Tuesday, November 04, 2008


With over
12,000 teachers and students protesting outside the Dáil last Thursday, the Green Party were forced to put their money where their mouths were in the debate on the Labour Party motion to condemn the Coalition Government’s budget proposals to reduce teacher numbers in schools as an economic measure. Having campaigned in last year’s general election in favour of a reduction in class sizes they reneged on all that and voted with the government in the most dishonest display of any party in recent history. The Greens have now nothing left of any serious policy that may in any way be described as progressive. They are not off the hook yet, though, as they have to humiliate themselves again several times over when the Finance Bill is presented to the Dáil and the arguments begin again on each individual proposal in the Scrooge budget of their discredited government coalition with Fianna Fáil.

It was not a pretty sight in the Dáil as Two-Faced Paul Gogarty stood up to defend what he himself had described as indefensible in an e-mail to the Minister for Education after the publication of the budget only two weeks ago. Deputy Gogarty’s attempts to retain credibility were pathetic as he was forced to eat his words in public and suffer the results of his party’s Faustian deal with Fianna Fáil. A stomach-churning example of venal self-interest triumphing over principles which the Green Party had pledged to uphold within government. Principles which they maintained would justify their presence in the ramshackle coalition cobbled together by Blank-cheque Bertie Ahern in 2007. Sic transit Gloria Mundi. It seems these principles are now as disposable as Party Leader, John Gormley’s, erstwhile opposition to the Boyne valley motorway.

The question now is whether the Greens have the stamina to survive the onslaught of criticism and derision which will descend on them over the next few weeks of debate on the Finance Bill until the Christmas break. With the likelihood that the Budget will not make it through the Dáil before the break and will have to be resumed in the new year with all the same arguments in play again and pressure mounting within the party membership for withdrawal from government, the political outlook for the Greens is extremely bleak. They will be forever associated with their government’s mean attempt to deprive elderly citizens over 70 of their medical services card which their Ministers at the Cabinet Table must have approved at that level, regardless of the subsequent humiliating climbdowns. One of the intriguing sideshows of this public farce is the absolute silence of the once garrulous former Party Leader, Trevor Sergeant, TD, now the Incredible Shrinking Man of the Green Party seemingly quite satisfied with his onions, tomatoes and potatoes as junior in the Agriculture Department.

The Greens have dug a hole for themselves which looks like becoming their permanent residence.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 04 Samhain/November 2008.

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