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Labour's lost soul

• Was Eamon Gilmore emulating James Connolly or Billy Connolly at his party conference? I couldn't tell the difference. He clearly seemed to believe his rhetoric/comedy routine. Billy Connolly once said you shouldn't vote for politicians as it only encourages them. When it comes to the modern Irish Labour Party, I am sure James Connolly would have agreed with his namesake's advice.

The relationship that the Labour Party has with socialism is the same relationship that Fianna Fail has with republicanism. Both groups of charlatans insult the honourable philosophies that they claim to espouse.

Of course, Eamon Gilmore and his party colleagues are quite expert at attacking anyone who dares to point out their appalling hypocrisy. But when you strip away the guff and one-liners, all that is left are the boot marks stamped on to the graves of Larkin and Connolly.

Noel Brown's brilliant description of William Norton, the Labour leader when it participated in its first coalition government, could have been written about any of its subsequent leaders.

He wrote: "Norton was a man of many talents, all dedicated exclusively to his own betterment in society. He was persuasively articulate and could simulate sincerity and pretend concern with misleading conviction."

Isn't this the 'begin all and end all' of the Labour Party?

It is currently running away from rampant, rapacious capitalism in the same way that it cowered away from the rapacious Catholic Church when it suppressed ordinary people.

There is no point in criticising Eamon Gilmore for his 'Labour's way or Frankfurt's way' one-liner/joke. Because the truth is that Frankfurt's way is the Labour way.

Declan Doyle

Lisdowney, Kilkenny

Irish Independent