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February 2008

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The biggest problem for Labour, in my opinion, is that they have linked so firmly with Fine Gael.

Labour is in a position to be a real campaigning party, highlighting issues of national and international importance. Labour Youth, for example, are active in campaigns such as Anti-War, Anti-Coca Cola and (I think) Anti-Nestle.

The (Senior) Labour Party, as Ireland's largest socialist group, should be positioning itself as an effective radical organisation which is capable of seeing the changes that Irish society needs, and then achieving them.

Fine Gael, on the other hand, has seen the success of Fianna Fail, and decide to focus on being the same, but different. Fine Gael's attempts to position themselves as a party who would do exactly what Fianna Fail do, but without the waste, corruption, or whatever the buzz-word of the week is, have left them in a very weak position. They highlight what Fianna Fail has done wrong, or failed to achieve, without having any proposals on what they would do.

Together with the Mullingar Accord strategy, this has served to almost neutralise any claim to difference that Labour have; while they are still "Left-wing", they are the left-wing of a centrist party which is struggling to find an identity of its own.

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