Plenty of fight left in Labour Party
Brendan Howlin: confident determination. Photograph: Dave Meehan
Sir, – Your editorial of November 8th (“Labour Party – no quick fix”) seems to wilfully ignore the policy agenda set out by the Labour Party over recent months. It would be hard to reach any other conclusion to the glib assertion that Labour needs to “focus on bread-and-butter issues”.
Brendan Howlin has repeatedly set out a policy approach based on democratic socialist values – opposing the tax cuts introduced by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over the last two budgets, and arguing instead for a step-change in investment in areas such as housing, healthcare, education and childcare.
In our Future of Work project, we are grappling with issues of fundamental importance to working people – precarious employment; workplace dignity; a living wage for all; collective bargaining rights – these are areas where Labour had real achievements in government, and is making a coherent argument for much greater progress.
This is as bread and butter as a left-wing policy platform could be. Which is not to say that issues such as repeal of the Eighth Amendment will be cast aside: as an issue of equality that impacts on the lives and health of women in Ireland, that issue will also deserve our continuing support over the months ahead.
Of course there is more work to be done. But with the new slate of candidates for local and national office that is emerging; a confident determination in our ability to transform Ireland for the better; and the continuing leadership of Brendan Howlin and every member of the Parliamentary Labour Party, we can do that work.
You’re right on one point. There will be no quick fix. But we’ve been fighting for 105 years since James Connolly founded our party. And we have a lot more fight left in us. – Yours, etc,
The Labour Party,