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Labour’s New Priorities… October 29, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thought this was worth a mention, a piece on RTÉ about the LP written as noted beneath the piece by:

Dr Vittorio Bufacchi is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at UCC and member of the Labour Party. Seán Sherlock is Labour TD for Cork East and spokesperson on Justice, Children & Youth Affairs.

It offers four priorities…

First, all self-destructive temptations must be checked. The recent hullabaloo about the leadership of Brendan Howlin being challenged has not helped and it reflected badly on the party. What the Labour Party does not need, and cannot afford at the moment, is to waste time and energy, and precious time on airwaves, on speculations about its present leader.

Though it suggests that that has now been ‘settled’…

The second?

…the Labour Party desperately needs to go back to basics. With the risk of stating the obvious, the Labour Party is in opposition, and it should act as an opposition party: by holding the current government accountable whenever signs of incompetence and corruption are detected.
On housing, taxation, health care and education policy, this government has put blind trust in market forces and the myth of a trickle-down effect.


….the Labour Party needs to rebuild trust with its historical electoral base. It needs to reopen a conversation with Ireland’s working class. The Labour Party is a broad church, proud of its inclusiveness, always giving a voice to people of all walks of life. But the working class is, and must always be, its beating heart. The Labour Party must find of way of regaining the trust of trade unions, of skilled and unskilled workers, of unemployed men and women.


Finally, looking at the future, the Labour Party needs to embrace a radical transformation in its core personnel. We are not recommending a complete make-over, but what is required is more than cosmetic changes. The Labour Party must find a way to convince the Irish voters that it has left behind the mistakes made while in government during the years of austerity.


…if the Labour Party wants to reassure the next generation of voters that a vote for Labour is a vote for inclusion, participation and social justice, it must find the courage to implement some sweeping changes.

What are those sweeping changes, and wouldn’t priority three be better as priority one?


1. Gerryboy - October 29, 2018

These four points could also be made about the British Labour Party, the SPD in Germany and the Parti Socialiste in France. Having a ‘conversation’ with Labour’s historic roots in the urban working class would be just that – a conversation. Historic inner city working class areas became gentrified by urban development i.e. financial services and convention centres, or they turned into workless class areas as a result of decline in docking and other traditional industries. I think in Dublin SF and small groups like PBP have lapped up a lot of Labour’s traditional voting base.


oliverbohs - October 29, 2018

Indeed they have, and getting those votes back is an uphill task. What I don’t understand is how priorities 2 to 4 seem in direct contradiction to priority 1. Hullabaloo indeed. What does Howlin offer at this stage? “He’s your leader so shut up”; well, he’s there partly because the alternative is as bad if not worse.
The sort of LP-centric things achieved politically over the past few years did not happen because of that party’s popularity. Harsh on those in the party who did give a lot of time over the years supporting and lobbying for LGBQ rights, access to abortion etc. Who were banging the drum for these issues when they were not fashionable. Who didn’t get much credit for it, or even for MDH in the Áras.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - October 29, 2018

Interesting point re the LP things didn’t happen due to the party’s popularity. Got to think about the implications of that. I had a chat before the 8th referendum with someone inside the LP who would have had a fairly strong profile on this and made the point that given FF and FG (at least portions of same) were in favour of repeal that meant that in a way it had stopped being a party political (and particularly left party political issue). Their take was something along the lines of ‘well that’s true for us too, we get no benefit from it’ and it wasn’t that they were saying it wasn’t worth it, but that the emphasis on the ‘social agenda’ had seen others race away with it. I think that was almost inevitable. I remember campaigning with the WP at the 80s divorce referendum and seeing all the FGers canvassing with the DAG crew and thinking this is the right thing to do but they’ll get the kudos. It’s tricky because left parties worth their salt have to be involved, but also have to recongise the limitations of these campaigns at least in terms of pushing class politics.


2. Jim Monaghan - October 29, 2018

Two quotes are haunting me after reading this. One “”If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” ” and French plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (“the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”).. No recognition that SF have stolen their clothes. Indeed stolen their coalition approach as well


WorldbyStorm - October 29, 2018

Odd that last isn’t it? I guess some of it is whistling in the dark but some of it is a functional error of perception.


3. AdoPerry - October 29, 2018

According to a recent resignation letter from within Labour , Howlin is holding the position for Jack O’ Connor who the leadership as the great white hope. Hardly a solid strategy considering O’Connor is facing an uphill battle to get elected.


ThalmannBrigadier - October 30, 2018

Havnt SF attempted to make overtures to Jack?


Joe - October 30, 2018

The Old Guard keeping the seat warm for young Jack O’Connor? The version I heard is they’re keeping it warm for young Aodhán Ó Riordáin. Who I’d say has a better chance of a seat than O’Connor. And there’s a good likelihood that neither of them will get elected :). The LP may end up with one TD and Alan Kelly will then elect himself leader 🙂

Liked by 1 person

4. soubresauts - October 29, 2018

Surely the decent thing for the LP to do is to wind itself up?


5. Starkadder - October 30, 2018

Dr Vittorio Bufacchi ! He used to teach me Philosophy at UCC years ago, and I remember him as an excellent tutor.

Also odd that an article on the Labour Party would approvingly
cite Cicero, given the old orator was also a slumlord, an elitist
and a xenophobe.


WorldbyStorm - October 30, 2018

Pretentious the LP? Mais non! Though in fairness would the Dr be originally from Italy? That’s a small world though.


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