Before i begin this isnt a right-wing rant.
I would be left leaning and would have voted labour in the past but never again. Im not sure il vote again tbh.
For those who dont remember or are to young in 1987 the country embarked on a process that imo directly lead to the disastoris position we now find ourselves.
The original good intentions of "social partnership" lead to the end of any sense of protest as well as the end to any meaningful oppossition. The agreements were used by successive gov. notably the Ahern lead ones to buy of any dissentors.
FF were always great for not fighting aggressors but instead assimilating them into there agenda. The social partnership agreements were instrumental in this philosophy.
Il give you one example. Barnardos, Its number one funding source is now the state. Was this always the cases?
no, but what better way to get rid of the trouble makers then to throw money at them. Once they became hooked then they could be reigned in. A good proof of this was the childrens referendum. No opposition whats so ever.
This very same mechanism was used to great effect with the unions and i believe the original socialist workers party and democratic left lads, notable De Rosa, Gilmore and Rabbitte spotted this new mechanism early on. The labour movement was on the way out and these old hands then embarked on a process to take over the Labour Party.
Safe in the knowledge that the unions both private and public were so into the gov. that they could count on easy and successive terms.
Following 23 years of social partnership the Irish trades unions (ICTU) entered the new decade seriously weakened and with union employee density down to 31% compared to a density highpoint of 62% in the early 1980s preceding the series of seven corporatist social pacts. Union penetration is highly imbalanced with a density approaching 80% in the public sector and around 20% in the larger private sector. Union members are now more likely to be over 45, married with children, Irish-born with third-level qualifications and working in semi-professional occupations, especially in the health, education or public administration sectors, rather than the traditional image of being lower-paid vulnerable, low-skill workers
But now its all starting to unravel. But its not coming from the core unions, its coming from the likes of the Gardai and the others who still have some self respect and might i had some idea of whats going on.
Of course social partnership brought alot of good but that imo is all but gone after 2008.
Im sure this theory isnt new and probably ill thought out so i assume others can add and possibly elaborate more.