Thursday 22 February 2018

Labour abandoned not only Roisin, but its core values and voters

Pat Rabbitte and Alex White are washing their hands of the medical card mess and election disaster

Roisin Shortall. Photo: Tom Burke
Roisin Shortall. Photo: Tom Burke
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Alex White's bid to lead the Labour Party is looking increasingly stalled. Indeed, not only does it seem as if this competition might finally halt Alex's so-called "rise without trace" in the Labour party, there is now talk that this leadership bid might actually be a huge setback for Alex's career.

White is emerging from all this almost as a figure of fun. He is certainly looking like a man of straw. It's hard to say what he is actually about, apart from a wealth tax that is not government policy and a vague ambition to go into government with Sinn Fein if that's what he needs to do to be in government. Unfortunately for Alex, if you asked most people what he's about, people would struggle a bit before saying that he is a barrister with a nice coif, well groomed, Southside.

When you do look for the substance, things don't get much better. Ask people what Alex has done and they will mention medical cards. Beyond that they might struggle. Then they might remember that he is also chief sponsor of the free-GP-care-for-under-sixes plan, which has now been shelved for the time being. In other words, Alex is directly linked to two of the biggest messes this Government has presided over. He has, in the process, stopped in its tracks the Government's Big Idea of healthcare reform.

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