My Photo

Blog powered by Typepad


« How Middle is the Middle Class? | Main | Market Choices For the People »

November 26, 2006


Gerry O'Quigley

A very interesting reading of Lemass. The 'Bargain' re-solidified the hegemony of Fianna Fáil after its grasp of power was faltering a little in the first few years after the war. FF stopped going on about land redistribution and the Irish language and created a rudimentary welfare state to gain the loyalty of the bulk of the urban working class.

This is a simplified version of the Bew and Patterson thesis which, I think, holds up quite well. FF under Lemass effectively reivented itself as a quasi social democratic party. Or at least it fused its nationalist and populist elements with policies that were acceptable to many people who might otherwise have voted in a more labourist way. FF's grip only started to weaken again when such Keynesian welfare state strategies were no longer possible in a very changed climate by the 1980s.

The comments to this entry are closed.