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Can anything be done to stop the Labour rot? I really doubt it

It seems all but certain now that the Labour Party, the oldest political party in the State, is facing annihilation at the next General Election.

The latest Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll indicated that Labour, at just 5pc, is destined for extinction along the lines of the Progressive Democrats and the Green Party.

Support for Labour has imploded. The party has lost the trust, respect and support of its grass roots who feel utterly betrayed and let down.

Promises and pledges made by Labour candidates to their voters prior to the 2011 General Election have been broken.

Disgusted and betrayed even the most ardent Labour supporters have deserted the cause in their droves.

bounce

After their disastrous result in the last local and European elections, Joan Burton (right) was elected leader and subsequently appointed Tánaiste, in place of Eamon Gilmore.

That move did little for the party's numbers. The much-heralded Burton bounce turned out to be a damn squib.

Still, you have to hand it to Joan who, despite the calamitous opinion polls, is still waving the red flag and bubbling with optimism.

She insists that Labour can make a comeback before the next election and that the forthcoming election will be fought on trust.

Burton's use of that phrase shows how completely out of touch she is with reality. Is she so disconnected from the rank and file of Labour that she cannot see their anger and frustration and that it is that very lack of trust that is causing them to turn their backs in their droves on the party?

Ms Burton for all her fighting words and upbeat talk must now realise that Labour is dead in the water.

patience

The working class people that the party purports to represent have run out of patience.

Since tasting the fruits of power Labour has sacrificed many core values and principles of their bedrock policy on the altar of expediency.

As a prime example, take the controversial water charges.

Prior to coming to power Labour vehemently opposed them and yet when in government they did a u-turn in support of the introduction of this unpopular charge.

When the Labour grandees survey the ruins of the party after the next election they will be forced to accept the harsh truth that the demise of this once-proud political movement was down to its shameful, political cowardice.

Can something be done to turn this around? At this late stage, I wouldn't bet on it.


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