The Labour Party Outline Policy: Health, Social Welfare
Organisation: Labour
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

16th October 2017

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This document joins others outlining policy from the Irish Labour Party at the beginning of the 1970s. The fact that Health and Social Welfare are combined largely under the same heading is interesting. However the Labour Party argues ‘that the community has the responsibility of providing a free medical health service for all citizens without distinction’. It also dismisses the ‘conservative government now in power which proposes to introduce free choice of doctor without fee for some 30% of the population. It does not accept responsibility for providing the middle income group with similar facilities’. The document is strongly in favour of community health care and is quite comprehensive addressing geriatric care, mental health and research. In terms of funding it supports expenditure funded by the state and is against ‘flat insurance based schemes’ due to their lack of redistributive effect.

Similarly with social welfare the party argues that ‘the role of social services is central to any democratic socialist programme’. And it continues ‘the objective of this social welfare policy is to secure for each person a basic standard of living in terms of income and services, thereby eliminating poverty from society’.

It argues for a Social Fund and a Department of Social Development which would be responsible for co-ordination of social services.

Notable is the unabashed language of democratic socialism.

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  • By: Paddy Healy Mon, 16 Oct 2017 03:38:44

    I participated in the discussions leading to the production of this document. Earlier Labour Leader Brendan Corish had told an annual conference (1967? 1968?)-“Coalition Never Again-The seventies Will be Socialist” People to-day reading the document will find it hard to believe that 1 year later the no coalition policy was reversed at the 1970 Annual Conference following the 1969 election.As a leading opponent of the reversal of policy I was elected to the national executive with the support of the left wing of the Young Socialists. I defeated Pat Carroll, husband of Joan Burton, from the capitulatory wing of the YS. I was expelled at the first meeting
    The period is covered badly in Niamh Puirséil’s book. Her material is unduly influenced by Barry Desmond who advocated a return to coalition. (I am actually called by the wrong name in the book- I was given the wrong footnote in history!!!!!)
    The dreadful political deeds of Cruise 0’Brien,, Dick Spring, Pat Rabitte, Eamonn Gilmore and Joan Burton flow from this reversal of the anti-coalition policy in 1970.

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  • By: EWI Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:43:46

    In reply to Paddy Healy.

    I was expelled at the first meeting

    Just out of interest Paddy, what manoeuvre was used to expel you?

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  • By: Paddy Healy Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:36:27

    I had called for an Alternative 32 county Labour Party in the Connolly Tradition unless the Labour Party reversed its decision on coalition.. Noel Browne had also walked out in Cork.The Executive decided that this call “self-excluded” me. Guess who was in the chair siitting beside Gen Sec Brendan Halligan at the NEC(AC) meeting? Roddy Connolly!!! As I left the meeting, I looked him straight in the face and said;”You are a disgrace to your father’s memory”
    Nora Connolly, who was not at the meeting, supported my view
    Halligan is now attacking Irish neutrality on behalf of all the Irish Banks, several foreign banks and international consultants to the multi-nationals, through the so-called Institute for International and EUropean Affairs which claims to be non-political.
    We have Ex CIA Expert Ray McGovern speaking at a public meeting on the threat of war next Thursday
    From Roger Cole Peace and Neutrality Alliance
    US-Russia Military Tension Highest Since Cuban
    Missile Crisis
    SPEAKER: Ray McGovern
    (Former CIA Presidential Briefer/Russian Expert)
    Thursday 19 October 7.00 pm
    The Pearse Centre, 27Pearse St, Dublin 2 Organised by IAWM and PANA
    (there is an earlier meeting in Leinster House for Oireachtas members at 11 on Thursday morning.

    Brendan Halligan won’t be there though even Brendan Howlin purports to support Irish Military Neutrality!!!!!

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  • By: EWI Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:15:55

    In reply to Paddy Healy.

    Hi Paddy, thanks for that. As for this:

    Halligan is now attacking Irish neutrality on behalf of all the Irish Banks, several foreign banks and international consultants to the multi-nationals, through the so-called Institute for International and EUropean Affairs which claims to be non-political.

    I entirely agree. What to do about it, though? Most of the Irish public is inundated with Anglo-American militarism propaganda, how to counter?

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  • By: Paddy Healy Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:11:43

    In reply to EWI.

    Please get as many as possible to come to th Ray McGovern Talk. It is part of a strong initiative in defence of Irish neutrality by PANA led by Roger Cole(For 30?years). Taking advantage of the complete powerlessness of Ireland, The Franco-German Alliance is increasingly pressurising the 26-county government to integrate into the military side of their alliance and to abandon military neutrality. Joining the changed operation Sophia in the mediterranean was a further capitulation by Ireland. Now the Irish Chhief of Staff is being gven a top European Military position. Roger Cole will outline the campaign shortly. I represent WUAG on the National Committee of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance.
    Halligan in his opinion peace in the Irish Times said that Ireland would be in a very weak economic position shortly because of Brexit and therefore we shoul abandon neutrality as payment for a new rescue. But a more certain threat is the determination of the european powers to have the greater part of the 7.5 billion in tax paid to the Irish Exchequer paid to the exchequers of all EU members instead. The EU powers are no longer concerned about the 12.5% rate. They will decide what tax rates multinational pay on their sales and other activities in their countries. In my view this is a more certain threat to the Irish economy than Brexit, which may never happen because a big section of UK Capitalism is opposed to it for their own reasons.
    It is vital that the PANA campaign be supported

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  • By: CL Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:15:45

    In reply to Paddy Healy.

    “If you are open to the grace of honest inquiry and the risk of following the historical Jesus in confronting the evils of empire, this rigorously argued book is a MUST READ,” blurbs the former CIA analyst-turned Christian progressive leader Ray McGovern on the cover of Griffin’s third book, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11. Published in 2006, Christian Faith starts by laying out his case that the government’s official account of 9/11 is false.”

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  • By: Paddy Healy Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:42:00

    In reply to Paddy Healy.

    The PANA Campaign will be significant. a number of Dáil deputies, including Seamus, and a number of senators are committed to it and a number of trade unions also

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:15:24

    In reply to CL.


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  • By: O'Connor Lysaght Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:54:43

    Two points, friends. Firstly, Labour’s No Coalition policy was not reversed at the 1970 Annual Conference; It was reversed at a Special Conference held at Cork the following December, originally called to discuss policy on what was then the EEC, but then having its subject changed to one of coalition. A number of our fellow anti-coalition delegates believed that had Noel Browne not precipitated a work out,, Coalition might have been defeated. I am not so sure.
    Anyway, Paddy, you were elected to the AC at the subsequent (Galway) Annual Conference in February ’71, before being booted off it. The rest is history.
    Secondly, to abandon pedantry, and indulge in a call for action, it is important to recognise that the threat to our neutrality comes from both the EU and from proposals to leave the EU to keep ‘our biggest (national) market’, Britain. If we simply stay in the union we will be under pressure to join its prospective army; but if we become, as it were, the pig in the middle between UK and USA, we will be under pressure to join NATO, far more a basic state power (people under arms than the EU is, as yet. this has to be recognised; neutrality in or out of the EU must be our slogan.

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  • By: Paddy Healy Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:17:23

    Thanks for the historical correction Rayner. Has anybody else published a book on this period except Purseil?
    Now that you remind me……In Cork it was our intention to walk out AFTER WE WERE DEFEATED ON THE VOTE AND WE HAD BOOKED THE ROOM FOR THE MEETING in the hotel. However as a final appeal was being made by the leadership to return to coalition before the vote, Noel Browne and his close followers jumped up and walked out and we felt we had no choice but to join him!!! Nobody will blame us for believing that Noel’s timing was chosen to upstage us. This is particularly so as Noel was never opposed to coalition in Principle

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  • By: O'Connor Lysaght Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:53:00

    In reply to Paddy Healy.

    I think it is probably in various coalitionist memoirs (B.Desmond, CCOB, et al),. Browne explained his walkout later as inspired, variously, by his need to catch a train and his need to have a pee. From his facial and body language when walking out, I thought he was being seriously political, if in what was a rather typical incompetent initiative.The Cork conference was, by the way, the result of the party leadership centre joining the right on the excuse that Charlie Haughty and mates might have been trying to get guns to supply the anti-imperial resistance in NI. The right (Tully, et al.) had, of course, been for coalition since the ’69 election. How far the centre were playing a double game before the arms crisis I don’t know. Immediately, the best of luck with the Pana meeting. You might drop by to Liberty Hall beforehand (5 pm) to get a copy of the prospective launchee, ‘Labour Lives in the Ywentieth Century.’

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  • By: Paddy Healy Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:17:54

    Thanks Rayner. Among us we sometimes had a conversation about Noel Browne. “Is he just totally naive or is he the cutest of them all” He was never against coalition in principle. he had the view that reformers should enter coalition with capitalist parties but should be prepared to pull the plug at an advantageous time. The biggest problem with implementing this strategy was that he insisted on telling this to the conservative parties iIN ADVANCE . Was he trying to ensure that he would never again be accepted into coalition after Clann na Poblachta and “The Inter Party Governmen”
    Excuse my ignorance but what is “‘Labour Lives in the Ywentieth Century.’

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  • By: Paddy Healy Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:51:00

    In reply to Paddy Healy.

    I thought the book to be launched might have been on the occasion of Jack O’Connors imminent retirement “Labour Still (Barely) lives Despite My Best Efforts”And we used to give out about Mickey Mullen!!!!!

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  • By: O'Connor Lysaght Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:28:02

    In reply to Paddy Healy.

    Correction: ‘Labour Lives in the 20th Century.’ (Lives to rhyme with dives, not gives). As to Browne, I think it was naivety, bolstered by a belief in himself as a master player. As you remarked (to quote an earlier reformist than Browne), you don’t say these things, you just do them. Dick Spring would prove quite competent in this.

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