Just had this comment from Joseph, the FF hit squads are out to get me!
'I was reading a major Irish political blog yesterday and it is apparent that Derek's blog is being followed closely by both supporters and opponents of the Irish Greens. There were some very caustic attacks on Derek by government supporters there.
The Irish Greens at the moment are feeling very defensive and are not taking kindly to criticisms from the Left. They have even objected to Irish people in the Green Party of England and Wales making statements or even commenting on the situation there. The point is that we have every right to do so, and as I have said many times, the actions of the Irish Greens will immpact on Greens here. Green Left organised a fringe meeting at our autumn conference in September with Bronwen Maher, one of the founder members of the party, who resigned in disgust last January. She went through the process of what has happened to the party. At the time we met Bronwen she was a former Independent councillor, having lost her seat in the June elections - all of the Green councillors in Dublin also lost their seats. She has very recently joined the Irish Labour Party but told me that this was a decision she came to only recently. The problem is that she did not have the energy to go about completely starting up a new Green Party in Ireland.
However, there are some in the Irish Green Party who want to do this and the Donegal development seems to be part of that. My information is that about a third of the party membership is deeply disillusioned. And it seems that after they joined government two years ago, they were joined by a fair number of opportunists who have a very different agenda to those who were members for some time. What we are witnessing is a process which happens to many political parties. And it demonstrates the need for constant vigilance and ensuring that power does not become centralised.
Bronwen told me that one of the methods of ensuring loyalty is dispensing jobs with the party machine. This tradition of 'placemen' has a long history in Irish politics and dates back to the 18th century Irish Parliament which was encouraged to vote itself our of existence and pass the Act of Union in 1801 by a combination of bribery and appointments to sinecures.
The current party will suffer terribly at the polls but has made a Faustian pact with Fianna Fail which demands its soul. What remains after the next election is open to speculation. '