Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reform or Rhetoric?

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has unveiled a new plan which he claims is a radical document that will usher in political reform and a better society.

Forgive me if this blog is a bit sceptical upon hearing such talk from a man intent on entering government with the most conservative, pro cuts party in Irish politics - Fine Gael.

So, does this plan offer real reform?

Or does it present an opportunity for the Labour party's most gifted orator to blow some steam?

It seems that Eamon Gilmore is trying to cast himself as the Barack Obama of the coming election. The question is, will the Irish people be shouting Yes we can at Eamon in early March?

Lets look at the facts.

The Labour party have ruled out government with Fianna Fail and Sinn Féin. They have refused to rule out such coalition with Fine Gael, and have even refused to deny suggestions that they will form the next government with the blueshirts. Can this coaltion give the Irish people the change they need? The change that they deserve?
No, they cant.

The labour party have said that they will abolish the Seanad within the lifespan of the next government. However Fine Gaels policy on the abolishment of the Seanad is far from clear. In fact, only six of the party's fifteen senators have endorsed Enda Kennys stance to abolish it. Can the Labour party as junior member to in a Fine Gael led government implement this promise?
No, they cant.

Labour say that they oppose the recent cuts to social welfare and the minimum wage, and will prevent further cuts if they enter government. Fine Gael support said cuts, and have promised more. Can these two parties really work together?
No, they cant.

The truth is that only one party offers radical changes to Irish society, and is prepared to see through the political reform that is needed. Unless the labour party changes their bizarre stance on coalition with Sinn Féin (perhaps a throwback to their days as the political wing of OIRA) then they cannot be taken serious as an "alternative" party.

As it stands, there is only one opposition party in Ireland - Sinn Féin.

Can the snubs and snide remarks of people like Eamon Gilmore derail the Sinn Féin movement for Change?
No, they cant!

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