The Gist: Labour Leadership, Martin's past

There's an election on, where strange people you've never heard about run for votes from a tiny minority. But first, the Labour Party leadership

The Gist: Labour Leadership, Martin's past

It was a day when a virus started to riddle the public domain, with bottles of hand sanitiser running out in pharmacies, to be replaced by ‘make your own’ kits of medical alcohol, aloe vera and eucolyptus oil. But elsewhere, there were still some political events. Here’s the gist.

The Past is always with us, eh, Michéal?

A Prime Time special on the State’s retraumatising and institutional abuse of victims of instititutional abuse, under cover of providing redress is both timely and timeless. Timely, because it was a reminder that self-described Change-bringer, Michéal Martin was Minister for Health when the plans were set in train (2002, change-lovers).

This prompted the now FF leader to suddenly mull on the events of 18 years ago he’d supported in Cabinet and decide that, on reflection, they might have been a bit of a error, now he thought about it. And, as for indemnifying the religious orders and thereby creating a financial incentive for the state to undermine victims

“in retrospect in my view, that was, that was, that was a mistake at the time”,

But that wasn’t his view at the time, as the Minister for Health and Children, when he voted for a system generally acknowledged to produce atrocious treatment of vulnerable people, by design.

Who says Michéal can’t do Change?

Labour Leaders

Alan Kelly wants to be leader of the Labour Party.

Aodhan Ó Riordáin wants to be leader of the Labour Party.

They both promise they will do everything they can, if elected, to ensure that somebody will have a chance to replace them.

So they’re out saying strange things.

Things like

We are not viewed right now as a competent agent of change, a party ready to solve society’s problems and not culturally relevant. (Kelly)

I want people to look at the Labour Party and say: ‘They are on my side’ (Ó Riordáin)

We haven’t been relevant to the national conversation, we haven’t connected with people outside of our own circle (Kelly)

If people feel we have let them down, then we have. (Ó Riordáin)

Let’s make Labour sexy again (Kelly, disturbingly)

All of which suggests that the years of drift by Labour have not been because the members (at whom all this straight talk is aimed) didn’t understand the party’s problems, but because of the reluctance of now-departed elder Lemon TDs to accept they, personally, ever made any mistakes.

Some sort of theme there.