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Fintan O'Toole: Labour must ensure that leftward fringes occupy central position


borntorum

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What the hell does FOT mean by this, in his opinion article today?

Gilmore’s task isn’t just to manoeuvre himself and a few colleagues into cabinet seats. It is to alter the contours of Irish politics so that the leftward fringes occupy the central position.
O'Toole doesn't explain any more than this. Does he mean that Labour must try to shift the political axis so far to the left so that micro-groups like the Socialist Workers and Joe Higgins will be seen as centrists? Eh, no thanks.

As usual with the more excitable/extreme elements of the leftist intelligentsia, O'Toole appears to have forgotten that the rise in Lab support comes predominantly from former FF voters. It is unlikely that these voters have suddenly become Marxist revolutionaries. Perhaps Fintan should go back to cooking himself lobster and quail eggs before he scares away half of Labour's support with his extremist rhetoric.

Gilmore's duty now is to settle for more - The Irish Times - Tue, Sep 28, 2010
 

corelli

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More pseudo intellectual left wing clap trap from O'Toole. What's new.
 

goatstoe

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What the hell does FOT mean by this, in his opinion article today?



O'Toole doesn't explain any more than this. Does he mean that Labour must try to shift the political axis so far to the left so that micro-groups like the Socialist Workers and Joe Higgins will be seen as centrists? Eh, no thanks.

As usual with the more excitable/extreme elements of the leftist intelligentsia, O'Toole appears to have forgotten that the rise in Lab support comes predominantly from former FF voters. It is unlikely that these voters have suddenly become Marxist revolutionaries. Perhaps Fintan should go back to cooking himself lobster and quail eggs before he scares away half of Labour's support with his extremist rhetoric.

Gilmore's duty now is to settle for more - The Irish Times - Tue, Sep 28, 2010
Good article that from O'Toole. I don't read it like he is saying that Gilmore should shift the political axis to bring in micro groups like the Socialist Workers. I think O'Toole is saying that Gilmore is now in a position where his standing is such that he no longer has to walk on egg shells afraid to lose potential voters or FG transfers for example.

If Gilmore plays it safe from here on he'll be Tanaiste. If he wants to make a breakthrough for Labour that could have ramifications for the future shape of Irish politics then he's got to be bolder and willing to make some enemies.
 

cricket

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The use of the term " leftward fringes " needs explanation alright , but otherwise it is a well reasoned article.
 

goatstoe

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For me the key paragraphs are the following:

The test of whether Eamon Gilmore is up to this historic task is whether he can show the same nerve within sight of power as he did when he was on the margins two years ago. In 2008, he took the risk of going against the grain, of being the odd man out, of holding to what he thought was right in the face of ferocious pressure. In 2010, he has to do that all over again.

How can an opposition party effect change in Irish politics right now? By not playing the usual game of keeping all options open and not alienating anyone who might possibly vote for you. That is the politics of populism. It is also the political culture that has destroyed us. It is the culture of pretending that there are no real choices to be made, that there are painless gains, that we can have European social services and US tax rates.
Gilmore may now be in a position to deliver messages like this with confidence.
 

A Voice

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Is it an indirect reaction to the pairing arrangement, written overnight to express his disquiet over Lab doing FF a favour, or just a boilerplate piece about nothing in particular which he can dredge up when nothing else occurs to him?

Either way, he's living in a parallel universe if he thinks Gilmore is not inherently and consistently populist. The first thing he did as Lab leader was call for a vote of No Confidence (big wow!) and he's been at that bellyaching ever since.

But when it comes to outlining how, where and why Lab will reduce spending there's nothing much to be heard. Gilmore wants to ride the train of popular anger without prescribing any medicine. Maybe he thinks we can bowwow fow evew an evew??
 

ne0ica

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That shows you how much Fintan knows about politics. No party in Irish politics or European politics are going to win an election without moving to the centre.
 

cashinhand

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wants all salaries capped at 90k in this country
That would be a good idea, certainly for public servants.

Didn't know O'Toole advocated this: do you have a source?

For the private sector, we would need a worldwide campaign: a start would be to cap overall wealth of any one global citiizen at 1 dollar short of a billion, and work from there.

The global casino enconomy is basically one big vacuum cleaner at the top hoovering up the spare change of poor people, so that 100-millionaires and billionaires can read about themselves in Fortune magazine.
 

FreshStart

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And if we don't the opportunity to change the political landscape then we will never how good or bad life is under a leftist government. Valid argument. What's the alternative, same old, same old. Meet the boss, same as the old boss.
 

supermonkey

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The fact is that the Blueshirt cancer has eaten away at Ireland and knowing that the better part of the Irish people can't stand them they set up the Progressively Diseasedocrats to infiltrate Fianna Fail and destroy Ireland.

The IMF and loss of sovereignty was the Blueshirt plan from the '80s. They hate Ireland.
 

FreshStart

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BTW, Labour are not good enough, that's the problem. What's the solution, have them watered by the usual right leaning suspects, or look for something new. And what is the problems with SWP, Socialists etc. It's the jumpers isn't it. Come on, I know it's the jumpers.
 

borntorum

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Good article that from O'Toole. I don't read it like he is saying that Gilmore should shift the political axis to bring in micro groups like the Socialist Workers. I think O'Toole is saying that Gilmore is now in a position where his standing is such that he no longer has to walk on egg shells afraid to lose potential voters or FG transfers for example.

If Gilmore plays it safe from here on he'll be Tanaiste. If he wants to make a breakthrough for Labour that could have ramifications for the future shape of Irish politics then he's got to be bolder and willing to make some enemies.
He talks about the 'leftward fringes'. What does that mean? In my book it means the hard left - old Militant Labour, WP, SWP. The merest mention of Irish nationalism brings FOT out in a rash so we can discount the possibility that he was referring to the Shinners/Eirigi etc.

Unfortunately, with the lack of intellectual rigour one has come to expect from Fintan, he doesn't go on to explain his statement or attempt to work through the repercussions of it. The rest of the article is wishy-washy stuff - "Gilmore should not be afraid to offend some sections of society" - you'd read similar sentiments from any columnist from the SBP to the Star.
 

paulp

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He is highlighting that Gilmore is populist who is light on substance.

If Gilmore wants to stay on the safe track to tanaiste, he will remain light on substance.
 

LgCastell

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what i think hes saying is that lab need to move from being on the fringes of gov to playing a central role hes not implying that lab shud abandon their leftist ideology FOT is a massive socialist why would he want the centre to be in gov

I liked him saying that gilmore can sit back and be Kenny's tanaiste or push hard come up with policies and ideas and offer a credible alternative and be a lab taoiseach
 
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O'Toole is either oblivious or willfully spinning. The recent polls showed that even in the depths of a recession, the Irish public is fundamentally centrist leaning slightly to the right. The Milward Brown poll showed that significant majority wanted spending cuts rather than tax increases to cut the deficit which emphasizes this.
 

Libero

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O'Toole is either oblivious or willfully spinning. The recent polls showed that even in the depths of a recession, the Irish public is fundamentally centrist leaning slightly to the right. The Milward Brown poll showed that significant majority wanted spending cuts rather than tax increases to cut the deficit which emphasizes this.
True.

There's a lot of wishful thinking in that article, as Fintan hopes for Labour to become both the biggest party in the land and a stronger advocate of left-wing values and policies, as if those two objectives don't conflict.
 

antsrathcam

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These votes are borrowed FF votes. They will be paid back as soon as O'Toole and the rest of the liberals start moaning about not enough vibrant:rolleyes: (i.e black) communities, full bridal gown rights for transexuals:rolleyes: and the rest of the agenda downloaded in full from their intellectual HQ in London.

And the labour candidate for bleedin dublin north central is a local wel-respected erm no..sorry..... oh yes a southside feminist professor of law from trinners:rolleyes:
 
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