Labour’s silence - Sitting on the fence

EAMON GILMORE’S Labour party can feel a sense of achievement about this week’s opinion polls that, at 35%, puts them five points ahead of their probable coalition partners Fine Gael.

Already there is talk about taking three seats in some constituencies. No matter how you dress it up this represents a profound sea change. Who could have imagined, even as Bertie Ahern was pushed into the shadows, that Labour might top Fianna Fáil by 13 points?

Labour have managed to reach these heights without making the slightest commitment on anything. Yes, they agree we must cut €3 billion but are unable to say where or how, other than a few mercurial generalities about cutting capital spending, this might be achieved.

Mr Gilmore, yesterday afternoon, spoke, for considerable time, with authority and force about what might be achieved without offering even the slightest nugget of commitment on anything. He may indulge this habit right now but long before an election is called Labour will have to unveil detailed proposals. This is the phoney war and these are phoney figures that can only be made real by real commitments.

The time for sitting on the ditch is long gone.


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