12 Jul 2009

I haven't had the pleasure

Noticed the following comment about my severe worries about the Irish Green Party on

'He's also a good friend of Patricia McKenna if I'm not mistaken, so his stance is probably not completely that of a neutral bystander, that said... '

Yes you are mistaken

I have never had the pleasure of meeting Patricia Mckenna, however I am not really 'a neutral bystander' in that I have been a member of the Green Party for 30 years, well in fact back to 1979 when it was the Ecology Party, so although my analysis may be wrong, it is based on a long standing concern with Green politics.

I tend to agree with what I have heard about Patricia McKenna's analysis of the Irish Green Party but no she is not someone I know personally.

I am certainly supportive of Green Parties anywhere when they do good green stuff, Croydon Green Parties work opposing incinerators comes to mind and I am very happy with all the good work done by the UK's two excellent Green Party MEPs.

But you can't just say in politics, my party is always right and all the other parties are always wrong....and who would take me seriously when I praise Greens when they do good if I didn't criticise when they did bad.

More positively if you have any links for real green politics in Ireland, mail them to me and I will publicise...


Eoin said...

"you can't just say in politics, my party is always right and all the other parties are always wrong"

No doubt, you can point to some good stuff the Irish Green Party have achieved in coalition then.

Derek Wall said...

Well if John Gormley was to get down to Tara and chain himself to a bulldozer....

Eoin said...

Then he would be chained to a bulldozer.

Derek Wall said...

I know its a bit radical but I support opposition to motorway building and oppose action defending motorway construction.

This has, until innovations, by John Gormley been the Green Party position.

Anonymous said...

Derek, you are a naïve and unrealistic fundi. It is good that you at least appreciate the good work done by Caroline and Jean in the EP but if GPEW is to be successful, it needs to leave people like you in the past. The Irish Greens mis-adventure in government is not - as you claimed - damaging for the Green movement internationally. Having fundi loolahs like you sniping from the sidelines on the other hand is.

Derek Wall said...

well look if the Irish Green Party had stopped the motorway, improved the bus service and greened Ireland I would be the first to celebrate...I know compromises have to be made and yes you may think I am too fundamentally to be effective.

However nobody sees the Irish Green Party's record as one of success, you can dismiss me it doesn't matter, Irish voters have dismissed you.

Its been a disaster.

Anonymous said...

Derek, you seem to have an extremely blinkered view on their time in government. I opposed the Greens going into government with Fianna Fáil and feel vindicated.

However, the motorway near Tara (which seems to be your main criticism) was a done deal before they entered government. Environment minister Gormley has changed the rules, so the same thing will not happen again...so in a sense, your biggest criticism, is in fact a Green party success.

It is also only a single-issue and, as such, marginal to the Green party's agenda. They have delivered crucial reforms to planning laws and sped up Ireland's transition to a more sustainable energy situation.

I think they should have left after the Irish budget debacle in December last year, when they were caught with their pants down. However, they have actually surprised me (a Green supporter who opposed their participation in an FF government) with what they have achieved.

Certainly, infinitely more than GPEW has ever done! I would restate that external sniping like yours does much more damage to the Green movement internationally.

Anonymous said...

Can I judge from your non-response that you concur?

And btw, I still want the Greens to leave this government, although I think they are too late.

Derek Wall said...

well we will agree on their need to leave....even senior Greens said it would be a disaster and it has been.

Green arrangements with the SNP or Ken Livingstone provide a better model, I appreciate that any coalition in Ireland at present is likely to involve FG or FF, hardly green or progressive parties but I do think the whole episode has been a disaster...a predictable one.

The PDs are extinct as a political party having governed with FF and the Greens sadly are likely to become extinct as well.

I think you are in danger of killing messengers here...

Anonymous said...

Derek, I am also a messenger.

The difference between your message and mine, is that I really want the Green Party to survive in Ireland - your type of message just condemns them. Therefore, I don't engage in attempts to snipe and sling mud. I acknowledge the experience has had a positive impact in speeding-up the implementation of Green policies in Ireland. I also note that my fears of being swallowed up by FF were justified.

You however, are falling into the trap of senseless mud-slinging. Blaming the Greens for stuff that wasn't their fault and wasn't even a core policy. Its also worth remembering that, until December 2008, they were not even essential for a government majority.

You have already done the damage anyway, by feeding the Irish anti-Green trolls. Thanks for that. If the Irish Greens disappear from the landscape, which will be an unmitigated disaster for Ireland, you can at least be satisfied that you played a small role in that.

I, on the other hand, still think the party is worth saving...particularly in a country where 80-85% of the elected politicians are from centre-right parties (Labour included).

Derek Wall said...

Its been a disaster, look at all the Green campaigners in Ireland who hate the Green Party....the Tara campaign have banned Green Party members from their site....look at all the Green Party members who have left.

The coalition has made a lot more difficult to advance green policies in Ireland.

I think Caroline Lucas made the point very well stating
I'm not saying that the decision to go into coalitions is always right, or that Greens in coalitions always make the right decisions - the example of Ireland shows what happens when they get it wrong. But they have the potential, at least, to be effective.'


Any way trying to persuade me of the virtues for the irish green party at present is a little like trying to persuade me that cats can sing opera...I am just not convinced.

Derek Wall said...

if people had made loud noises about the looming disaster it might not have happened...If I am to blame for anything, its not being more critical of the slide of the irish green party away from green politics that has infolded over a number of years.