Thursday, June 14, 2007
The Green Party were once thought to be too 'flakey' for government. Their insistence on principled stands on issues that mattered to them meant that prior to the present, no one would consider them as coalition partners.
They ran in the recent election on a series of principled stands, and their leader vowed not to enter government with Fianna Fail after the election.
As a result, they garnered many votes from Fine Gael and Labour voters who were intent on seeing Fianna Fail removed from office.
But after ten days of negotiations, during which they were mightily screwed by the Fianna Fail negotiating team, the Greens settled to go into government with them.
What's worse is that they sold out every one of their principled stands in order to gain access to government. What's worse again is that the 500 or so Green Party members who gathered in Dublin yesterday endorsed the deal.
Let's look at the deal:
Hospital co-location (ie giving land owned by the state surrounding state hospitals to Mary Harney's developer pals to build private hospitals on.)
The Greens were bitterly opposed to this, we were told, and were also opposed to Harney continuing as health minister. In their deal with Fianna Fail, the Greens have managed to negotiate that co-location goes ahead and the leader of the two-seat party remains at the cabinet table as health minister!
US rendition flights through Shannon.
The Greens were bitterly opposed to this country continuing to permit US forces to use Shannon as a stopover and refuelling centre for flights involving the kidnap of people, their subsequent torture in third party states, and their transit to illegal incarceration without trial at Guantanamo Bay. In their deal with Fianna Fail, they managed to negotiate that the flights will continue!
The Greens wanted to clean up Irish political parties and put a final end to the culture of brown paper envelopes that has plagued political life in this country. They wanted to introduce a ban on corporate donations and overhaul the funding of political parties.
In their negotiations with Fianna Fail, they managed to gain none of these things, thereby permitting their partners in government to continue with their Galway race tent mode of funding. Well done!
The Greens were bitterly opposed to the development of the M3 as currently envisaged, for the simple reason that it would carve a massive motorway straight through the hill of Tara, Ireland's oldest and most important neolithic site, and one of the most important anywhere in Europe, thereby destroying forever any treasures or excavation that could be done there. The Greens also wanted to review all current roadbuilding plans in favour of looking into better public transport options.
In their negotiations with Fianna Fail, they managed to ensure that all current roadbuilding plans, including the M3, will go ahead. Great work!
Basically, in their lust for power at all costs, the Greens have sold out each and every one of their principles. One wonders whether they actually negotiated during those ten days at all, or merely choked as they swallowed every refusal that Fianna Fail put to them.
Their sell-out will be remembered, perhaps not by the handful of members who endorsed this appalling deal, but by their thousands of voters who will now see the Greens as the latest prop of Fianna Fail, now that the PDs have been all but dispensed with by the electorate.