Is Left Right?

An article that should hopefully spark a bit of debate as it’s been a slow week.

Maynooth is, and has been a predominately left wing University since
its boom period of the 1990’s and 2000’s. This is obvious from its
very large Labour Youth support in the society and its large number of
Labour party supporters on the MSU executive committee. During the
last General Election the ULA had a much stronger showing on campus
than both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, but why is this? Is it because
the youth of today want an end to Civil War politics? Judging from an
article in the Print around the time of the General Election this has
at least something to do with it.

Civil war politics has defined our country to this point. You were
either a Fine Gael voter or a Fianna Fail voter, there was no real
alternative available. Despite Labour’s best efforts, the party has
never been able to expect a majority share of Government seats.
However, in recent years support for the party has ballooned,
surpassing the “Spring Tide” golden age of the early 90’s, with its
core support coming from the youth. The left wing ideology of Labour
appeals to a much more liberal and accepting Ireland, but it’s not as
if other parties haven’t tried to do the same. Fianna Fail brought in
“civil partnerships”, have recognised same sex couples and has given
them the same tax reliefs of a married Irish couple. I agree that this
isn’t ideal, but as a supporter of same sex marriages, it is, in my
opinion, a huge step in the right direction.

My problem with the left wing does not come from their ideals, far
from it. In terms of ideology most of my opinions are in line with
liberal left, but their economic policies don’t quite stack up to me.
Their idealistic stance on the economy in the recent election was
laughable at best. Sinn Fein and the ULA’s policies of “not another
red cent” in regards the banks were ridiculous, naive and a desperate
attempt to get votes. How could they possibly believe that letting the
Irish banking sector collapse was the best plan of action? How did
they think our friends in the EU would react when we told them we
weren’t going to repay the loans? We are in the unfortunate position
that we are tied into a single currency and simply can’t let the value
of our currency drop like in Iceland. Large countries such as Germany
have as much of a stake in the Euro as we do and they need to look out
for their interests. Like it or not, Ireland is a part of the EU and
without their help over the last 35 years this country would not be in
the position it is today. An excellent education system, road
infrastructure, public transport system and an…. ahhh…. Functioning
health system. So, despite being in debt to our EU overlords, without
them we would have had nothing to lose.

I have centre left moral views and centre right economic views. What
does that make me? I’ve traditionally been a Fianna Fail voter but in
light of recent events, the Ogra in Maynooth has taken a nose-dive in
popularity. I don’t agree with the economic policies of Labour and
other Left-wing parties, and I don’t agree with Fine Gael’s polices on
moral issues such as abortion and same sex marriage. On polling day I
couldn’t bring myself to vote for either because I don’t believe
either of them share my vision for Ireland’s future.

So, I guess my question is, where does a student sharing my political
views get to have their say in all of this? The Print follows the
political view of whoever is the editor at the time, who, more often
than not, is a Labour supporter, so that’s out. Even here in the
Student Observer there is a tight creative lease regarding what does
or does not get to see the light of day. The centre student appears to
be becoming an endangered species in the University and without our
excellent judgement who will keep the red and blue in check?

-Eden Mclaughlin

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5 thoughts on “Is Left Right?

  1. “Even here in the
    Student Observer there is a tight creative lease regarding what does
    or does not get to see the light of day.”

    Is there? I really don’t think there is tbh.

    The same goes for The Print. I think both outlets will publish most things providing they’re legally sound and don’t breach the rules of decency (homophobic, sectarian etc.)

    The left on campus is a much broader church than Labour. Sinn Féin, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party and the like are all active, and the FEE campaign brought hundreds of students out on multiple occasions, for example in opposition to the Tribunal Taoiseach, but also more recently against Áine Brady, now thankfully unemployed.

  2. We at the Observer generally let what ever is sent to us through as long as it’s not, like what Donal said, sectarian, homophobic, libellous etc. We are generally Left leaning but always encourage debate and discussion from other folk’s.

  3. I think that your view,which seems to be the standard knee jerk liberal one of supporting abortion,gay marriage etc. without ever providing reasons why THEY above others are the pressing issues of our time,is quite ridiculous.Not getting in to the morality of them,but they certainly aren’t pressing issues with 500,000 or so unemployed.All three posts here mention homophobia?I went to an all boys school and had many a gay friend,none of whom were ever subjected to homophobic abuse.Maynooth is a college with a very high and very vocal homosexual population,and I’ve never once seen any of them recieve anything resembling homophobia directed towards them.Surely there are bigger issues?I started college four years ago as a relatively liberal guy,I at the very least was partial to a bit of Chomsky,though I wouldn’t have sworn by it.As I prepare for graduation however,I find myself firmly conservative,socially at least.After witnessing Pro Life people being screamed at and mocked(including two elderly volunteers minding their own business in the Arts Block)by a few loudmouth thugs,some LBGT people(baffingly?What do they have to with pregnancy)tearing up anti-abortion posters regarding the USI referendum as well as the constant vicious slander on anyone who is not Socialist/Labour I’ve come to the conclusion that student politics actually manages to be MORE full of shit than parliamentary politics.Though on the plus side,the electorate is just as ignorant,look no further than the masses who protested against Fees and were shocked that it was actually just a front for people who wanted to riot!

  4. Kev, our mention of homophobia was in relation to our editing policy. Eden claimed that we have a tight creative control, which we actually don’t. We generally publish what ever is sent to us as long as it is presented in a decent manner that hasn’t descended into a hate filled rant or targeted at anyone under the above mentioned areas.

    Just clearing that up. 😀

    -Paudi.

  5. Kev,

    Your argument doesn’t really wash with me. Are you telling me the rights of the individual to live their life as they wish are any less important than their right to employment? We can create jobs by stimulating our economy and in the current climate a lot of people are suffering, but most of these people go out and get jobs to feed their families. Would you deny certain individuals in our country the right to family? In regards to the pro-life campaign, do you think standing outside the arts building and harassing students with pictures of fetuses is really the best way to get your argument across? I can’t express how ignorant your statement “some LBGT people(baffingly?What do they have to with pregnancy)” actually is. The point of allowing gay marriage isn’t just to allow them to say they are married, its to allow them to adopt children, which would encourage same sex female couples to have children using IVF. Do you think same sex couples who choose to have a child can’t have the same complications regarding birth as a male/female partnership? One of the main points of the pro-choice campaign, which might I argue is most certainly not pro-abortion, is to help children who would be born with such crippling disabilities that they would live in pain for a few days and die, to be allowed end their pain. I don’t see how negative experiences with members of the liberal population in Maynooth would change your standing on the issues. Also, this may not be directed at me, but I’m not a socialist. My article makes that fairly clear. Sorry if this seems like I’m being overly harsh towards you, that is not my intention.

    To the Student Observer, thank you for running my article. I was trying to say, as an organization, you are predominately a left one. So, as a result most of the content on the page comes across as left. In my opinion the beauty of politics, is the fact people have different opinions and are passionate enough to defend them. I’m glad to know that you accept the opinions of other students and take them into account as well. I look forward to coming to the defense of the centre student again in the future.

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