Labour seem to be permanently stuck at 10.X% in general elections. Why can't they make the breakthrough towards the 20% that might give them some real meaning?
I have some trivial but plausible theories of my own. You can always rely on a Labour spokesperson or NGO fellow-traveller to:
- Defend stuff like the traveller "race" issue;
- Play the solidarity card for elements in our communities who won't pull their weight;
- Pitch in for messers like the Rastas family (remember the "human rights crisis" at the M1 roundabout?).
These are issues many in middle Ireland have some kind of sympathy for in a Panglossian best-of-all-possible-worlds scenario. But faced with:
- so many minor vested interests who are not prepared to take much responsibilities for their lives; and
- the slightly ugly everyday manifestations of slackers and gougers on the street/bus,
middle Ireland is basically not prepared buy in to the ideological world brotherhood viewpoint the comrades so piously espouse (Hell, we won't even take this stuff from bishops!).
How can Labour realistically attract the sympathetic middle ground that's out there for them?