Saturday 16 December 2017

A new social democracy must fill hole left by Labour

Illustration by Jim Cogan
Illustration by Jim Cogan
Mikhail Gorbachev was under pressure from hardliners
De Rossa’s denunciation of statist socialism was crucial to winning middle-class support in Dublin
Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

Last Monday I went to St Andrew's School for a rehearsed reading of According to His Need, a one-act comedy by Oliver Eagleton. Although he is still a student at the school his play has been accepted for the Edinburgh Fringe. Deservedly so, because it does what comedy should do: makes you laugh while making you think.

The laughs come from the comic premise. According to His Need is about a frustrated young man who joins a small left- wing party to pick up hot girls but is taken in hand by a hard-line female socialist. But in a classic comedy role-reversal he falls in love with Marx, while she falls in love with him.

The plot points to a fringe Trotskyite party. Back in my time frustrated males in the big socialist parties, like Labour and the Workers' Party, would frequently complain that fringe parties seemed to attract the hottest females. What they missed was that fringe parties also attracted wealthy males.

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