News Lise Hand

Saturday 30 August 2014

Labour contest a seamless transition

Lise Hand

Published 28/06/2014 | 02:30

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26/6/14 Minister Joan Burton and Minister Alex White at the Labour Party Leadership Hustings at the Mansion House, Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
Minister Joan Burton and Minister Alex White at the Labour Party Leadership Hustings at the Mansion House, Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron

The contest for the Labour leadership has been going on so long that one seems to dimly recall that the moderator for the first in the long series of hustings was James Connolly.

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At this stage, the two candidates for the leadership, Joan Burton and Alex White, are reciting their stump speeches in their sleep – in fact, the four contestants for the deputy job can probably recite them as well.

However, by now, the leadership is regarded as a one-horse race, with junior health minister Mr White likely to get better odds on being hit by a meteorite while crossing the plinth of Leinster House than on being crowned king of Labour.

As a result, the members of the parliamentary party have been trying to keep themselves amused as best they can during the proceedings, and one individual was tickled pink by a text received from one of the deputy wannabes, Alan Kelly.

The industrious junior transport minister sent out an automated text seeking support for his cause. It read: "Please remember to vote in the Labour leadership contest. It is an opportunity for you to have your say on the future direction of the party. Rgds, Alan Kelly".

So far, so normal. But this message was immediately preceded by another automated text from a dry cleaners that announced: "3 for 2 on Alterations. Cheapest item free. Alterations ONLY."

Dear oh dear. Timing is everything in politics. "I was in stitches," admitted the Labour birdie.

Irish Independent

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