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Labour and SF October 28, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Una Mullally argues in the IT this week that a certain dynamic is emerging in Irish politics.

[Alan] Kelly is looking to hitch the Labour wagon to Sinn Féin. Both parties are frequently espousing the same opinions, backing each other up in media interviews, voting along the same lines and creating a cohesive Opposition alongside the Soc Dems and People before Profit. Would Labour not be decimated again as a small party going in with a bigger party should a left-wing coalition government coalesce? Not necessarily. When Sinn Féin is in government, expectations will be so high among their voters that any failures will be pinned on them, and their coalition partners will be shielded from the most severe criticism. That’s why, ultimately, for smaller parties allying with Sinn Féin is becoming the only game in town. Kelly knows it, and it’s perhaps that added pragmatism that marks him out as a leader more drawn to realism than rhetoric. As ludicrous as it may look on paper to talk about a Labour resurgence, the only way is up.

The article itself doesn’t offer any evidence that this is correct. And anyone who has met LP reps may well find this an unlikely thesis. If there’s one feature of that party that comes across loud and clear it is a deep rooted hostility to Sinn Féin. On paper it would make some sense for the LP, given its reduced circumstances, to align at least party with SF. But can’t see it happening. More likely is a slow drawing together of the LP and the SDs. But even there that is less likely today than it was eight months ago with the SDs pleased with their local and general election results and with a sense that they’re now a larger small party than they had expected to be prior to those elections. Indeed in truth fragmentation seems to be the name of the game, with the possibility that an SF that can draw even further ahead might leave those smaller parties – and the GP too – sidelined completely.

Comments»

1. oliverbohs - October 28, 2020

Kelly, being a political huckster who thinks materialist analysis is something your mother did in Hickey’s when she went to Dublin for the day, wd still be aware of media outlets such as RTÉ giving a shout out to him when reporting from the Dáil, quicker than acknowledging any actual left spokesperson. Tack behind SF, see if the tailwind pulls you along too.

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WorldbyStorm - October 28, 2020

TActics!

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2. Joe - October 28, 2020

‘a deep rooted hostility to Sinn Féin’. Yes, there is from the Labour Party establishment (old Labour plus old DL). But remember Kelly is a sort of anti-Labour Party establishment leader of the Labour Party. He ended up in the job despite the best efforts of the old guard establishment.
So I wouldn’t be surprised if Una Mullally is right. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kelly led Labour into a coalition with SF.

An SF-led alternative government could easily be the only game in town for non-FF, FG people before and after the next election. My contact in the SDs would be all for it (and I’d be surprised, given his position in the party, if that wasn’t an SD view in general). Basically he sees it as the only chance of a slightly-left government. Which would be progress, he believes.
So SF, SD, Labour, PbP and assorted left inds as the only alternative to carry-on FFG.

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WorldbyStorm - October 28, 2020

Yeah, SDs are markedly less hostile. GP too come to think of it.

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3. irishelectionliterature - October 28, 2020

The question seems to be who will go in with Sinn Féin?
I have my doubts that Labour would (of course the numbers and a want for the trappings of power might help)
The Greens, what’s left of them wouldn’t be too keen I’d imagine.
The Social Democrats probably would… and I expect to see them get a chunk of ex Green members and some public reps.
I can’t see Solidarity PBP going in with Sinn Féin.
Some of the left leaning Independents may.
The other option is a post Martin FF.
Either way it will all be in the post election numbers.

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Joe - October 28, 2020

‘I can’t see Solidarity PBP going in with Sinn Féin.’

Definitely not Solidarity but just possibly PbP. Wasn’t there some talk of their leadership being open to going in with SF in some way, when SF were talking to other groups and parties after the last GE.

As you say it will all depend on the numbers after the next GE as ever. And it’s a long way out. A long, long way.

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irishelectionliterature - October 28, 2020

I got the impression that PBP were voting for Mary Lou as Taoiseach just to be seen to do so. As far as I recall they said they would do a confidence and supply type arrangement rather than be part of said Government.
Solidarity voted for Mary Lou through gritted teeth.

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WorldbyStorm - October 28, 2020

Wow did they ever. They didn’t like having to do that.

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4. roddy - October 28, 2020

Any SD posters I see on twitter generally seem SF friendly.

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WorldbyStorm - October 28, 2020

Yep, completely agree. And I’ve a sense that while far from uncritical the visceral antagonism seen elsewhere just isn’t replicated there amongst most of them. Which is a good thing and if we are to have a left led government however mildly left absolutely essential.

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