Labour should follow principles

It hardly came as a surprise that senior Labour party member, Cllr. Seán Counihan, (Irish Examiner, Apr 17) is calling for a merger with Fianna Fáil.

By way of explanation he says that the country is at a ‘crossroads’ and ‘we must do something’. What is wrong with adhering to the core values and principles of the founding fathers of the Labour party? Rather than assisting Fine Gael to crucify the most vulnerable, by cutting vital supports and pursuing polices that are driving the gap between the rich and poor ever wider, why not be guided by those fundamental principles which sought to create a fair and just society?

Mr Counihan and the party leadership might reflect on Connolly’s core tenet, ‘...we can have no truck with those who measure a nation’s prosperity by the volume of wealth produced, instead of by the distribution of that wealth amongst the inhabitants’. Listening to the speeches delivered at the party conference it seems that new Labour believe that those founding principles can only be used to determine Government action when times are good; when times are bad they must make way for the ‘everyman for himself’ variety of Reaganomics. This nonsense merely adds insult to injury for that is precisely when sharing and caring polices are at their most potent —as well as necessary and vital to ensure the most vulnerable are protected.

Mr Counihan cannot have missed the rise in social angst and must surely be aware of the dreadful suffering that current laissez-fare policies are inflicting on our most vulnerable citizens. The latest attack on lone parents and their children (Sections 4/5 Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2012) is the action of those utterly besotted with money and its acquisition and who care little what impact that obsession has on others. Mr Counihan, and his leader, would be welcomed with open arms by the current leadership of Fianna Fáil and that convergence of the like-minded would perhaps set us on the road to having a more honest political establishment from which to choose a government.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond

Sligo

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