News Letters

Friday 29 August 2014

Letters to the Editor: Revolution, and soon

Published 29/06/2014 | 02:30

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Dail, Leinster House, Dublin, Ireland
Dail, Leinster House, Dublin, Ireland

Madam - The place to start the new politics is here - at home, so to speak.

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Having been involved for more decades than I care to remember in the mundane nitty-gritty of 'real politics' I look with horror at any suggestion that we should start to try to build a 'new' political movement from scratch. One of the lessons of the so-called 'Arab Springs', is that quick-fix, emotion-driven 'cardboard revolutions' almost always end in disaster.

But if our political elite does not provide the equivalent of the 'Velvet Revolutions' which freed much (but not all) of Eastern Europe, we are going to have to provide our own. Soon.

Being of a somewhat left-of-centre tinge, I have placed my confidence consistently, in the 'potential' (sic) of Labour to deliver in the broadest and most fundamental way. Given that the Irish voter does, every now and again (since the foundation of the State), make a lunge to the left - with very positive, (if electorally short-lived), results, this is not an entirely witless policy.

However, whatever small chance there may be of re-electing a reasonable 'critical mass' of coherent Labour TDs and Senators to the next Dail and Seanad to keep the Plough and the Stars flying in Leinster House, it will be minimal, if not non-existent, if the next Labour leader cannot enter a credible dialogue with us, the people.

If our citizens want to live in a Republic, every individual among them must take that Republic back into their homes. They can start by engaging the new Labour leadership in serious debate during the few months remaining for this Government. If that turns out simply to be a 'dialogue of the deaf', then they will have to look at and engage with those among their fellow-citizens who share their views. Take whatever means are necessary to ensure that there is at least the makings of a genuine pragmatic social democratic presence in Leinster House.

Maurice O'Connell,

Tralee, Co Kerry

Sunday Independent

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