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Labour TD says party has 'ceded too much ground to the right-wing point of view'

Joanna Tuffy has said that the party has “ceded too much ground” in coalition with Fine Gael.

Joanna Tuffy (left) with Labour leader Eamon Gilmore and TD Ciarán Lynch (File photo)
Joanna Tuffy (left) with Labour leader Eamon Gilmore and TD Ciarán Lynch (File photo)
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A LABOUR PARTY TD has admitted that the party has lost some of its core principles in government and has “ceded too much ground to the right wing point of view”.

Joanna Tuffy, who represents Dublin Mid-West, made her comments in an interview with The University Times magazine in which she also agreed that the party has become less democratic in recent years.

Asked if Labour’s core principles have been lost, she said: “I suppose in some ways they have… I think we have ceded too much ground to the right wing point of view. We have a good influence in terms of ideas, but I think we have ceded too much ground.”

Tuffy also agreed that some of the criticism of the party’s role in coalition government is justified but said that the scale of cuts would be worse were it not for Labour being in government.

“I can sympathise with some of it,” she said of the criticism. “But if we weren’t in government it would be worse.

“Labour would have an influence on many of the good things being done by this government. One good thing would be the decision to keep basic social welfare rates the same.”

She said that the party’s hands have been “tied by the programme for government” pointing to the commitment not raise income tax as one that Fine Gael “are digging their heels in on”.

Tuffy also agreed that the party has become less democratic and that the decision to reject a number of motions critical of the party from being included on its conference agenda is stifling debate.

“There’s no doubt that there is tension between people at the top who want to manage the conference, and the members,” she said.

Labour’s annual conference takes place in Killarney on 29 and 30 November.

You can read the full interview on The University Times >

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Hugh O'Connell

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