progress to regain political relevance are impeded. It is not a campaigning party. Its only platform is the Dail & with that appalling, pompous, mini-napoleon of austerity, Howlin, as leader, it has no credibility.

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Joe - January 19, 2017

I think you covered it all very well there Mike. It appears they’re fooked!

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CMK - January 19, 2017

I don’t think it is all that straightforward. While Mike has covered all of the bases there is still the question of their base in the trade unions, particularly SIPTU, which is being used to keep them going over the current lean period. The pressure to disaffiliate from Labour is growing within SIPTU but its apparatchiks will fight hard to keep that link, but its importance should not be discounted. Also, memories fade and people forget the betrayals of the past while struggling to survive today.

Having said that I one of one sitting Labour TD who has seriously alienated two dedicated party workers (one a relative of mine) who have basically told him to f**k off and they are never putting up any posters or delivering leaflets for him again. He will struggle to get back in next time around, I think.

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Tomboktu - January 20, 2017

there is still the question of their base in the trade unions, particularly SIPTU

Is there a sizeable base in IMPACT too, or am I over-reading Shay Cody’s influence in that aspect?

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CMK - January 20, 2017

Not sure about IMPACT, but they have a base in SIPTU that is well organised, from what I can see.

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dublinstreams - January 20, 2017

havn’t found any SIPTU donations to Labour Party candidates yet, although havnt looked through on 300 pages of documents and again can’t see winners donations

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2. ivorthorne - January 20, 2017

If SF joined a government, it would probably help Labour. If AAA-PBP started bickering and competing, that would help. But otherwise???

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3. dublinstreams - January 20, 2017

2015 Political Parties’ Statements of Accounts

€163,717 in membership and subscriptions fees in 2014, €202,588 in 2015. fees are €15, pensioners €10.

http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Reports/Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/2015-Political-Parties-Statements-of-Accounts/Statements-of-Accounts.pdf

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