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A thought provoking analysis of recent polls and the direction of the Irish left… February 14, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

From Michael Taft and as always his thoughts are necessary reading. What is perhaps most striking is the statistic he notes in relation to ‘trust in the government’ returning to pre-crash levels. And the flip side – as he notes ‘there is no alternative capable of governing or significantly influencing the debate’.

From which he suggests that lack of an alternative with such political and economic capabilities must be addressed and he has some thoughts on how that might be achieved.


1. makedoanmend - February 14, 2018

Thanks for reference posting WBS – I was just thinking about his site the other day but couldn’t remember his name – my age I’m guessing!


2. Alibaba - February 14, 2018

An insightful account from Michael Taft as always.

‘While Fianna Fail is struggling to build on its 2016 result, Fine Gael is racing ahead.’

But I see no mention of the C word. If Fine Gael continues to perform as well as suggested, coalition with Sinn Féin could be an appealing option; all the more so since SF has made it abundantly clear it wants to get into power.


CL - February 14, 2018

Looks like its back to the two and a half party system, with FG and SF replacing FF and Lab. Now if only Mary Lou would stop going to those commemorations…..


3. Seedot - February 14, 2018

I like Michael Taft and and admire his writings. But I think this column is a little mischievous, in particular the final recommendation.

“This process of cooperation and a common programme, becoming the principle alternative to the Government – this is why the march on April 7th is so important. If it is a success then this kind of cooperation of the commonwealth can start to become a habit – the first step to becoming a major political and social force.”

As a related question – how widespread do people feel #notwithlabour is?
With our fractured media it is difficult to get any sense of perspective and I had thought this was pretty much a usual suspects bit of facebook posturing but a recent union meeting I was at was somewhat dominated by this and (non)participation in 7th April.
Has anybody else encountered this?
Why labour are seeking to be involved is obvious but what do people feel the risks are, in the context of Michaels well written argument for progressive left unity and the importance of the housing coalition in this project?


CL - February 14, 2018

‘A major division over the membership of the National Homelessness and Housing Coalition has erupted followed the disclosure that “Labour Campaigns,” a front for the Irish Labour party, had membership of the committee with the support of SIPTU….
A large number of people, including Brendan Ogle of the Right2Water/Right2Change campaigns and many community activists, have demanded Labour’s removal on the grounds that the party implemented the austerity that led to the current housing crisis and were the main force in trying to criminalise water charge protesters in the Jobstown trials.”


irishelectionliterature - February 14, 2018

From talking to people the antipathy to Labour is still very real. I suppose it’s reflected in the polls too.
Aside from not including them due to their activities in Government, I presume nobody is particularly keen to give their credibility any kind of leg up by being involved in The National Homelessness and Housing Coalition.


Seedot - February 14, 2018

Oh I’d agree the antipathy is still both real and widespread. I suppose my question is whether this will be the focus of discussions around the 7th April march.

If there was a danger that a party which spent 5 years in power stoking the coming housing crisis to enable capital to restore the bank balance sheets could somehow be rehabilitated by their participation then of course there is an argument that the coalition are being used and should be avoided. But is this realistic?


Alibaba - February 16, 2018

Is it possible—is it even thinkable—that some leftists have sought to undermine those who are addressing the crisis in housing today? Now we know the answer is indisputably yes.

To spurn co-operation with others, especially the trade unions, is a nonsense because they have the resources to bring thousands out onto the streets. To bring into disrepute the efforts of those who are building a broad coalition on the critical mobilising issue of our times—housing—is wrongheaded. To refuse to go on the Coalition of Homelessness and Housing demonstration on 7th April beggars belief. But that is what Brendan Ogle is advocating.

The anger with Labour is entirely legitimate and intense. Resentment, however, will not do us well, if it becomes an obsessive driving force. Instead it could be tilted in a positive direction, for example, if Labour leaders couldn’t appear on the march platform. Labour most likely wouldn’t attempt it anyway because some activists would go apoplectic.

Unite and fight is the best way forward. Those who agree with the core NHHC slogans should be welcomed to join us. Spread the net wide.


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