Where he might be cast aside by some of the better established ‘left of centre’ parties and simply labelled a proponent of traditional free state politics, he is however more of a concern to the people who are literally fighting for change, as his toxic neoliberal views give reason to ignorance and make excuses for a conservative political landscape which is not adapting quick enough to make any difference to the problems we are facing as a society.
The fact that we are facing larger geopolitical issues than ever before, from global conflict, to the extinction of species, to the rise in inequality, global warming, pollution of our oceans, etc is proof enough that the way we do business, and the way we do politics is not working. Quite simply we need change, and gradual change is no longer good enough. This fact alone is proof that the revolution is coming.
Anyone who hinders progress in the growth of the left is blind to this revolution, and most likely they have an invested interest in maintaining the status quo, to maintain their wealth position, because they’re not psychologically prepared to embrace a society built on equality. Without a progressive shift in the way we think, the way we do business, and the way we do politics our planet will die.
Noel denies this with articles such as:
‘Far left’s high profile contrasts sharply with modest electoral reach’ in which he writes;
“They are political minnows in the Irish party system so they lay claim to being part of larger international movements or trends.... their history is one of an inability to work with others and of deep personality conflicts between themselves”
Unquestionably such articles do not go unnoticed. Jill Bryson’s response on July 12th to the Irish Times is a prime example of the fight the left must endure to make change happen. Thankfully the editor of the Times found it worthy of print, whether to patter to a large segment of it's readership or out of respect for Jill we will never know. The following is the letter as it featured:
Sir, – Noel Whelan’s article “Far left’s high profile contrasts sharply with modest electoral reach” (Opinion & Analysis, July 7th) describes the Solidarity-PBP grouping as minnows. The Labour Party has seven seats to Solidarity-PBP’s six. If we combine, as Mr Whelan does in his article, Solidarity-PBP’s seats with those of the Independents 4 Change grouping and other left-wing TDs, the left comfortably outnumbers Labour.
Yet Noel Whelan does not call Labour small fish or “fringe deputies”.
The thuddingly dull comparison between Donald Trump and the left, as constant in your newspaper as the Angelus, on the basis of criticism of the mainstream media, is fatuous. It should not need to be said that the basis and method of the left’s critique of certain sections of the media differs ever so slightly from Mr Trump’s lying, egomaniacal Twitter outbursts against CNN.
Your columnist manages class snobbery and reverse class snobbery in the one paragraph, suggesting that the kind of people who vote left are not natural Irish Times readers and, heaven forbid, that some left-wing TDs have the temerity to have been born to middle-class backgrounds. I can assure him that many supporters of the left of all classes read this newspaper, either as its de facto status as the paper of record or as a means to keep abreast of the latest fashionable delusions of the bourgeois hive-mind, of which Noel Whelan is such a stalwart proponent. – Yours, etc,
As per @noelwhelan bio Noel Whelan is a barrister, author, political analyst and columnist with The Irish Times. Unfortunately I could not find a bio for Jill Bryson but I'm pretty sure it reads hero.