Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Youth vs age in the Irish Labour Party

I heard a perceptive sociological analysis of the tensions that will be manifesting themselves right now within the Irish Labour Party and especially within the parliamentary party.

The old stagers will be saying to themselves: this is the last chance I'll get to be in government before I retire. It’s now or never.

The young guard, which will include a good number of their first-time TD’s, will be saying to themselves: if Gilmore sups with the devil, we'll be slaughtered at the next general election. I'll be a one-time-only TD.  Lets go into opposition now; then come the next general election we'll have clean hands and can win even more seats at the expense of Fine Gael discredited by hammering the population to bail out the bankers. By that time I'll have enough experience to be in the running to be a minister.


  1. Are you suggesting politicians are sometimes cynical Pete?

  2. Actually Noggin I'm not. Ha ha you say. But I really mean it. Politicians actually take up that trade because they want to make a difference. And to feel important and any number of other complicated motives that afflict all humans. A few might see it as way to line their pockets though it’s actually quite a hard way to earn a living. And each group that I've mentioned will believe that the best way they can make the sort of difference they want, is by, in the one case, joining the coalition, in the other, not.

  3. " Politicians actually take up that trade because they want to make a difference."

    I think there is a case for rephrasing that slightly, for a significant minority of politicians:

    "Politicians actually take up that trade because they want to be important."