Richard Boyd Barrett condemns Howlin’s attacks on the left

11th May 2016

PBP TD condemns Howlin and Labour’s pathetic attacks on the left and denial about its own responsibiIMG_0583lity for Labour’s electoral melt-down.

Labour owe the public an apology for the homeless crisis and their litany of broken promises

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for AAA-People Before Profit Alliance, has condemned former Minister Brendan Howlin and the Labour Party for comments made this morning on RTE’s Morning Ireland radio programme.

Deputy Boyd Barrett described Deputy Howlin’s attacks on AAA-PBP as “pathetic and dishonest,” and said that the Labour party and Deputy Howlin were in “arrogant denial of their own responsibility for Labour’s electoral melt-down” at the recent general election.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the Labour Party owed the public and those that voted for them in 2011, an unconditional apology for their betrayal of election promises and, in particular, for their direct responsibility for the homelessness and housing crisis.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said it was totally incredible that Labour could describe others on the left as being undemocratic, when it was the Labour party, who broke solemn electoral pledges made in the 2011 election on issues such as water charges, student fees, burning bondholders and protecting vulnerable sections of society from the impact of austerity.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said also that it was truly unbelievable that the Labour Party or Deputy Howlin should condemn protesting and street campaigning, when its founder’s James Connolly and James Larkin, had been among Ireland’s greatest proponents and champions of mass street mobilisation.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “Brendan Howlin’s comments this morning, and more generally the public statements of leading Labour Party figures since the general election, are both disgraceful and entirely pathetic. The Labour Party is in complete denial about their own responsibility for their electoral melt-down in the recent general election.

Brendan Howlin and all of the Labour Party TD’s should be apologising to the public and their former voters for their litany of broken promises and, in particular, for their direct responsibility for the housing and homelessness crisis.

To attack People Before Profit and the AAA as being undemocratic simply beggars belief, when the reason that Labour received a hiding from the electorate is precisely because of the contempt they showed for democracy by breaking solemn electoral pledges they had made to the public in the election campaign of 2011.

They promised not introduce water charges, not to increase student fees, not to impose any more pain on the vulnerable and they betrayed every one of the promises as soon as they entered government.

It is the Labour Party’s lack of respect for democracy and their lack of humility that caused their electoral down-fall – to blame others on the left, who have stuck to their principles and promises really is totally outrageous.

It is particularly ironic and pathetic, a couple of days away from the anniversary of James Connolly’s execution, that the party Connolly founded should now denounce street protest as undemocratic. James Connolly and James Larkin, who founded the Labour Party, were Ireland’s greatest champions and advocates of people power and street protest, as a means to challenge injustice and campaign for progressive change in society.

Brendan Howlin’s comments  and the utter arrogance displayed by the Labour Party, both before and after the general election, show just how  much the Labour party has degenerated  and departed from the political traditions of Connolly and Larkin.”