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Thread: Why did Labour enter Government?

  1. #1

    Default Why did Labour enter Government?

    With the resignation of another Councillor today, all the indications point to Labour being in serious trouble come 2016 - especially given the fact that much of the old guard who might have been returned are likely going to not run again. The grassroots seem to be demoralized and ignored, the councillors are rupturing and the backbenchers are grumbling in this Government.

    But when one looks at the maths in the Dail - Labour playing second fiddle to FG is the only way it was ever going to happen. During the Rainbow Coalition (a good government in retrospect), Labour and DL had the numbers to force an agenda on FG - that's why Quinn was able to get Finance for example. That was never so in this Dail with the disparity of numbers between FG and Labour. They are circling the drain now - but it didn't need to be so. Labour could have opted to lead the opposition - and had they done that, it is arguable that they could have finished off FF by starving it of oxygen in opposition, created a right/left divide in our politics for the first time and could well have been on their way to leading the next government.

    So how did this happen, and why? I'm not asking for a rant about Gilmore, Rabbittee, arses in mercs etc - there are plenty of threads around here to rant about the Labour Party, and while pride may have been part of it it's too easy to pass it off as that entirely. I want this thread to really focus on engaging with the question. Why, for example, did grassroots delegates (up to 90% of them) vote to enter coalition with FG (as per Labour Party rules - a special conference has to be held and the programme for government has to be approved by grassroots delegates before entering coalition)? Why did all but 2 people on the NEC of the Labour Party for example vote to enter negotiations with FG? The vast majority of these people had nothing to gain directly from entering government, and presumably don't relish the impeding destruction of their Party, so why did they opt to go the direction they did? Also surely the Party Strategists, looking at the history of coalition with regard to the Labour Party, knew this couldn't end well - why didn't they speak up?

    There's just a lot of things that really don't add up about why Labour is in the mess it's in, and how it got itself into that mess. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to have an actual conversation about the Labour Party especially online without it very quickly decending into a ranting session - I don't disagree with all of the rants mind, it's just not helpful for gaining understanding

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member harshreality's Avatar
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    Very simple!


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Concerned Irishman View Post
    With the resignation of another Councillor today, all the indications point to Labour being in serious trouble come 2016 - especially given the fact that much of the old guard who might have been returned are likely going to not run again. The grassroots seem to be demoralized and ignored, the councillors are rupturing and the backbenchers are grumbling in this Government.

    But when one looks at the maths in the Dail - Labour playing second fiddle to FG is the only way it was ever going to happen. During the Rainbow Coalition (a good government in retrospect), Labour and DL had the numbers to force an agenda on FG - that's why Quinn was able to get Finance for example. That was never so in this Dail with the disparity of numbers between FG and Labour. They are circling the drain now - but it didn't need to be so. Labour could have opted to lead the opposition - and had they done that, it is arguable that they could have finished off FF by starving it of oxygen in opposition, created a right/left divide in our politics for the first time and could well have been on their way to leading the next government.

    So how did this happen, and why? I'm not asking for a rant about Gilmore, Rabbittee, arses in mercs etc - there are plenty of threads around here to rant about the Labour Party, and while pride may have been part of it it's too easy to pass it off as that entirely. I want this thread to really focus on engaging with the question. Why, for example, did grassroots delegates (up to 90% of them) vote to enter coalition with FG (as per Labour Party rules - a special conference has to be held and the programme for government has to be approved by grassroots delegates before entering coalition)? Why did all but 2 people on the NEC of the Labour Party for example vote to enter negotiations with FG? The vast majority of these people had nothing to gain directly from entering government, and presumably don't relish the impeding destruction of their Party, so why did they opt to go the direction they did? Also surely the Party Strategists, looking at the history of coalition with regard to the Labour Party, knew this couldn't end well - why didn't they speak up?

    There's just a lot of things that really don't add up about why Labour is in the mess it's in, and how it got itself into that mess. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to have an actual conversation about the Labour Party especially online without it very quickly decending into a ranting session - I don't disagree with all of the rants mind, it's just not helpful for gaining understanding
    I don't think the Irish people would have appreciated Labour refusing to enter coalition. We were screaming out for strong, stable government (do you remember the farce of Dec 2010/Jan 2011). A minority FG government would never last, and at any subsequent election, I believe Labour would have been punished.

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member pinemartin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icemancometh View Post
    I don't think the Irish people would have appreciated Labour refusing to enter coalition. We were screaming out for strong, stable government (do you remember the farce of Dec 2010/Jan 2011). A minority FG government would never last, and at any subsequent election, I believe Labour would have been punished.
    Why not FF/FG? they are very similar type of groups.

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    Politics.ie Member tigerben's Avatar
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    Very simple , the labour grassroots believed in "Labours way not Frankfurt's way". Now they know it was a opposition Labour slogan and Gilmore's gale was no more than a Light summers breeze.

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    Politics.ie Member mangaire1's Avatar
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    Why did Labour enter Government?#

    easiest question of the day.

    Cause Rabitte, Quinn & Co wanted their fat arses on those nice soft Ministerial seats.
    that's why.

  7. #7
    Politics.ie Member flavirostris's Avatar
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    Because they had been in opposition for 14 years before that. Why does a man dying of thirst rush to the nearest well. FFS.

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    Think Labour hierarchy genuinely thought they could turn country around without resorting to the same punitive FF austerity measures. That, and trying to perserve their core PS vote.

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member optics's Avatar
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    To get on the gravy train.

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flavirostris View Post
    Because they had been in opposition for 14 years before that. Why does a man dying of thirst rush to the nearest well. FFS.
    I think Harney said the worst day in power was better than the best day in opposition. Labour have gambled that they will manage to turn the economy around while protecting the interests of as many of their supporters as possible.

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