Green Minister

John Gormley was “too busy” to meet TaraWatch campaigner’s yesterday, apparently. Too busy to save Ireland’s heritage, or listen to new evidence concerning archeological finds on the route, too busy to offer hope that his predecessor’s decisions might be reversed. Too busy to send a representative down to meet them? Too busy to do anything? Or was it just that he felt he might be pelted with eggs (organic of course)?

Green Party and Tara = Try A Partner Agenda

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Take me to your leader…

It’s all there in the words, you just had to look before the election to know the real outcome…

Anagrams

LABOUR PAT RABBITTE = Babbler. Tart Utopia.  

FIANNA FAIL BERTIE AHERN = Entail Hibernia Fanfare 

TREVOR SARGENT GREEN PARTY = Got Perverts, Arrange Entry
Of course, if John Gormley becomes leader, then it’ll be
JOHN GORMLEY GREEN PARTY = Jog Her Orgy, Permanently. I don’t know who she is, but it’ll be a party to remember!

SINN FEIN GERRY ADAMS = Grinners Fade, May Sin 

FINE GAEL ENDA KENNY = Needing A Fan Keenly. Or…Needing A Fanny Leek 

PDS MARY HARNEY = Shy, Merry Panda

All apt, all so true. Next time, before the elections start, I will throw out a few anagrams to predict the true outcome.

Greens on Planet Bertie

John the Gormless himselfJohn Gormless, gripping onto his podium to stop himself falling over with laughter

It is hard to credit now, but the Greens were saying some classic things about Bertie Ahern just a couple of months ago. Sure, they’d almost have you convinced that there was no way they’d ever go into government with them, would they? But it was all just a game, a rare old spoof. I just didn’t realise how hilariously satirical and funny the Greens were until I took another look at their speeches. It is all there. The convictions, the policies, the determination to rid the world of FF. But, you see, it was all a smokescreen. They were just playing hard to get.

Take some choice quotes from John Gormley’s speech at the 2007 Green convention (the full text is here: John Gormley’s 2007 Green Convention Speech) “…the PDs and Fianna Fáil…they live on another planet. It’s called Planet Bertie. And Planet Bertie is a very strange place… On Planet Bertie you can sign blank cheques – because everyone does it, apparently. On Planet Bertie you can spend the average industrial wage on make-up. On Planet Bertie you can get loans from people – that you don’t have to pay back. On Planet Bertie you can save €50,000 – without a bank account. And on Planet Bertie, climate change doesn’t exist. All that stuff is made up by Trevor Sargent. On Planet Bertie there’s a strange cult called Fianna Fáil, a type of religion without vision or values; and every year in August they go on their annual pilgrimage to one of their sacred sites, the tent at the Galway races, where they pay homage to their gods and the gods bestow them with gifts for doing their bidding. Oh yes, it’s a strange place Planet Bertie. So strange and so alien to our sensibilities, that it’s a planet that we Greens would like to avoid. For let there be no doubt, we want Fianna Fáil and the PDs out of Government. ” (My italics) Ah, but you’re cute John, there was doubt. Silly me for thinking differently.

He goes on: “We will introduce the strictest ethical standards ever seen in this country. We will curb spending not just at election time but between elections. We will severely cap personal donations and ban corporate donations.” Eh, well, you won’t. Ahem. No mention of that in your programme for government John, you must have forgotten that one.

He follows that up with another pledge: “One area where inequality is so visible in our society is in the health service. Any society where medical treatment is given the basis of the person’s ability to pay and not on medical need is a sick society – a society in need of healing. We reject the two tiered health system, which has been further entrenched by tax incentives for private hospitals on public land. ” Right, so letting Mary Harney back into the health ministry will stop that happening then, will it? You must have changed your mind on that one John. When was that then?

And then, hilariously, he nails it on the head: “But in reality we won’t be guaranteeing anything unless we’re in government. We want to be in government. We see ourselves as a party of government but, we are also an unusual Party in that we are a Party of conviction with conviction politicians. Prospective coalition partners need to know this. If they are into power for power’s sake, or if it is just about gimmicks and hype, then they should think again about knocking on our door. But if they are serious about providing a better society then they will find in the Green Party dynamic dependable people who want to provide this society with better leadership. ” Conviction politics? Is this for real? I would fall over laughing if it wasn’t so serious.  

Destruction of Tara landscape

tara.gif

So just why did Dick Roche approve the destruction of an archeological site near Lismullen on the route of the proposed M3 motorway on his last day in office? And why are the Greens not reversing it immediately? John Gormley is quoted as saying he can’t do anything about his predecessor’s decisions. Oh, really? That is quite possibly the most limp-wristed, yellow-bellied reply imaginable. If he wanted to reverse that decision, he could. The clue is in what Eamonn Ryan is quoted as saying today: “That was a decision of the last Government,” he said. “This is a new Government.”  Oh my, what sophisticated reasoning!

Let’s face it. They could do something about it, but won’t. Because they signed into government and agreed to leave the M3 motorway plans intact. And Minister Roche signed the order because it got the Green’s off the awkward scenario of having to sign the order themselves. That is a cynical betrayal of those who voted Green to make a difference on the M3 and represents the most grevious betrayal of our cultural environment and heritage for years. And sophistry and rhetoric won’t get them off the hook. Shame.

tara_m3_route_400.jpg

Proposed Route with Archeological Sites in dots

Ten questions for the Greens

Green Party members Eamon Ryan, Dan Boyle and (right) Ciaran Cuffe outside the Green Party office in Dublin city yesterday. (From Irish Independent)

Ten questions that need answering before you step into bed with FF:

1) Will Shannon flyovers be curtailed or stopped? The renditioning of prisoners is being facilitated by the (neutral) Irish government. Can you be a part of that disgrace?

2) Have you secured concrete assurances that Ireland will begin to honour its Kyoto commitments about carbon emissions, without buying dubious carbon credits?

3) Will the M3 motorway through the Tara-Skyrne valley be stopped and a more sensible route chosen, or do you intend watching over the desecration of sacred, irreplaceable land?

4) What changes will be made to Transport 21 in order to make it deliver basic public transport services for Dublin and our other major cities?

5) Will you support a government with Mary Harney as Health minister, who favours the building of private hospitals on public land?

6) When Jackie-Healy Ray carts off millions of euro in – let’s face it – bribes to support your new government, who will be accountable for this blatant squandering of public money, this pork-barrel politics?

7) What money have you secured for extra discretionary spending on the environment, to set up the parks for Dublin you’ve proposed and the cycle-lanes, clean water, and so on?

8 ) What powers do you have to clean up corrupt governance in Ireland when you are shaking hands with the most cunning and devious of them all?

9) What do you say to the many Green voters who voted for your party with the express understanding that you were being elected to get rid of Fianna Fail? Will you apologise? What will you do when your vote halves at the next election?

10) Okay, so you enter government knowing you’re entering a pact with the devil. Will you at least listen to that Dalkey sage, Chris De Burgh, father of the ex-miss World etc, who says “Don’t pay the ferryman, until he gets you to the other side”? Huh?

Umbrella Action Day

There’s a great picture at the front of today’s Irish Independent newspaper of John Gormley holding a brolly at yesterday’s demonstration on Sandymount beach. (There’s even one on page 7 of the Irish Times, but I cannot access the online version.) This is an extremely serious issue – climate change – and it’s good to see some publicity for it. I applaud Oisin Coghlan of Friends of the Earth for his part in it.

But…we all know why Mr. Gormley is featured on the front page, and it has nothing to do with a nice day out at the beach or climate change. It is because the Greens are on the verge of going into government for the first time ever. If the Greens enter government with Fianna Fail next week without a firm commitment from them over climate change, then they’re wasting their time and their supporter’s vote. I voted Green in the election, but only on the basis that they’d get Fianna Fail out. I’d be prepared to accept a coalition, however, if I saw that it made a real difference.

Climate Change is not about wishy-washy, fringe politics: it should be centre-stage in any debate about the future of mankind (along with hunger and poverty). And if the Greens don’t negotiate on that basic principle, then they’re selling themselves out. I’d personally put the M3 Tara issue, Shannon, and proper public transport on my “absolute minimum” list of requirements for government too. I would never vote Green again if those issues are not addressed in the life-time of next government if they play a part.