The Sunday Times.
So “never been elected to anything” Paul Murphy MEP, is suddenly an authority on Labour voters (Sunday Times 3rd June) and the Labour Party. For the record, as a member of Dublin City Council since 1993, the voters of Ballsbridge have re-elected me in 1999, 2004 and 2009, along with a majority of voters from my own more traditional Local Authority estate. Last time round the voters of this area indeed elected three Labour Councillors out of six.
I suppose they have done so knowing that, unlike Mr Murphy and his colleagues, Rich Boy Barrett or Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald, I did not have the benefit of attending a fee paying school or College or the benefit they and their other colleague Claire Daly and Joe Higgins had in gaining a Third Level education.
Perhaps, the people of this area voted for this working class Labour candidate, and indeed many of my fellow Labour Representatives, because every single day we practice practical social democracy in our work as elected representatives. We do not try and turn every single issue into the pursuit of an outdated and ideologically purist search for a Marxist or Trotskyist utopia – irrespective of the consequences to those we are meant to serve.
I did not have to learn to be working class. I am. Like most genuine working class people I want to make my life and the life of my children and community better. I do not wallow in the poverty and misery of others and seek to benefit from it – though I regret it, oppose it and do everything in my life to change it. It has been my privilege to experience the typical working class life of employment and unemployment, of highs and lows, over the years. My one regret is that, as a product of a genuine working class family, I did not have the opportunity of being able to command access to RTE – our alledged Public Service Broadcaster – that fee paying schools and Third Level college undoubtedly provides. Pity: there I could make the case for real change and not populist vote chasing – but then the populist trendy, pretend concerned, in RTE, don’t want that either.
Councillor Dermot Lacey