Labour’s difficulty, SF’s lost opportunity?

In yesterday’s Irish News Brian Feeney reckoned that the party which came out worst in the Republic’s election (after the PDs) was Labour. Though they stayed steady on 20 seats, they failed to move forward, and renew their team inside the Dail chamber. Today Pat Rabbitte confesses that he probably should have done more and hit harder on the economy. Though, I suspect, that if they were going to rise above the din of detail, one or two ‘big ideas’ might have been useful. Mick Hall, in his new online blog headquarters, reckons Sinn Fein lost out on exploiting Labour’s poor showing.

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  • Iano

    Rabbitte is a former stickie and a Bogman to boot, the electorate know this and took it into account.

  • No, the party that did worst after the PDs was the Shinners (sorry to sound like a broken record). Labour weren’t making noises about doubling their seat share and creating a United Ireland at some point in the next nine years (bwa ha ha).

    Labour can pick themselves up, lick their wounds and learn the lessons (like don’t go into a transfer pact before the election and don’t defend your potential coalition partner’s mistakes). Whereas the Shinners actually need to have a fundamental rethink about what they’re about in the Free State.

  • Ned’s Bitter Oul Ma

    Christ, even O’Millionaire had the humility to admit he got it wrong on the election last week.
    Feeney has crossed the line into party hackery with this one. Isn’t that what Jim Gibney is for?

  • Niall

    Labour aren’t really a left wing party; Sinn Fein won’t be for long.

    Iano,
    You’re deluded if Rabitte being a former stickie had anything to do with Labour’s vote.

    Only NI obsessives are even familiar with the term.

    As for being a bogman, read a history book on Irish taoisigh and party leaders between 1922 and now. It might do you some good.

  • George

    Sammy,
    No, the party that did worst after the PDs was the Shinners (sorry to sound like a broken record). Labour weren’t making noises about doubling their seat share and creating a United Ireland at some point in the next nine years (bwa ha ha).

    I think you are ignoring the fact that Sinn Féin’s vote has stalled for one election while Labour’s has now stalled or declined for three.

    When 2012 comes around Labour will be an aging party that has been licking its wounds and picking itself up for 15 years.

  • dodrade

    Typical piece of Feeney spin. He’d take the eye out of our heads and tell us we could see better without it.

  • The Penguin

    How can anybody take Feeney seriously as a commentator? He’s the green version of David Vance.
    Last week he was trumpeting about how SF would at least double its seats, grab places in the new government and the trouble this would cause for unionists.

  • IJP

    I don’t actually think Labour did that badly.

    The squeeze was on, and they escaped down a few thousand votes and one seat. This was despite a daft pact which, as Sammy says, meant defending others’ mistakes (been there, done that!)

    As indicated at the start, it’s ideas they need. And although I’m not a knee-jerker when it comes to Leaders, I suspect they need another one – and some media training.

  • Gum

    [i]He’s the green version of David Vance[/i]

    I know what you mean about Feeney but that’s a bit harsh. Feeney has his bias (as do we all I suppose) but doesn’t spout any of the hate that is so common on A Tangled Web. It is disturbing to see the BBC treat Vance as any other commentator considering the views expressed on ATW.

  • As a (once-upon-a-time-when-the-world-was-young) member of the Irish Labour Party, it pains me to see how little has changed over so many years.

    When it came to hammering nails in the coffin of lost ideals, Tom McEnaney did it pretty well in Monday’s Independent:

    “Business has no problem with the Labour Party. It does remember the party’s contribution to our current success, and in particular the contribution of Ruairi Quinn as Finance Minister.

    “Labour’s DL side belongs to a time before we were all capitalists. And we are all capitalists. That, in fact, was one of the, more interesting results of the election. We are all stakeholders in the economy.

    “That does not mean that we have abandoned compassion, or social inclusions, or the need to have a good health and education services. Quite the opposite. Most of the most passionate philanthropists I know are business people. Not because they are the ones with the money. You don’t need money to be a philanthropist. But because social entrepreneurship is not a long step away from entrepreneurship.”

    Heaven help us, we’re all stakeholders now! When the inevitable day of stakeholder liberation comes, brothers, everyone will be a social entrepreneur! Wave the stake-holder banner high, beneath its shade I’ll enjoy my fortnight in Ibiza! etc. etc.

  • beneath its shade I’ll enjoy my fortnight in Ibiza

    This neatly encapsulates the problem the left has. There’s an implication there that it’s wrong to enjoy a fortnight in Ibizan. It’s so bloody puritan.

  • GavBelfast

    “How can anybody take Feeney seriously as a commentator?”

    Do they? Rarely objective, often goading, nearly always off the mark. What’s the point when, as has been said, Gibney does what it says on the tin?

  • Niall

    “This neatly encapsulates the problem the left has. There’s an implication there that it’s wrong to enjoy a fortnight in Ibizan. It’s so bloody puritan”

    Very true. The fact that SF (supposedly) only takes home the average industrial wage is a turn-off for a lot of people. How can you trust people with your money if they willingly hand over their own?

    BTW, what useful social purpose does the extra money go to?

  • páid

    Fair play to you Sammy for taking a pot-shot at An Fear Rua.

    I thought about doing it once or twice myself, but my nerve failed me 😉

  • Sammy Morse @ 02:34 PM et alii:

    Au contraire, mes petits-rentiers.

    I find your reactions to my irony ironic, particularly since, earlier today, at Iain Dale’s and my own blogspots, I was defended the right of the downtrodden workers to access Spain and Ibiza, despite the froth-speckled fury of the Essex nimbies.

    Unless, of course, you were being ironic. [Sorry: I must have overdosed on Johnny Depp.]

    Now I must away to an evening with Gearóid Mac Gearailt (Garret Fitzgerald, to those outside the Pale) at the Reform Club. I kid you not.

  • Iano

    Labour is the party of the middle class and Rabbitte does not reflect this. (But Lady Wicklow does)

  • prolefodder

    Labour had a disasterous election and no doubt and while the leadership of the party is now largely made up of former Democratic Lefters (formerly Workers’ Party, former, SF The WP etc etc) – Rabbitte, Gilmore etc. they have actually become more right-wing (tacking the electorate’s move in this direction) and left themselves exposed as not really knowing what they are anymore – beyond defending public service workers but not as canny as the likes of the Trades Union movement who’ve benefitted from the social partnership arrangement. Where was the very eloquent and effective David Begg during the campaign for Labour?…

  • George

    Where was the very eloquent and effective David Begg during the campaign for Labour?…

    Probably looking out for the rights of migrant workers by continuing to demand that they don’t be let in. A true friend of the worker…

  • IJP

    Sammy

    Ibiza?

    It’s Eivissa!

    How dare you use the language of oppression of the proletariat?

    Bloody North Belfast bougeousie.

  • IJP @ 11:00 PM:

    Ibossim [Phoenician] > Pitiusas [Greek]> Ebusas [Latin]> Yabisah [Arabic] > Ibiza [Castilian]> Eivissa [Catalan], and now mainly known for its nightclubs [Anglo-German).

    Yeah: says something about the nature of imperialist expansion and coca-colonialist suppression. Any lesson for Hibernia > Ériu > Éire a.k.a. Airlann > Irlande > Ireland to be drawn therefrom?

  • páid

    hesitantly……….

    Did you mean INside the Pale, Malc?

  • Sammy Morse,

    Sammy you have now spent a week gloating avout Sinn Fein’s results and it’s probably all wearing a wee bit thin now…

    The irony of this is that SF have had just one poor overall election result in the past decade, whereas your Alliance Party have been absolutely trounced in every recent election, to the point where they are rarely even consulted about the major political issues anymore. (The series of talks leading-up to the recent agreement being a prime example).

    Sinn Fein still have a large party machine in the South and I have no doubt they will re-emerge succesfully in future Southern elections.

    Sinn Fein are an unashamed Republican Party. The Alliance Party are a Unionist Party but choose not to declare as such. Perhaps, in there, lies the fundamental problem which has precipitated their electoral collapse in the past decade. They would be better off simply amalgamating with the UUP and finally becoming transparent in terms of their intrinsic beliefs on the question of the Union.

  • We predict Labour will be in government and we have the poster made already, here :
    http://blogs.quiknets.com/