THE big question facing the Labour Party is when to stop telling lies. When to come out and tell the people that we are a small capitalist economy plugged into the international capitalist economy which gives us a high standard of living but sometimes forces us to keep commitments to international agencies, such as the EU, with whom we sometimes disagree.
In the 1980s when Labour was having another of its bruising internal upheavals, then leader Frank Cluskey noticed Michael D Higgins was absent. On hearing the TD had gone on an emergency mission to Nicaragua, Cluskey is reported to have said Higgins was taking the easy option of "saving the world over saving the Labour party".
THERE is a symmetry to the departure of Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, the highest-ranking alumni of the former Sinn Féin the Workers’ Party, The Workers’ Party, Democratic Left tradition, after a devastating defeat at the hands of Sinn Féin at the polls.
"The senior people get the senior positions. It’s the nature of politics," Labour’s chief whip, Emmet Stagg, mused on RTÉ radio the night of his party leader’s resignation. "The younger generation have to serve their time."