Monday 18 December 2017

Labour Party was never socialist

Madam –I read with interest the analysis of Shane Ross on 'Who has inherited the mantle of Larkin and Connolly in this year, the centenary of the Lockout?' (Sunday Independent, November 3, 2013). He is correct on the two organisations that he referred to as not being their inheritors. The Labour Party is not and never was a socialist party. It was founded following the passing of a motion at a trade union conference in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, in 1912.

While two of the main figures involved, namely, James Larkin and James Connolly, were socialists and may have endeavoured to guide it in that direction, the objective of the party's creation was to protect the worker by giving them parliamentary representation. That principle has been totally negated by its actions in coalition with Fine Gael. One has only to recollect that when Eamon Gilmore became leader, he, with other members of the hierarchy, at the end of an annual conference were seen to be jubilant in singing The Workers' Flag is deepest Red.

This flag is most assuredly deepest red following the party's actions in implementing austerity measures against workers it was founded to represent. The leadership of the Labour Party should do the honourable thing and follow one of its previous leaders (now deceased), and join Fine Gael.

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