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Labour’s woes, redux… June 18, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Odd analysis from Liam Weeks in the Sunday Independent at the weekend – writing about the Labour Party he made some fair points. Not least that Labour is now in a crowded market place and its power to influence is limited – though I’d have thought that the prospect of it entering coalition with the SDs and GP and A.N.Other must be reasonably high. And he rightly notes that the LP faces competition not just on the left, but on the soft left, from those very parties.

Which leads him to this curious conclusion:

Labour finds itself in a major dilemma. If it moves significantly to the left to counter the threat of SF and Solidarity, the party will lose its core middle class Irish Times reader. If it remained centre-left to compete with he GP and SDs it will be in an increasingly packed battleground where the party will also face some opposition from FF. More competition will mean fewer electoral gains, so from a a rational point of view, the only direction might be to drift towards the right, as Tony Blair did for the BLP in the UK.
That tactic reaped significant electoral dividends for Blair’s New Labour, but it is not a path favoured by many within the Irish Labour movement.

Huh? How does that make any sense at all even on its own terms. There are already two larger, much larger, parties to the right of the ILP. If FF is competing on the LPs soft left turf then imagine how little of a threat the LP would present attempting to compete on FF and FG’s turf.

Putting aside entirely that if the IT readership is indeed the LPs core would they be willing to journey with the party past the SDs and GP? And didn’t the LP attempt this route before – wasn’t the reality that it was indistinguishable from FG in government part of the problem in 2016? I’d never accuse the LP of a surfeit of ideology but there’s a danger in assuming that parties are simply interchangeable with no meaning behind them, or that their voters will perceive them as such.


1. Rober Cole - June 18, 2019

“There is a danger of parties becoming interchangeable” Becoming a danger? you must be joking.


WorldbyStorm - June 18, 2019

Danger in ‘assuming’ is what I wrote actually – I’d agree as it happens there are interchangeable aspects shading at times into near indistinguishable as I also wrote – hence my point about labour in govt but … it’s never that simple as you know yourself. Purely on the political terrain his argument the LP should move right makes no sense after the justified pasting they got in 2016.


2. oliverbohs - June 18, 2019

Either the author is indulging in ironic trolling or he’s suitably out of touch to believe what he’s saying. From his academic viewpoint this could work- Labour looking to take votes off FF & FG – and actually there are senior figures prominent in the party still, one feels, who’d go this way if they felt it’d work. But the thought of trying to put that message across via another election campaign wouldn’t do much for party morale.
How far wd any kind of cooperation between LP, SD and Greens go? Be interesting how much discomfort that’d cause SD

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