Labour needs to win back its position of trust as the voice of working people

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Labour needs to win back its position of trust as the voice of working people

The Labour Party should return to its roots and demonstrate its passion with a political crusade against economic inequality, writes Alan Kelly


Brendan Corish
Brendan Corish

The former leader of the Labour Party Brendan Corish once said that he used to lie awake at night worrying about people who were unemployed. That concern about people who were out of decent work should be the motivating force that defines leadership of parties of the left, not only here in Ireland but across the European Union.

Across Europe, traditional parties of the left have seen a decline in their electoral fortunes in recent years but nowhere has this been as pronounced as in Ireland. Almost two-and-a-half years on from the last general election, in poll after poll the public has shown that it hasn’t regained faith in Labour. In 63 out of 64 published opinion polls since the last general election, Labour has polled below its 2014 local election vote. Far from increasing our representation, any objective analysis of these polls would indicate that we are facing a very difficult task in the next local and general elections.

Too many in Labour are concerned with a quick return to government, a hope that a future potential administration will fall short of a majority and need the support of Labour in taking power. Frankly, the last thing on anyone’s mind in Labour should be an immediate return to government in such circumstances.

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