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But then another thought… what about the appetite for a party of the left of centre? January 24, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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It works both ways… the poll doesn’t seem to offer much evidence that a new party positioned somewhere between Labour and the further left is a hugely popular proposition. Again, if we cannot take support for Independents as indicating anything with respect to a right of centre party then likewise there’s no huge evidence of enthusiasm for its equivalent on the left.

Is it simply that people like their left independents to be independent as well as left? There’s a fair scatter of people under that label. Catherine Connolly, Joan Collins, Maureen O’Sullivan, Thomas Pringle, Seamus Healy, Tommy Broughan, Clare Daly, Mick Wallace. By the way that’s one more than the number of non-affiliated right Independent TDs. Not that that means much.

And while AAA-PBP are doing very well having carved out a clear space their own (plural) it remains largely equivalent in terms of polling support to that the WP gained in the 1980s and how much that can be grown in the short term isn’t cleat. Again, that’s actually hugely creditable given the number of alternatives out there, but there’s no apparent historic shift to the established further left. At least not at this point.

Perhaps if an Ogle driven vehicle comes to the fore, or I4C or whoever take on a more cohesive form that will change matters, but the track record of the Social Democrats must give pause for thought. They should, on paper, have a broad appeal but have found it difficult to break out of a very limited range of support.

As always change will occur in one way or another. But whether it will match the hopes of some is another matter.

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Comments»

1. GW - January 24, 2017

I’d say there’s certainly room for a democratic non-Leninist broad socialist party.

It’s not a question of positioning on a spectrum – I don’t even know what terms like ‘centre-left’ are even supposed to mean, but a question of the relationship to democratic and transparent processes, both within a party and more generally.

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WorldbyStorm - January 24, 2017

That’s true too

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2. CMK - January 24, 2017

This post begs a number of of interesting questions. At this stage it’s getting ridiculous. The amount of ‘Independent’ Left activists, Councillors and even TDs that there are out there are enough to form the basis of a new party. The question has to be asked: why don’t they just get on with it? The Independent form cannot provide a basis for sustainable Left activism or progress, in my view. There has to be some structure and co-ordination at national level for any sustained impact. For all of the crap this sector fire at the AAA/PBP and other formal Left parties, there seems remarkably little thinking being done on what these party are actually up.

What is the end game for Daly, Collins, Pringle, Broughan etc.? If they are not going to fill the ‘non-Leninist’ gap to the left of Labour, who is? Do they hope at some point to form a party? Is Mr. Ogle’s proposal that vehicle? A sizeable portion of the ‘Independent’ part of all polling is taken up by Independents who are explicitly Left wing. Is the plan to consolidate that element of the vote? Is there even a plan?

Were such a party to emerge and the AAA/PBP to grow in Dáil representation, there would be the basis for a very solid Left block in the Dáil. But I don’t personally think too many hard questions will be asked of those Left Independent TDs, Councillors etc if they just drift on as they are doing now. By the way, I think Mr. Ogle’s proposals will make them even warier of organising into a party form, particularly if he demands a central role in it.

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WorldbyStorm - January 24, 2017

Agree,drifting on as is is not a solution. Some form of coordinatiion is necessary

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dublinstreams - January 24, 2017

wasn’t right2change ,’some form of co-ordination’

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CMK - January 24, 2017

It goes beyond I think just greater co-ordination. There are fundamental questions as to what their long term objective is? I’ve seen some stick dished out to AAA members who advocate the mass party. You can agree or disagree whether that is feasible, desirable etc. But I don’t know what Daly, Collins, Pringlee, Broughan’s end objective is? A workers republic? I don’t think I’ve ever seen their overall vision articulated anywhere, but am open to correction on that.

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dublinstreams - January 24, 2017

here on the Right2Change website http://www.right2change.ie/policy-principles-progressive-irish-government Wallace changed the name of his party to reflect R2C and all in I4C Dail group but Connelly signed up to R2C.

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dublinstreams - January 24, 2017

CMK you know 3 of the 4 you mentioned did join a party and then Pringle joined their Dail group, you are writing as if this didn’t happen.

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CMK - January 24, 2017

Is there a I4C party? I thought it’s more like a broad banner for these TDs to get behind? If it is a party then, fair enough, but I have my doubts that it is.

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dublinstreams - January 24, 2017

its not really a party, no but you are writing as if this didn’t happen, but many are also writing as if AAA-PBP didn’t just create a Dail party and look to co-ordination (to a certain extent) in elections and the Dail, maybe thats happened now and your looking beyond to the next thing but I found it remarkable enough to recognise it as co-ordination rather then ask why the left aren’t co-ordinating. SD/GP/IND AAA-PBP, I4C and LP each have their own Dail groups so they don’t really need each other to iniatiate bills or motions in the Dail but they also don’t have near the numbers to force anything to happen in the Dail unless Fianna Fail wants it or the chief whip fails.

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3. sonofstan - January 24, 2017

The electoral system and political culture in Ireland reward independents too much. It’s generally safer than being tied to a party and answerable for bits of policy you don’t agree with. And as we see with the current govt. it’s not even necessarily an obstacle to ministerial posts – although that involves unpleasant and possibly unpopular decisions.

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dublinstreams - January 24, 2017

why should you be tied to a party and answerable to for bits of policy you don’t agree with?

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RosencrantzisDead - January 25, 2017

Voting independent is probably the most sensible choice you can make as a voter nowadays. We have had a succession of governments emphasize how powerless they are to implement policy or resist adverse events, whether it be the country in receivership, Trichet bullying Lenihan or the strictures of the Fiscal Compact. It does not matter how the government is composed, governing policy prevails.

Why not vote for an independent who says you’ll get a phlebotomy lab or a new road? An Independent at least has to deliver or they will get booted next time out. The backbenchers of the main parties, on the other hand, will be able to go cap in hand to the leadership for a Seanad appointment or sinecure if they lose. And unless you have a Minister in your constituency, you are not likely to have the same pull.

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4. dublinstreams - January 24, 2017

which poll would that be?

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5. An Sionnach Fionn - January 24, 2017

In terms of left-wing politics, if not republicanism, aren’t the AAA/PBP, SD, I4C, etc. just the “alternative SF”?

Which makes one wonder, what will happen to the real thing when Adams joins McGuinness and the conservative press loses its largest stick to beat SF over the head with? Will a “sanitised” SF start hoovering up votes now defaulting to AAA/PBP, etc?

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6to5against - January 24, 2017

They’ll just shift the goalposts a little – calling for an enquiry, for example, into some republican misdeed and demanding that Michelle, or Mary Lou, or whoever, supports that demand. When they don’t, outrage will be expressed, and it will be brought up on every suitable occasion.

There’s always a way to keep a tired old trope alive..,..

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GW - January 24, 2017

Talking of which what’s Michelle O’Niell like as a face to face politician and on the media? At this distance I’ve no experience.

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6. Dr. X - January 24, 2017

One particular blind spot of the modern Irish left is their relationship – or lack of same – to rural Ireland.

Do the AAA-PBP have any sort of agricultural policy, for example?

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GW - January 24, 2017

Very good point.

The promotion of genuine producers, carers and consumers coops would be a good place to start. Not to mention public transport.

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ivorthorne - January 24, 2017

The problem isn’t the lack of relationship as the seeming lack of motivation to build such a relationship. Rural Ireland will look at positive things such as the water protests with ambivalence. After all, many have had to pay water charges for years and those who were outraged about those in the richer parts of the country having to pay water charges didn’t care about their “right to water” being denied for decades.

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RosencrantzisDead - January 25, 2017

The Left and agricultural policy will surely invite a number of jokes.

On a more serious level, an agricultural policy is a minefield for the left. First of all, identification of the appropriate constitutency is difficult. Smaller farmers find themselves squeezed by the large grocery chains and have seen their incomes drop due to cuts to schemes. This may provide an opportunity. However, twenty percent of the average farm revenue comes from grants. Small businesses reliant on state welfare throws up some ideological challenges for a lot of leftist parties.

Between one-half to two-thirds of all farmers are over the age of forty. The average age of a farmer is fifty- four. While I recognize the demographics of this site, older people are not well disposed to left parties at the best of times. Getting them to change now may be an uphill struggle.

Agriculture is also our biggest CO2 emitter. As it stands, Ireland is going to miss its emissions targets this year and will likely miss its 2020 targets by a good margin. As an aside, I find it exasperating that people here get in a tizzy about Trump’s ridiculous stance on climate change while our own government remains in flagrant breach of the agreed limits. The national dairy herd is set to increase by a sixth over the next three to four years. This is not sustainable but reducing the herd will invoke apoplexy. The current scheme, I understand, is to incentivise people into forestry but this causes issues with inheritance.

As to coops, we have a quite a few still in agriculture. Many may have converted to a limited company/DAC form since their hey-day. Credit Unions are still very active and are currently looking to have mortgage rules relaxed. (::sigh::)

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dublinstreams - January 25, 2017

“I find it exasperating that people here get in a tizzy about Trump’s ridiculous stance on climate change while our own government remains in flagrant breach of the agreed limits.”

so what are you doing about it?

PBP manifesto “Current Irish agriculture policy is overly weighted towards supporting big farmers who are engaged in
the export trade. PBP supports a strategy which keeps the maximum number of farmers on the land to
produce food for the home market and create local jobs. We also support moves to a more sustainable
form of farming.”

in the intro
….”Similarly, environmental policy also takes second place to big business interests.
The Irish government’s refusal to seriously tackle climate change is disgraceful.
Likewise, its shameful efforts to seek exemptions for Ireland in the area of reducing
CO2 emissions are a direct result of protecting Ireland’s largest and wealthiest beef
barons. This is of no benefit to small farmers who are the ones that will be ruined by
flooding and are being constantly squeezed by the big producers and multi-national
chains.”

Priorities
9. Promoting suitable and sustainable use of our land and supporting small farmers;
http://michaelpidgeon.com/manifestos/docs/pbp/PBP%20GE%202016.pdf
no mention in AAA manifesto

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RosencrantzisDead - January 25, 2017

“so what are you doing about it?” [sic]

About our CO2 emissions? I plan to cast a magic spell to correct them all on my own…

Will you every give over, dublinstreams.

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dublinstreams - January 25, 2017

maybe thats how others feel, when they think about Irelands (rural) emissions.

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RosencrantzisDead - January 25, 2017

What is wrong, dublinstreams? Do you have no parliamentary question or excerpt from committee proceedings to cut-and-paste in response?

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dublinstreams - January 25, 2017

you asked whether AAA PBP had any rural policies so I found their manifesto which in the PBP generally mentioned the concerns you had, I think once you get past outright climate change/warming denial, its gets complicated and one depends on the NGO and Green groups to dig into the detail on emissions and fish quotas etc see today http://carbonmarketwatch.org/media-advisory-loopholes-in-key-climate-law-put-eus-emissions-reduction-target-at-risk/

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7. An Cathaoirleach - January 24, 2017

Perhaps the best position was best summed up by Michael Taft before he went silent/was silenced?

http://notesonthefront.typepad.com/politicaleconomy/2016/11/the-slow-steady-rise-of-irish-conservatives.html

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6to5against - January 24, 2017

And on that, where is Michael recently? His is a much missed voice over the last few months. I had hoped he was just giving himself a well earned rest, but now you’ve made me think of it, it has ben a while…

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GW - January 24, 2017

Seconded. I hope he’s well.

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An Cathaoirleach - January 25, 2017

The answer it seems is in tomorrow’s Phoenix. He is being disciplined for not towing the Ogre’s line, Uno Duce, una voce,

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CMK - January 25, 2017

I hope that’s a wind-up, AC, I really do.

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Ed - January 25, 2017

Seconded, CMK. I don’t always agree with MT’s arguments, but his blog posts are invariably thoughtful, well-researched and constructive, and it’s well worth reading what he has to say about broad political trends: no bluster, no bullshit, and no bullying tone. Any implied contrast with other people is purely accidental, of course.

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CMK - January 26, 2017

Yeah, ‘The Phoenix’ profile of Brendan Ogle , which is tendentious in the extreme when it comes to what happened around R2C before the last election, confirms that MT is indeed subject to a disciplinary from UNITE for, apparently, publishing a blog post on the ‘rise of Irish conservatism’. I’m sure precedents like that will have people rushing to join Mr. Ogle’s new party whenever it gets off the ground…….. Now, the Phoenix claim could be bulls**t (and that’s at 50/50 chance) but if what it says is true it is a utterly disgraceful way to treat someone who has provided some the best analysis of the crisis from a Left perspective. Shameful.

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dublinstreams - January 26, 2017

this The Slow Steady Rise of Irish Conservatives http://notesonthefront.typepad.com/politicaleconomy/2016/11/the-slow-steady-rise-of-irish-conservatives.html what particuarily unacceptable about it? its simialr to whats being said here, although again to be consistent I say it misses that there was an attempt to brand the left, R2C.

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An Cathaoirleach - January 26, 2017

The comments in Phoenix about Mr. Taft are to my knowledge completely accurate. I have no doubt much more will be written over the next few weeks about Mr. Ogle’s activities inside UNITE & elsewhere.

The comments regarding the views of the union’s members are also spot on.

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ivorthorne - January 26, 2017

What the hell is Ogle at? I don’t know the man so I can’t say I dislike him but his manner tends to irritate and the linked post is hardly saying anything controversial.

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EWI - January 26, 2017

I’ve had occasion to talk with MT in the past (his economic work was being grossly misrepresented internally by IMPACT apparatchiks working in favour of CPII), and I found him to be a mild-mannered gentleman. I hope that his accusers get their comeuppence.

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CL - January 26, 2017

Its difficult to discern a fundamental political difference between MT and BO.

Ogle, in a recent piece in the I.T by Kitty Holland said;

‘“A new party is not fixing it. Fixing it is about communicating with the population about what is really affecting their lives and then using that mass mobilisation to direct change in politics, in all its complexity. That mass mobilisation is coming and I think the people who benefit from inequality know that.”’
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/home-sweet-home-plans-mass-movement-on-housing-1.2946732

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An Cathaoirleach - January 27, 2017

Translate BO’s language into French & you get Marine LePen.

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CL - January 27, 2017

Neither is BO’s language too different from that of Bernie Sanders.
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/11/22/we-can-beat-guy-sanders-urges-mass-mobilization-against-trump

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CMK - January 27, 2017

I’m no fan of Mr. Ogle but he is nowhere close to Marine Le Pen. He’s of the Left and worker friendly. He’s not a fascist nor a racist. He is a pain in the a** but that’s not an uncommon trait on the Left.

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Ed - January 27, 2017

That’s puerile trash talk. I’m also no great fan of Ogle, but anyone who claims to see no difference between what he says and what Le Pen says is a straight-up apologist for racism. I’d say a lot of Muslim and Roma people living in France today would feel a lot safer if the leading candidate in the presidential race had simply translated Ogle’s stump speech into French.

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8. Aengus Millen - January 24, 2017

Taking ideology out of it for a moment it seems like the left can only be hindered by further splintering. I can understand if the social democrats want to hold a position closer to the center then SF and the AAA/PBP and clearly the latter two have conflicts around SF’s commitment to socialism and AAA/PBP’s commitment to republicanism but any further splintering would not only be pointless (what position would they fill) it would also play into the right wing canard that the left is unable to govern with a coherent policy.

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Liberius - January 24, 2017

AAA/PBP’s commitment to republicanism

Which monarch did they pledge allegiance to?

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Aengus Millen - January 24, 2017

This is not me saying this. SF would say that the AAA/PBP not supporting a border poll shows insufficient commitment to republicanism. I’m sure there are many holes to be poked in that argument similarly with the argument around SF’s commitment to socialism I was merely outlining the fault lines between the parties.

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Liberius - January 24, 2017

That sounds like an argument about nationalism rather than republicanism as neither the AAA nor the PBPA have professed support for monarchy. It’s one of those irritating problems with the nomenclature in Irish politics; although in this case it’s helpful to nationalists as they are free to willfully misrepresent the views of other political groups and individuals.

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ivorthorne - January 24, 2017

To be fair, within an Irish context, Republicanism has a particular meaning. The Republicanism that people may doubt AAA/PBP’s commitment to is the version Irish people normally associate with the term.

Arguing that another term is more appropriate is like trying to tell people to stop using the term “irony” “incorrectly”.

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Liberius - January 25, 2017

It may have a meaning in Irish politics, but it is a meaning that is inaccurate and misrepresents the opinions of others. Now most are probably comfortable with that but that doesn’t mean that critiquing it is wrong.

For me calling a nationalist a nationalist is a better practice than to conflating that ideology with something that has been related in Ireland’s case, but not the same.

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WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2017

Except that in the context of Irish politics its meaning is actually very clear and not at all ambiguous. Of course one can critique it, but attempting to do so by drawing on meanings outside Irish politics seems a little beside the point. The meaning here is built up from an history that dates back many decades.

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WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2017

And just thinking of the issue, it’s quite complex in ways, take the Labour Party in the UK. One would be hard-pressed to describe them as republicans. They seemed to come to terms with the nature of the British state as is a long long while ago (Easterhouse the band called them, in very sneering terms, ‘a patriotic party’). Indeed republicanism in the UK is a marginal issue really – always has been. One could describe them, the BLP, as nationalist I suppose, or British nationalists, but that’s not the totality either. I’m a bit dubious describing them as internationalists. Whereas republicanism in Ireland seems a lot clearer by comparison. I know the WP has a line that republicanism in the Irish context is confused and that their republicanism is 1798 republicanism and that’s fair enough (though everyone tips the cap to that). But then it is the nature of human dynamics to be confused.

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Liberius - January 25, 2017

Irish history doesn’t invalidate correct usage though, especially given that living in cultural, in this case political culture, isolation is implausible in 2017. Like it or lump the term has correct usage internationally that should take priority over the preferred branding of nationalism in Ireland.

I normally would keep this irritation to myself, but was feeling a little tetchy today.

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WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2017

Hope all well. It strikes me though that these aren’t just technical or scientific terms with single uncontested meanings, they’re often contingent. And in general usage the term republican covers a multitude – the US offers us a Republican and Democratic Party each, Catalonia Republican Left, Italian fascism was initially ‘Republican’ etc etc. I’m genuinely not unsympathetic to the argument that it can be used in a cack-handed manner in discussions etc, but I’m a bit dubious that it is possible to police or demand that others use it in a very specific manner which while accurate on one axis may not fully encompass the particular range of meanings as used colloquially/politically/other in a set circumstance.

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Liberius - January 25, 2017

Hope all well.

Well today’s going better than yesterday.

the US offers us a Republican and Democratic Party each, Catalonia Republican Left, Italian fascism was initially ‘Republican’ etc etc.

It’s certainly true that Ireland isn’t alone in flexible usage of the word republican, albeit I do think there is a difference between parties who choose to incorporate it as an element of their politics and those who just use it a vacuous, or semi-vacuous branding.

but I’m a bit dubious that it is possible to police or demand that others use it in a very specific manner which while accurate on one axis may not fully encompass the particular range of meanings as used colloquially/politically/other in a set circumstance.

To be fair I’ve let it slide before, even though it irritates me, and should have let it slide yesterday. I think an element in why I didn’t let it slide ( aside from poor mood) is that it seemed that the sentence was much more related to the nationalist element of Irish nationalism rather than the ‘republican’ element of it.

Hope all well.

Well today’s going better than yesterday.

the US offers us a Republican and Democratic Party each, Catalonia Republican Left, Italian fascism was initially ‘Republican’ etc etc.

It’s certainly true that Ireland isn’t alone in flexible usage of the word republican, albeit I do think there is a difference between parties who choose to incorporate it as an element of their politics and those who just use it a vacuous, or semi-vacuous branding.

but I’m a bit dubious that it is possible to police or demand that others use it in a very specific manner which while accurate on one axis may not fully encompass the particular range of meanings as used colloquially/politically/other in a set circumstance.

To be fair I’ve let it slide before, even though it irritates me, and should have let it slide yesterday. I think an element in why I didn’t let it slide ( aside from poor mood) is that it seemed that the sentence was much more related to the nationalist element of Irish nationalism rather than the ‘republican’ element of it.

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6to5against - January 24, 2017

Surely this is the point. There is no room for another party on the left because there are already plenty of them there. What’s needed is some sort of unifying umbrella group, or shared platform. I know its been tried, but I can’t see any real electoral gain on the left that doesn’t include any or all of the current formation. And, maybe I’m naïve, but I feel there has been a little less of a tendency on behalf of all on the left to call for a split over the last few years?

It is salutary to see how the right wing in the states might find Trump unpleasant and a bit of an embarrassment, but they’re still
willing to work with him while he has the presidency. The left has to learn from that ruthlessness.

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Aengus Millen - January 24, 2017

I completely agree. The problem however is the dogmatism on the left. The ideology which says for example that compromising with Social Democracy is to sellout to reformism. I think we have to realize that the common enemy is much more important and pernicious then any internal differences and that if you’re holding out for a perfect revolution you’ll be waiting a long time.

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CMK - January 24, 2017

Official ‘Social Democrats’ ARE the enemy! The colossal attacks on workers across Europe have been meted out by so-called ‘Social Democrats’ and the Centre Right with nothing to distinguish between the two. There is less dogmatism around, in practical terms, than many think and a fair bit of practical co-operation. Witness the scare the government got last week with the vote on the AAA/PBP Anti Eviction Bill which the SDs, SF and Left Independents all supported.

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Aengus Millen - January 24, 2017

Fair enough but I don’t mean parties per se I mean there has to be compromise between those who want to reform the system and those who want to uproot the system. Not a compromise which abandons first principles but one which acknowledges that helping people in the short term is more important then ideological purity. I agree with you that the Anti Eviction bill was a great testament to left unity (and Fianna Fail cowardice) we can only hope for a more united left opposition into the future. The left wing parties need to keep putting up bills that unite the left and force FF to side with FG.

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GW - January 24, 2017

Except they aren’t Social Democrats. They are neo-liberals using the Social Democratic brand. A more accurate description would be ‘former Social Democrats’.

I think Aengus is referring to genuine old-style (typically Scandinavian) social democrats.

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ivorthorne - January 24, 2017

” helping people in the short term is more important then ideological purity.”

I would more or less agree but I think that it is easy to go down a road where the short term and long term interests of workers compete. Look at our health service. At some points, the introduction of private hospital services may have helped working people by reducing public waiting lists. But in the long term, for-profit healthcare providers hurt the working class.

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WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2017

I think that’s key ivorthorne – the points you make. Eschewing ideological purity is fine, but short termism isn’t the sole answer. It has to be a blend between addressing short term and medium term and longer term issues. I’d put it this way, a genuine social democracy that was always pushing/inclined leftwards would be a big step forward.

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6to5against - January 25, 2017

I take Ivorthorne’s point, but I like wbs’s take on it.

I think there is a world of difference between short-term, counter productive solutions and a willingness to be pragmatic. If a gov’t could be formed that was willing to work towards greater equality, workers rights and decent public services – particularly in health, shouldn’t every party of the left want to be a part of it.

I don’t think that should stop discussion and argument – even in public – about optimum solutions. But disagreement on what a perfect world would look like should never stand in the way of small improvements in the actual world.

You can be sure parties of the right will cling together like that, despite their differences.

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WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2017

That’s very true, they do (bar where they carve it up between them, as in the ROI, and I guess the current lash up with FF and FG does come under the ‘cling together’ rubric).

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ivorthorne - January 26, 2017

I think that almost all of the Left could probably get behind “always pushing leftward” but the problem is that pushing gradually leftward from a starting point that is the result of decades of adherence to right wing dogma means accepting less than ideal proposals.

We’d like a National Health Service but if say SF gained power in the morning, they could not deliver it immediately. In a scenario where they introduced reforms that moved in that direction but still left room for private healthcare companies to make profits, would AAA-PBP vote in favour of it? Would they still try to use that fact when campaigning for elections in constituencies where they were competing against SF?

In a left coalition scenario, parties might genuinely disagree about the extent of compromise required in introducing change.

Gradual change is messy. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to achieve it – or just focus on gradual change – but it is something that I think parties of the left struggle to deal with.

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dublinstreams - January 24, 2017

perhaps people are idealogically unable to conceive people/partys being independent while working together.

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9. Alibaba - January 25, 2017

Independents are too disparate to have significant impact. It’s plausible that some of them, small left parties and councillors should start looking to consolidate.

Ideally, it should be a broad based left party. Failing that, a broad social movement. Failing that, a ‘sort of unifying umbrella group, or shared platform’. Failing that an agreed electoral left slate with the aim of producing a vote transfer pact.

Forget about excluding any groups. Instead cast the net wide, subject to some conditions.

1. Agree a basic left programme
2. Inure it against the prospect of being compromised by insisting that components commit to staying out of Coalition government with FG, FF or Labour
3. Share resources to create publications, meeting forums for deciding strategy, turning it into action and holding local and national reps to account
4. Ensure there in no prohibition on the expression of other views internally by the leadership machine (and external promotion of different perspectives). All decisions democratically made must be supported by all components.
5. Abandon the veto at leadership meetings. This was used to dismantle the ULA

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10. irishelectionliterature - January 25, 2017

Electorally it is currently an advantage to be an Independent (or have an Independent brand like Independents 4 Change and Ind Alliance, much more transfer friendly. Thomas Pringle, Maureen O’Sullivan , Tommy Broughan, Finian McGrath, Catherine Connolly would have all benefited from being Independent in one form or another.

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11. Aengus Millen - January 25, 2017

I also think besides any idea of combining they should try to work together as an opposition. They should copy the example of parties on the continent who have electoral pacts to form a joint opposition. This is also not unknown in Ireland Labour and Fine Gael have at least attempted this and while they are anathema to the left working together not only discomfits the government of the day it also shows a viable alternative government.

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