Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

“Labour should enter unity government to deal with coronavirus” says Cork East TD Seán Sherlock

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The clock is ticking, a new Irish Government has to be put together. For the first time Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael –

two political parties “so much alike as to be almost indistinguishable

Irish Civil War Parties of 1921, must govern together.

But numbers are against them – there are 72 FFFG Teachtaí Dála (TD’s), and 160 seats – 80 at least are needed for a majority.

A group of 8 (perhaps 9) Right Wing Independent Deputies is closing in on an agreement with FFFG, which would create a very slim majority with 80 or 81 seats. https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/nine-independent-tds-form-new-technical-group-for-government-formation-talks-983049.html

Taoiseach Varadkar and FF leader Micheál Martin want a bigger majority, Ministerial Appointments are a juicy carrot. The temptation is too great for one of the six Labour Party Teachtaí Dála Seán Sherlock :

Seán Sherlock supports calls for time limited administration over ‘unprecedented health crisis’
— Read on www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/labour-should-enter-unity-government-to-deal-with-coronavirus-says-party-td-1.4197429

“Given the unprecedented health crisis, its undoubted capacity for escalation, the real fears of people and the likely future need for decisive action, it is time for all of us politicians to show leadership and form a government of national unity.

“We have to think and act collectively to ensure the best outcome to this present challenge.

“It is not feasible to exclude any party from the responsibility to act in the interest of the common good at this time. Covid19 has the potential to be a massive public health emergency in Ireland.

“All aspects of daily life will be affected, necessitating a whole of government response with democratic legitimacy.”

The Cork East TD’s Personal Greed might be too embarrassing for some of colleagues – he names a government department – Seán Sherlock, Minister for Social Protection – that is the target :

Mr Sherlock said that social welfare payments may “need to be dramatically restructured and paid in a different way”, meaning that a “social protection minister with a mandate” may be needed.

Will there also be a job on the 2020 coalition government benches for the new Labour Leader, Alan Kelly or Aodhán Ó Ríordáin? We may be witnessing the death agony of a party founded in 1912 by the revolutionary trade union leaders James Connolly and James Larkin.

Goodbye to the Irish Labour Party – Sunk By Coalition With FFFG

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