What next for Labour?

 

Sir, – Bernard Harbor, a former communications director to Michael D Higgins’s election campaign, writing in a personal capacity, seeks to continue with the narrative that the Labour Party made efforts to “minimise the impact of austerity on the poorest” while in government (November 3rd).

The fact is that those aspects of the austerity measures taken that had such a devastating impact on the vulnerable were not inevitable, it was government policy informed by ideology; a government that the Labour Party maintained in power. And it didn’t just stand idly by as people already in poverty were plunged into penury – Labour ministers implemented the policy. Two very obvious examples were the gouging of supports for lone parents and the overseeing of the hatchet job on the basic State pension in 2012; two of the most vulnerable groups in our society were targeted. By all means, let’s have the open conversation Mr Harbor asks for, but attacking the media for refusing to accept without question the spin put out by political parties rather dents the sincerity of the appeal. That aside, regardless of what conversation occurs, those who suffered under the Labour Party-facilitated austerity policies know the reality and will take their own sweet time forgetting it. – Yours, etc,

JIM O’SULLIVAN,

Rathedmond,Sligo.

Sir, – Howlin for taoiseach. – Yours, etc,

MARY BYRNE,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.