Monday 11 December 2017

Labour shows its true colours

WHILST recognising and applauding the achievements of the Irish trade union movement in championing workers' rights, I think it is absolutely fitting and just that the forthcoming government bill clamping down on corporate funding of political parties will also prohibit donations to them from trade unions.

The bizarre and utterly indefensible prevarication of the Labour Party leadership in its public response to the Croke Park Agreement demonstrated that the party is dangerously beholden to the whims and political stances of the trade union movement. The Labour Party has repeatedly condemned the past shady financial dealings of Fianna Fail. It has spoken out most forcefully over the past decade against the "cute hoor" ethos in Irish politics and the notorious "brown envelope" culture that has bedevilled our political system for so long.

Yet, what is more ethically sustainable -- a trade union making a donation to a party it perceives is likely to implement its policy objectives or a business handing over a similar amount of cash, or making an equally large cheque payable, to an ideologically different party for the same reason?

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