The eclipse of the left in politics

Labour’s woes leave voters short of choice

Sir, – I am not convinced by Trevor White’s theory that a future failed Sinn Féin government could lead to a far more sinister right-wing option coming to power (“If Sinn Féin fails to deliver, its supporters may end up in thrall to far-right populists”, Opinion & Analysis, September 27th).

His article is a little obscure in what he is suggesting, and short on the mechanics of how the rise of the right might occur in the event of Sinn Féin making a mess of its promises if faced by the reality of actual government. In Northern Ireland, its performance has not been good but it has plenty of other boogeymen to blame there.

As one of the middle class Trevor White mentions, and quite unapologetically happy to indulge in the parlour game of Shinner-bashing, my concern for the future is not the rise of the right (with many of them potentially lurking in the catch-all populism of the wide Sinn Féin umbrella), but the further eclipse of the left, apart from Sinn Féin, as evidenced by the practical obliteration of the Labour Party down South and the SDLP in the North.

In the case of the Labour Party, many issues were at play, including its own poor performance in coalition. But for many left-leaning voters unable to stomach the prospect of Sinn Féin in government due to their unsavoury legacy, the choice in future elections will unfortunately be very limited unless the fortunes of Labour change by its own efforts. A gargantuan task but I wish it luck! – Yours, etc,




Co Tipperary.