• Due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software, some users were "banned" when they tried to change their passwords at the end of February. This does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you were affected by this, please us viua the Contact us link in the footer.

Why has there never been a strong left wing cause in Ireland?


RahenyFG

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
9,206
Ireland is unique in Europe and the World for not having a left-right political divide. Civil war politics being a reason but also because the left have never been a strong cause or have had a strong base here. Historically the strongest left leaning party has been the Labour Party yet they only average 10% of the vote in most elections. On average left leaning parties manage together 20% of the vote in elections while the rest is carved up by centre right parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and independents.

So why has there never been a strong left wing cause in Ireland?

-Civil war politics as already mentioned
-Irish society having an overall conservative outlook?
-The influence of the Catholic Church on society? Related to part 2
-The top left leaning party Labour constantly going into government with right leaning Fine Gael?

I think the left have had their chances to displace civil war politics in favour of a left right divide but circumstances dictated that it didn't happen. Like 1948 when a Fine Gael party on it's knees was saved by the split in the Labour Party and Clann na Poblachta being forced into a snap election when their relatively new organisation wasn't ready. Maybe Labour could have overtaken Fine Gael in 1969 but the red scare played up by Fianna Fáil(an example of Irish society being conservative) killed the Labour vote in rural Ireland and perhaps 1992 was a chance as well to overtake Fine Gael had Labour ran more candidates.
 


neiphin

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
5,585
sleeveen, mammy's boys
 

RobertW

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
20,483
The Irish don't do left-right.

They vote for the party (regardless of their form or performance) who promises to put money into their pockets and feck the consequences.
 

Analyzer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,187
Because the Looper Party has been the party backed by the unions, and held a monopoly position in the left, alternative left wing parties are up against that.

Basically unions have controlled the left.

The reason why the left never reached a certain scale of political power ? Becuase the muppets holding the local franchise were monumentally incompetent. And that incompetence was passed from one generation to the next.
 

Analyzer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,187
When the leader of the official left wong party, has a missus selling sites to the state for half a million, it is kind of obvious that socialism is just a means for self-enrichment.
 

james5001

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503
Labour did quite well in an election in the early 1920's.
Church influence was a big one.
 

flavirostris

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
24,877
FF would make the case that they were the strong left wing cause, especially as they took a lot of votes from the lower paid. Lemass used to say that there was no need for an Irish Labour Party because FF already occupied that niche.
 

Zerubbabel

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
1,963
Because the Irish have decided they would rather be fleeced and shafted by Bertie, Seanie, Inda, Gimore and Pals, than Joe Higgins, Boyd Barret, Adams etc.

- Its much of a muchness really.

Honest people don't go into Irish politics, left or right, it matters not, all wanna be crooks and liars intent on enriching and looking after their own small circle of cronies at the taxpayers expense.
 

The OD

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
11,411
One need only look at the Labour party to realise that the Irish don't actually understand the concept 'left wing'.
 

RahenyFG

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
9,206
Labour did quite well in an election in the early 1920's.
Church influence was a big one.
In 1922, 21.3%. Only 0.5 off Anti Treaty Sinn Féin.

I remember watching an RTE documentary a while ago and the general consensus of historians was that Labour agreeing to not stand in the 1918 Westminister election under an agreement with Sinn Féin was a major factor in the left and Labour not being a strong political cause in the future.
 

james5001

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503
One need only look at the Labour party to realise that the Irish don't actually understand the concept 'left wing'.
Actually, I think that's false. The Irish people in early 20th century found many left wing policies interesting. In the 1922 election, Labour won 17 of 18 seats they contested.
 

Hewson

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
8,337
The national question.
That's an interesting theory, because Sinn Fein (and their lookalikes) would claim to be the true followers of Connolly.

How did the national question get in the way of the progress of left wing politics? (terrorism aside)
 

james5001

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503
In 1922, 21.3%. Only 0.5 off Anti Treaty Sinn Féin.

I remember watching an RTE documentary a while ago and the general consensus of historians was that Labour agreeing to not stand in the 1918 Westminister election under an agreement with Sinn Féin was a major factor in the left and Labour not being a strong political cause in the future.
Yep, it was a big one. Also was the fact that they did not act on the Democratic Programme which they practically promised Labour do to in exchange for them not contesting the election.
 

Analyzer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,187
The Looper Party official explanation is that it is the RCC's fault.

The real explanation is incompetence, eejitry, and hypocrisy. But that is hard to "digest".
 

Zerubbabel

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
1,963
Actually, I think that's false. The Irish people in early 20th century found many left wing policies interesting. In the 1922 election, Labour won 17 of 18 seats they contested.
And apart from the name, the Irish "Labour" party today bears what resemblance to a left wing party ?

The only left wing choices in Ireland today are the Provo's and / or the Marxist Socialist Loons.
 

james5001

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503
That's an interesting theory, because Sinn Fein (and their lookalikes) would claim to be the true followers of Connolly.

How did the national question get in the way of the progress of left wing politics? (terrorism aside)
Because FF during the civil war, or Sinn Fein during the War of Independence wouldn't want to mention much left-right kind of stuff for fear their support base would be reduced. Try and be as vague as possible on issues apart from the national question.
 

james5001

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503
And apart from the name, the Irish "Labour" party today bears what resemblance to a left wing party ?

The only left wing choices in Ireland today are the Provo's and / or the Marxist Socialist Loons.
Very little resemblance now.
And they're not loons.
 

New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top