Review urges Labour to never again make promises it can’t keep

An internal review of Labour’s disastrous election campaign has urged the party to never again make promises it cannot keep — but has claimed no one is to blame for the loss of support.

The document, drawn up after an exhaustive review process based on members’ views, has also concluded the decision to link up with Fine Gael left Labour exposed and accepted the water charges controversy has been hugely damaging.

The review, seen by the Irish Examiner, is intended to act as a blueprint on how Labour can avoid a repeat of its February 2016 downfall.

However, it has also highlighted a series of difficulties faced while in government, many of which it is still struggling to overcome.

The report said while there is “no one issue which led to the decline”, the “charge of broken promises was regularly made... deserves attention” as 27% of members believe it was the “most difficult” hurdle the party faced. It said the party’s hierarchy “must be willing to accept some of the most public commitments made during the 2011 election were not delivered”, but stressed it is “self-defeating” to blame one person.

The report found that while Labour must be prepared to govern again in the future, it cannot “breach” core principles.

In a bid to limit potential future difficulties, the document concluded that Labour should ring-fence €100,000 solely for responding to issues in the final days of subsequent campaigns, and said a new three-to-five year plan is needed to regrow the party.


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