One more domino for Labour: Nessa Childers’ ‘resignation’…

labour-logo2The European Parliament is a sort of parallel universe. So the news that Nessa Childers has left the parliamentary Labour Party is an odd creature to process. As she says in her presser:

Labour Party members, who have lost the whip, are immediately expelled from the PLP but retain party membership. Members of the European Parliament cannot be bound by a National Party whip, their mandate is in the European Parliament.

But her rhetoric is clear enough:

“I think there is a possibility that we could see a group of people coming together to take up the ideas and values of Labour – leaving the party and its members hostage to a leadership that appears to be more comfortable with policies that protect the more privileged in Irish society.

“The party leadership’s strategy of attacking people who are loyal to the party’s stated policies; coupled with their objection to a special party conference and objection to renegotiating the Programme for Government signals that they is completely cut off from the concerns of the party members and Labour party ideals and values.

“Senior members of the party have led the PLP to an impasse. How long will TDs and Senators continue along this path, before they reach the point of no return.”

This all feels like the setting up of a set of dominoes that whilst they might not be ready to fall just yet make Eamon Gilmore’s job of party management (whilst spending an awful lot of time abroad as Minister of Foreign Affairs) almost impossible>

Noel Whelan writing last weekend noted:

For the sake of his party and the Government, Gilmore should give up his position as Minister for Foreign Affairs once the EU presidency ends in June and switch to a domestic economic department. The leader needs to be more hands-on in the management of the Labour Party, more vocal at communicating its achievements in government and more effective at managing the Coalition relationship.

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  • Rory Carr

    … their objection to a special party conference and objection to renegotiating the Programme for Government signals that they is[sic] completely cut off from the concerns of the party members and Labour party ideals and values.

    They sho’ in hell is, Nessa ! And fair play to you for having the guts to say so.

  • Antain Mac Lochlainn

    Cynics might suggest that the time to walk was the last budget (not that she had a vote, but she could have supported Keaveny’s anti-budget stance). It’s hard to accept that she only now realises that this Government is ‘hurting people’. Maybe Meath East opened her eyes to at least one future job loss.

  • Greenflag

    I’d never have given Enda Kenny kudos for being the most astute of party leaders but in retrospect appointing Gilmore as Minister for Foreign Travel was a stroke of macchiavellian political nous or luck .Whichever it succeeded in emasculating the Irish Labour Party in coalition despite their biggest ever haul of Dail Seats .
    Labour in it’s electoral history suffered the infamous Tullymander after a spell in government . Gilmore seems eminently capable of a repeat performance

    Congrats to Nessa Childers though for coming clean even if it took the Meath East result .

    Gilmore meanwhile has more important things to do as in this video as he shows a Scientologist his eh ‘Norman Irish ‘ roots 🙁 . Oblivious once again to the concerns and needs of the Irish people -Gilmore is rapidly becoming one of Irish Labour’s worst choices as leader .

    http://www.rte.ie/news/player/2013/0403/3512680-tom-cruise-delighted-to-discover-irish-roots/

  • George

    A brief history of Nessa Childers:

    Joins Labour – fails to get a nomination

    Leaves Labour joins Greens – becomes a councillor

    Sees Greens imploding – joins Labour

    Labour implement austerity budgets – does nothing

    Press releases by Childers after 2012 budget – Zero

    First release mentioning austerity policies – March 27th 2013

    Date of Meath East by-election – March 27th 2013

    Labour imploding 1 year to next European elections – leaves Labour parliamentary party.

  • Dessie Deratta

    That makes a (somewhat less than magnificent) Seven.

    Labour should pull the plug and force a FF/FG coalition (before or after an election).

    This is their best chance ever to break-out from their 80 years of FG’s doormat.

  • Greenflag

    And a brief history of the Tanaiste of Fine Gael who has been in and out of more political parties than might seem necessary . The above is a approx listing perhaps not in chronological order .

    Joins Sinn Fein Officials
    Leaves and joins Democratic Left
    Joins Workers Party
    Leaves and Joins Labour Party
    Gets elected and joins Neo Conservative Fine Gael if not in name then at least in economic policy . Bows and scrapes before the IMF & EU Commission like a practiced poodle in a circus ring 🙁

    Gilmore however is not exceptional in the above regard .They’ve all jumped ship before including Rabbitte , De Rossa etc . The sad truth is and perhaps Nessa Childers is not completely unaware of it but it would’nt matter if the leader of the Labour Party was James Connolly in todays global economy -whoever he or she is will be walked on and trod on by our real leaders and they’re not in the Dail or Stormont or Westminster .

    Gilmore can in retro I suspect be congratulated for being quick off the mark in realising just how powerless and gutless modern democratic states have become and how they have been bought and sold by international and domestic corporate and financial interests .

    I guess Gilmore is at this point just going for the gold along with Quinn and the rest of them 🙁

  • SDLP supporter

    Greenflag, on your point about Connolly as Leader of the Irish Labour Party, it should be noted that Connolly himself had a spectacularly unsuccessful electoral record.

    As noted, Nessa Childers has previous form in terms of party-hopping and the reality in the Republic, which has a somewhat more real economy than the North to run, is that the government, of whatever hue, has to get the deficit in balance.

    No matter, what party was in power, Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein or whatever, their actions would be no different.

  • sherdy

    Could somebody please keep me informed of Nessa’s political movements as I would be very nervous being in the same party?

  • Greenflag

    @ ‘SDLP supporter,

    When it comes to the party hopping steeple chase in Irish politics -Nessa Childers would be way down the field -yer man Gilmore would lead by a furlong .

    As for

    ‘No matter, what party was in power, Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein or whatever, their actions would be no different.’

    Which confirms the point made above re the utter powerlessness of our elected politicians in the face of banksters rule . Which is only made worse by the fact that nothing has been done since 2008 to prevent another financial sector induced meltdown whether by design or by austerity policies leading to blood in the streets 🙁

  • mollymooly

    Gilmore has only “hopped parties” once (WP>DL); the other changes were a merger (DL>Lab) and two renamings ([O]SF>SFWP>WP).

  • Greenflag

    Renamings and mergers is it ? Spin it whatever way you want but Gilmore is effectively now nothing more than an FG toady if not worse 🙁

    The full political non differentiated equation then would be one presumes .

    ([O]) SF>SFWP>WP > DL = Lab > FG = 0

    Or in plain English -If Gilmore talks like an FG Minister and thinks like an FG Minister then maybe that’s because that’s exactly what he is -Ditto for the mightless Quinn et al:(