Thursday 19 April 2018

Classing party as 'liberal' on social issues is wide of mark


Joan Burton
Joan Burton
John Downing

John Downing

PEOPLE who class Labour as "the liberal party" on social issues really have not paid enough attention to this matter. If you don't believe me on that, have a read of Labour liberal wing stalwart Senator Ivana Bacik's assessment of the party's record on advancing what she terms "liberal reform" in Ireland over the first century of its existence.

"Labour has not had a consistently progressive record on social issues," she sums up in a book of centenary essays.

Unsurprisingly, she notes that the influence of the Catholic Church caused Labour to adopt decidedly conservative positions on social issues. But she also argues that the problems did not stop after church influence waned.

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