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James Connolly and The Pretenders

Yesterday marked the 96th anniversary of the execution of James Connolly. Today, 96 years post his death at the hands of the British Army, a statue of Connolly stands outside Liberty Hall in Dublin, an ever lasting memoir to his influence and passion for socialist issues, the union movement and his condemnation of British rule. It was with a depressing feeling of irony then, that this morning, I listened to Newstalk and two renowned labour party members, one a current Minister for education, proposing another form of foreign rule. Their new form of socialism is in direct contradiction with that of their parties founder. At the same time this morning Eamonn Gilmore, the current leader of Labour, attends a commemoration to mark the anniversary of Connolly, a man who I have no doubt would turn in his grave should he be present to watch the current policy enforcements and ideals of a Labour Party, currently lost at sea in my opinion.

Ironically however, that is not my agenda in writing todays short piece. While I take issue with the hypocrisy of it, I certainly believe a left leaning individual would take more issue with it than I. I take less issue with it because I never have or will vote Labour. I am certainly not left leaning politically, yet remain adamant that there is a fairer society out there for all of us! Labour are an insignificance to me. I have always believed "New" Labour to be more in line with champagne socialists than the real deal. If I was a grass roots Labour supporter I would be absolutely livid, but thankfully I am not!

My issue with Labour today is formed because of yet another move of utter hypocrisy on their part. Few Irish citizens have not heard Pat Rabitte, or some back bencher looking to make a name for him or herself, speak of the awful media and their biases, and more recently how the supposed devil incarnate Denis O Brien was taking over the media landscape in Ireland and how we are all going to become mere brainwashed slaves of his radio waves as he yearns for world domination. I am sure most of us have heard those kind of dramatic ramblings of Labour members, both prominent and local. Today, it was for that very reason that I listened with absolute horror to Fergus Finlay (Labour member & Barnardos CEO) highjack the Sunday Show on Newstalk, joined no less by Ruairi Quinn (Labour Minister for Education), Donal Donovan (Ex Deputy Director of the IMF and unashamed advocate of anything to do with protecting vested interests like his fellow professors in UL), Johnny Fallon a political commentator and writer and Independent TD Catherine Murphy. Out of that group, we had one advocate for a No vote versus four advocates for a Yes. What made it even worse was that it was chaired by a Labour member and an ex prominent figure in Irish politics. Balance went out the window of Digg's Lane studio whilst Fergus (a man whom I have enormous respect for) allowed Donal and Ruairi dominate the conversation and speak about the treaty like they were passing a note around the back of class and not looking to make a significant and permanent change to the constitution of our great nation.

I grew increasingly frustrated as members of a party, who only recently were throwing their toys out of the pram about media biases and agendas, highjacked a very popular show on one of my favourite radio stations to push their agendas and their biases. We heard moronic references to "good housekeeping" and "living within our means". Labour know well that if that's all this treaty contained it would be ratified in the morning. Whatever about the incident this morning and disregarding Labours insignificance to me personally it did fill me with a huge sense of disappointment and resentment. Here is a party, quite clearly using a Denis O Brien (their supposed arch nemesis) station to push mistruths and exaggerations onto an already confused public. This is the same party who rolled out Emer Costello at the Labour party conference to speak quite dogmatically about the "undemocratic" nature of the protest which took place outside the front doors of their conference this year. Never mind that Connolly, the parties founder, would have supported those outside the building more-so than those inside, never mind that everyone has a democratic right to protest, here was a woman who wasn't even democratically elected as an MEP lecturing the Irish nation on the importance of democracy? Here is a party who lied to the electorate a mere twelve months ago, promising Labours way and a nice trip up a fruit filled garden path. The same man who still leads the Labour pretenders now compares a No vote in the treaty to the awful situation in Greece, an obvious and transparent lie, seeing as though Greece is a country already after ratifying the fiscal compact and does not need a referendum like us. 

So to summarise Labour; here we have a party who have lied profusely to get into government now asking that we trust them. They tell us Ireland will have soup kitchens like Greece if we vote no, a choice of words quite clearly aimed at the less well off and those struggling. Ironically these are the very people who Connolly stood for and died for, yet now the new Labour leader feels he should scare for his own political interest. Here we have a party where undemocratically appointed MEP's feel the right to lecture democracy. Here we have a party who are anti Media agendas and biases, well at least until it suits their agenda and bias. In 2012, here we have a Labour party of pretenders. Never in their history have Labour stood for less than what they should stand for. James Connolly will be turning in his grave today as his memory is "cherished" by those who have quite clearly forgotten alot about him and his legacy.

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