Eoghan Harris: Croke Park II challenges the centenary celebrations
THE centenary of the 1913 Lockout cannot be celebrated with clear consciences by the Labour and trade union movement. The future looks fraught for both. Croke Park II reveals the twin reasons: the decline of the industrial working class and the rise of the white collar public sector unions.
Last week the trade unions threw shapes at the opening of talks on Croke Park II. This weekend the Labour Party deals with internal tensions. But no matter what make-up the spin doctors apply, the lethal links with the public sector unions are leeching life from the Labour and trade union movement.
The public is cynical about the cosmetic Croke Park talks. They are cosmetic because to raise a billion the Government has only two choices: cut public services or cut public service pay, particularly increments.