Another Wednesday, another Irish Times opinion piece from Vincent Browne attacking the Labour Party. No great surprise there. But what is surprising is just how personally vicious he is towards Rabbitte and Gilmore, and in particular how he breaks the omerta of the Irish media over their dubious origins in the Workers Party.
His starting off point is Rabbitte's performance on the Week in Politics, where the Labour minister basically admitted lying before the last election:
"Imperious corupulence"! That will have to be used again.On the RTÉ programme The Week in Politics on Sunday night Pat Rabbitte was pushed on this breach of an election promise. After the familiar waffling, diversions and faux indignation, he was finally obliged to acknowledge this was a breach of an election promise but added: “Isn’t this the kind of thing you tend to do during an election campaign?”, meaning: isn’t it part of our political culture to make promises during an election campaign which one doesn’t intend to keep?
If a senior Fianna Fáil figure had said anything similar during the heydays of that party’s protracted periods in government office, think of the outrage that would have blazoned from the Labour benches, the vigour of Eamon Gilmore’s finger-wagging, the imperious corpulence of Pat Rabbitte raised to haughty indignation or yet more faux anger on a television screen.
The pay off is at the end of the article:
Well, yeah. Rabbitte and Gilmore were intimately part of an organisation that had a paramilitary wing that was busy robbing banks and racketeering in the 70s and 80s. And yet few people in the media or even in the body politic itself seem concerned by this. Enda Kenny refused again yesterday to answer questions about the budget from Gerry Adams, instead engaging in whataboutery regarding Jean McConville. If he is so concerned about the past sins of politicians, why doesn't he ask what Rabbitte and Gilmore what they knew of the OIRA/Group B's actions in this state 20 or 30 years ago?Eamon Gilmore and Pat Rabbitte were known as the “student princes” as they emerged from student politics, first into the trade union movement and then into the Sinn Féin the Workers’ Party, later the Workers’ Party, then Democratic Left before ending up in Labour.
Along that trajectory there was a piece of profound cynicism that should have alerted us: their claim of ignorance that the political movement they had joined (the Workers’ Party in its various incarnations) was funded in curious ways and that that movement’s protestations of peace and abhorrence of violence were less than plausible. But then wasn’t that the kind of thing you tend to do in politics?
Labour's way is yet another confidence trick - The Irish Times - Wed, Dec 12, 2012