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Why did Labour enter Government?


Concerned Irishman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
1,307
With the resignation of another Councillor today, all the indications point to Labour being in serious trouble come 2016 - especially given the fact that much of the old guard who might have been returned are likely going to not run again. The grassroots seem to be demoralized and ignored, the councillors are rupturing and the backbenchers are grumbling in this Government.

But when one looks at the maths in the Dail - Labour playing second fiddle to FG is the only way it was ever going to happen. During the Rainbow Coalition (a good government in retrospect), Labour and DL had the numbers to force an agenda on FG - that's why Quinn was able to get Finance for example. That was never so in this Dail with the disparity of numbers between FG and Labour. They are circling the drain now - but it didn't need to be so. Labour could have opted to lead the opposition - and had they done that, it is arguable that they could have finished off FF by starving it of oxygen in opposition, created a right/left divide in our politics for the first time and could well have been on their way to leading the next government.

So how did this happen, and why? I'm not asking for a rant about Gilmore, Rabbittee, arses in mercs etc - there are plenty of threads around here to rant about the Labour Party, and while pride may have been part of it it's too easy to pass it off as that entirely. I want this thread to really focus on engaging with the question. Why, for example, did grassroots delegates (up to 90% of them) vote to enter coalition with FG (as per Labour Party rules - a special conference has to be held and the programme for government has to be approved by grassroots delegates before entering coalition)? Why did all but 2 people on the NEC of the Labour Party for example vote to enter negotiations with FG? The vast majority of these people had nothing to gain directly from entering government, and presumably don't relish the impeding destruction of their Party, so why did they opt to go the direction they did? Also surely the Party Strategists, looking at the history of coalition with regard to the Labour Party, knew this couldn't end well - why didn't they speak up?

There's just a lot of things that really don't add up about why Labour is in the mess it's in, and how it got itself into that mess. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to have an actual conversation about the Labour Party especially online without it very quickly decending into a ranting session - I don't disagree with all of the rants mind, it's just not helpful for gaining understanding
 

Icemancometh

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
335
With the resignation of another Councillor today, all the indications point to Labour being in serious trouble come 2016 - especially given the fact that much of the old guard who might have been returned are likely going to not run again. The grassroots seem to be demoralized and ignored, the councillors are rupturing and the backbenchers are grumbling in this Government.

But when one looks at the maths in the Dail - Labour playing second fiddle to FG is the only way it was ever going to happen. During the Rainbow Coalition (a good government in retrospect), Labour and DL had the numbers to force an agenda on FG - that's why Quinn was able to get Finance for example. That was never so in this Dail with the disparity of numbers between FG and Labour. They are circling the drain now - but it didn't need to be so. Labour could have opted to lead the opposition - and had they done that, it is arguable that they could have finished off FF by starving it of oxygen in opposition, created a right/left divide in our politics for the first time and could well have been on their way to leading the next government.

So how did this happen, and why? I'm not asking for a rant about Gilmore, Rabbittee, arses in mercs etc - there are plenty of threads around here to rant about the Labour Party, and while pride may have been part of it it's too easy to pass it off as that entirely. I want this thread to really focus on engaging with the question. Why, for example, did grassroots delegates (up to 90% of them) vote to enter coalition with FG (as per Labour Party rules - a special conference has to be held and the programme for government has to be approved by grassroots delegates before entering coalition)? Why did all but 2 people on the NEC of the Labour Party for example vote to enter negotiations with FG? The vast majority of these people had nothing to gain directly from entering government, and presumably don't relish the impeding destruction of their Party, so why did they opt to go the direction they did? Also surely the Party Strategists, looking at the history of coalition with regard to the Labour Party, knew this couldn't end well - why didn't they speak up?

There's just a lot of things that really don't add up about why Labour is in the mess it's in, and how it got itself into that mess. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to have an actual conversation about the Labour Party especially online without it very quickly decending into a ranting session - I don't disagree with all of the rants mind, it's just not helpful for gaining understanding
I don't think the Irish people would have appreciated Labour refusing to enter coalition. We were screaming out for strong, stable government (do you remember the farce of Dec 2010/Jan 2011). A minority FG government would never last, and at any subsequent election, I believe Labour would have been punished.
 

pinemartin

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
6,731
I don't think the Irish people would have appreciated Labour refusing to enter coalition. We were screaming out for strong, stable government (do you remember the farce of Dec 2010/Jan 2011). A minority FG government would never last, and at any subsequent election, I believe Labour would have been punished.
Why not FF/FG? they are very similar type of groups.
 

tigerben

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
4,621
Very simple , the labour grassroots believed in "Labours way not Frankfurt's way". Now they know it was a opposition Labour slogan and Gilmore's gale was no more than a Light summers breeze.
 

mangaire1

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
9,353
Why did Labour enter Government?#

easiest question of the day.

Cause Rabitte, Quinn & Co wanted their fat arses on those nice soft Ministerial seats.
that's why.
 

flavirostris

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
25,031
Because they had been in opposition for 14 years before that. Why does a man dying of thirst rush to the nearest well. FFS.
 

anationoceagain

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
2,754
Think Labour hierarchy genuinely thought they could turn country around without resorting to the same punitive FF austerity measures. That, and trying to perserve their core PS vote.
 

wombat

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
31,960
Because they had been in opposition for 14 years before that. Why does a man dying of thirst rush to the nearest well. FFS.
I think Harney said the worst day in power was better than the best day in opposition. Labour have gambled that they will manage to turn the economy around while protecting the interests of as many of their supporters as possible.
 

drjimryan2

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
1,718
they had to
unfinished business from 1997
to give rabbitte, quinn and gilmore a last hurrah pre retirement
power, power, power....
 

Mossy Heneberry

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
3,841
The thing is Labour will be decimated come general election 2016 and Fianna Fail will come cruisng in as largest (ish) party.

After all the dirty and hard work done by FG and Labour, the public will reward them by taking their jobs.
 

wombat

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Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
31,960
After all the dirty and hard work done by FG and Labour, the public will reward them by taking their jobs.
Not necessarily. If the economy has turned around, especially if unemployment is dropping, we can expect FF to promise free All Ireland tickets for life & whatever you're having yourself.
In previous years, this would be enough to win an election. However, if the current govt. has proven their economic competance, the natural conservativism of the electorate will come into play and they'll hold onto office.
 

Mossy Heneberry

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Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
3,841
Not necessarily. If the economy has turned around, especially if unemployment is dropping, we can expect FF to promise free All Ireland tickets for life & whatever you're having yourself.
In previous years, this would be enough to win an election. However, if the current govt. has proven their economic competance, the natural conservativism of the electorate will come into play and they'll hold onto office.
I can't see the economy turning around in three years time. We still have an €8 - €10 billion of cuts and tax increases to go.
 

Dedogs

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Joined
Jul 17, 2012
Messages
6,294
I don't think the Irish people would have appreciated Labour refusing to enter coalition. We were screaming out for strong, stable government (do you remember the farce of Dec 2010/Jan 2011). A minority FG government would never last, and at any subsequent election, I believe Labour would have been punished.
Like they're not going to be punished anyhow??
 

sic transit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
25,579
"The people have spoken - the bastards" sums it up. It was what we wanted.
 

Didimus

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Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
6,285
From the point of view of trying to contribute to stabilising the economic freefall we we were staying out of government was not an option.
The electorate had passed their verdict on FF and would not have thanked Labour for allowing them to go back in - which was never a real possibility in any event. FG could have simply gone back to the country and would have had a decent shot at an overall majority.
From the point of view of trying to influence how we dealt with stabilising the economy staying out would have meant no influence.
Being in has meant that the vast majority of weekly sw payments have not been reduced. The recent figures for at risk of poverty show that before the SW system kicks in nearly 50% of people would be at risk of poverty - this reduces to 16% after SW payments. Would SW rates have been maintained without Labour's involvement?
There are other areas where Labour has had a policy influence - they would have had no influence if they were not in government.
 

mangaire1

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Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
9,353
Like they're not going to be punished anyhow??
yeah - Labour will be punished - whether it's now or in three years time.
BUT - Rabitte, Quinn & Co will continue to enjoy themselves, with their fat arses on their Ministerial seats,
& their nice fat penssions after the next election, whenever that may be.

the working class can kiss my arse,
i've got the Minister's job at last !!!
 
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