Sunday 19 January 2020

Lost Labour

• "Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together." Jonathan Swift's recognition of vitality, regarding the farming community -- people who make a realistic contribution to humanity -- is still heartwarming today and no less brilliantly true.

His reproach of politicians could also extend to bankers. Politicians and bankers, the masters of our destiny, are completely unchallenged in the propagation of the worship of capitalism that passes for 'gospel' today. Apparently, we have no choice but to endlessly facilitate banks, along with their agents in politics.

In this, the centenary of the formation of the Irish Labour Party, the celebratory silence from Eamon Gilmore and company is deafening.

Could it be that Mr Gilmore and Mr Rabbitte are ignoring Jim Larkin and James Connolly because highlighting their contribution to Irish society would be to condemn the modern Labour Party?

Michael Collins said he would have "followed Connolly through hell, had such action been necessary". The old Irish had Collins and Connolly; we have 'office-boys' for politicians.

The similarities between 1912 and 2012 are eerie. Naked capitalism rules. The same economic philosophy is detached from ordinary people. You would imagine Mr Gilmore would take out his history books and start dusting off Larkin or Connolly speeches.

Declan Doyle

Lisdowney, Kilkenny

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