Sunday, 27 February 2011

Harping On

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael might not have started out this way; each of them has been all over the ideological spectrum. But they do currently manifest, like the National and Liberal Parties in Australia, the ability of a more sophisticated electoral system to sustain, as distinct entities, both a socially conservative, nationalistic, agrarian-populist party and a neoliberal one.

As well as to blunt the edge of neoliberalism by requiring Fine Gael to go into coalition with Labour, the commitment of which to abortion, even if all Labour TDs (never mind the majority of voters in a referendum) could be made to go along with it, is essentially a meaningless piece of electioneering against the sectarian Left and the Greens, since no coalition containing either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael would ever legislate for such a thing (neoliberalism still has its limits in what is, after all, still Ireland), and since no governing coalition could ever be formed unless it included at least one of them.

Kevin Myers describes Irish Labour as "not Labour in the British sense, for it attracts few working-class votes, has no clear principles, and is largely a platform for the careers of its senior members. Some of them are ex-IRA men or supporters of the USSR, over which a discreet veil is being consensually drawn." How does one answer that?


  1. Fianna Fail appear to moving in a direction you would approve of.

    There is a lot of talk about returning to their roots. To being the party of the men of no property, of small farmers, etc. They are talking about Sean Lemass's belief that Fianna Fail was the "real Irish Labour party". They may be returning to that heritage now.

    Also Eamon O Cuiv was one of the few FF politicians to survive the election. Eamon O Cuiv the grandson of De Valera was known to be critical of Fianna Fail's neoliberal policies during the last decade. He, is like most gaelgoirs, socially conservative. Recently he asked people to pray for the country. He mercilessly mocked for this by the Dublin bien peasants. In a smaller parliamentary party he will be even more influential.

    And with the PDs gone Fianna Fail can move away from neoliberalism.

    So maybe Ireland might get a party that is sympathetic to social conservatism and disagrees with unrestrained capitalism. It is a chance. We'll have to see.

  2. Chances are not there to be seen. They are there to be taken.

  3. It would be great if we could hold those accountable for our own financial problems by throwing them in front of a judge and more importantly, a jury to wipe the smirks off their faces and to freeze the billions they have made off of the backs of the people. These people need to go to jail for a long time and that money needs to come back into our government coffers to help bring down the deficit. No more cutting programs and then giving the rich corporate monsters carte blanche. We have to stop this or eventually the people will rise up when they have had enough of it.