Joan Burton Case Shows Labour Turned its Back on Working Class

By Patrick Brogan

As the case is still ongoing, let’s look at why the protest took place, rather than the event itself. A protest occurred in Jobstown because Irish workers have been hammered by austerity measures for years. Under normal circumstances, the Labour Party would benefit from this as people would turn to its core values as a solution. Those being; protecting the working classes. The problem this time around was Labour were at the forefront of introducing these measures.

Remember Labour‘s way or Frankfurt’s way? This was Eamon Gilmore’s rallying cry. We no longer had to suffer the brutal cuts and unfair taxes. There was an alternative. He quickly capitulated when he came to power. He lied. He lied to get into office because he is a spineless politician who only wants power and the backing of the rich.

This trend was followed by the next leader, Joan Burton. Her comments about people having iPhones showed her sheer disdain for ordinary work class people. All this led to the protest at Jobstown. It is significant it took place in a working class area. People in Tallaght, Crumlin, Finglas and similar areas in Dublin feel utterly betrayed by the sell outs in Labour. A lot of these were life long supporters.

In some ways, this mirrors what happened British Labour before Corbyn took over. Some of the Blairite policies were more right-wing than the Tories. This has changed under Corbyn’s stewardship. You can be critical of his left leaning ideas, but at least he is in the correct party. Labour is of the left. The clue is in the name. If the major parties are both right wing, whats the point in having elections? At least with a left-wing oppostion, there can be some debate, even if the media aren’t going to cover it.

The same is needed here. Left and right wing ideals are needed for debate, even if they are a bit outdated at this stage. I believe their is a need and a want in Ireland for a solid left-wing party. Labour have gone very right, and the other parties are still too small. It only leaves Sinn Fein with any kind of socialist ideals and a large enough party to make some difference. It could so easily have been Labour. But that ship has sailed.

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