I note with interest the fact that elements within the Labour party seem to be disillusioned with the current direction of the party and the manner in which it seems to have tied itself to coalition with Fine Gael. Mayor of Sligo and former TD Declan Bree feels that;
People who would have us compromise on our principles can today be found in the ranks of our own movement.
They are the same elements who consistently attempt to undermine our ideology and who would have the labour and socialist movement in Ireland discard its philosophy and its values and become mere props to keep the main establishment parties in power.
I can understand where Mr. Bree is coming from. The socially conscious, left-leaning sectors of Irish society are poorly served when they merely fight to win the scraps of coalition which are thrown from the table of the traditional, conservative parties. But another way forward is possible and even if it doesn’t come to pass in the next couple of years, eventually the way forward for Irish politics is for a coalition of the left including parties such as Labour, Sinn Féin and the Green party to emerge with a programme for government which serves all the people, rather than merely panders to the rich. If such a thing were to occur, it would be the shock to the system which the traditionally strong parties really need.