Fabian social democracy had a major influence on the British Labour Party. The economic crisis of the 1970s and the Conservative victories in the 1980s created an opening for the extreme left. They demanded revolutionary socialism, They wanted the UK to pull out of NATO and support for any tyrant who happens to be anti-western. Their policies made Labour less likely to defeat the Conservatives.
New Labour returned to the defence and foreign policies of former Labour governments. They opposed all communist and fascist dictatorships. New Labour rejected revolution and supported the agenda of reform. The Blair and Brown governments made Labour electable again. Extreme free market dogma was hard to challenge in this era. New Labour went along with Conservative economic politics.
New Labour was a child of its time we are in a new era now. Our present economic crisis gives Labour the strength to rebuild a mixed market economy. A social democratic strategy today should learn from the past. It can’t live in the past. Labour today needs to continue to support democracy at home and abroad. They need to support a Keynesian solution to the economic crisis today.
I think President Higgins is doing a great job. His criticism of present European economic policy is timely. I think he is giving voice to what the majority of people are thinking.
I am sorry on a personal level to hear of the passing of the former junior minister Dick Barry. He lived a long life serving the people. The Fine Gael convention to replace Richard Dempsey was changed as a mark of respect. Fergal Cronin, Brian Hyde, Frank Roche and Eddie Ward are seeking to vacant council seat. Best of luck you are dedicated to public service and democracy.
John o Brien.