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category national | elections / politics | feature author Wednesday June 13, 2007 23:10author by IMC Editorial Report this post to the editors

Greens show their true colours yet again

featured image
He has in his hand a piece of paper
Photo Essay from the Mansion house
"Bailing out Bertie by the Greens"

Anyone wringing their hands over the current deal being wrought between the Green Party and Fianna Fail ought to examine the actual evidence of what the Green Party believes as opposed to what the voters wish they believe. A quick glance at the Indymedia Archives will adequately disillusion you.

May 20 2002 Greens get six seats in the Dail. Commentary on indymedia.ie draws attention to Trevor Sargent's attack on the SP's attempt to stop the bin tax. One cynic suggests that no one ought to be surprised at any Green "betrayal" because the history of the EU Greens was rife with it.

Mar 20 2003 80 People blockade the Dail. Protestors are beaten and dragged by the hair. Green Party TD Paul Gogarty is passed the mic by one of the protest organisers and uses the opportunity to plead that "we" are defeated and that he needs to drive his CO2 emitter home, so "shut up and listen"

April 2nd 2003. Blockade of 1000 at the Dail. Two people hospitalised. Joe Higgins dragged off.

June 10th 2003. Ciaran Cuffe steps down. Fianna Fail were horrified and disgusted at the revelation that the Green Party's Environmental spokesman Ciaran Cuffe had over $70,000 of investments in oil companies. The GP accepted his resignation but were satisfied that Mr.Cuffe's investments were not scandalous because they were part of a $1,300,000 inheritance.

November 3rd 2003 Deputy Mayor Attacks Anti-War Activists Deputy Mayor (Green Party) Brian Meaney attacks the attempt to shut down Shannon to US troops and torture planes as "outrageous threats".

June 16 2006 Green Party stokes Graffiti hysteria. Green Party TD John Gormley calls for strong measures to be taken against a blight that is sapping the vigour of our nation's youth.
Audio of the media scrum outside the Dáil from Séan Ryan: TrevorSargent runs from Shannon, 2.5MB mp3|EamonRyan 2.3MB mp3

Posted while the debate was taking place, the pictures by Paula Geraghty below show the greens choosing between the pickets and the media scrum

It's all action at the Mansion House as the Green Party delegates decide on how cheap they are. What price is it to get into Government? Many lobby groups huddled and handed out leaflets in unforgiving downpours, while one Green Party member wept as she pleaded with other members not to vote for the deal.

A short photo essay on the lunchtime lobby at the Mansion House.
Images (c) Paula Geraghty, msperaghty@yahoo.ie


Related Link: https://indymedia.ie/article/82977


Will the Green Party follw TD Ryan's choice to turn his back on Shannon?
Will the Green Party follw TD Ryan's choice to turn his back on Shannon?





Lobbying Green Party members
Lobbying Green Party members

Lobbying Green Party members
Lobbying Green Party members

Save Tara
Save Tara

author by SBP Readerpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 17:24Report this post to the editors

Come Thursday it might be that the Greens get shafted (the primary feature of the election, it seems) and FF will automagically embrace their "natural partners" and ideological allies in Labour for a stable coalition in line with what the electorate asked for - out with the nasty PDs and disgraced independents, and the tax-raising Greens.

Strange how senior FF figures have had such a low profile since the election, and Labour hasn't even queaked - except that bizarre Liz McMAnus performance on Questions and Answers. It wouldn't surprise me if Bertie & Pat had this sewn up on Saturday 26 May. So which FFers are losing cabinet jobs?

author by paul o toolepublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 18:21Report this post to the editors

Is it not ironic that those who voted to change the govt by voting for alternative political issues, are being offered our hard earned money to go into power and support those we oppose...phew...
Promises, promises, promises.... there hasnt been one election promise fulfilled and here we go again.

author by john paul - nonepublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 18:34Report this post to the editors

its unlikely many indymedia types were ever going to be supportive of the greens going into government no matter what they did.however it is hugely disappointing the actual terms of the deal offered to the greens.shannon was never going to happen,but nothing has been given it seems by FF on the M3 re-routing,planning law changes,corporate donations and the concessions they have got (dublin transport authority,dublin lord mayor and review off the EPA and to "Mandate the Dept of Environment to publish an annual report setting out progress on meeting climate change targets.") are very much weak.if i were a green member i wouldnt vote to accept the deal for the simple reason that FF are looking to strengthen their dail support,having the greens provides a cushion for them is grand in return for minimal policy deals.kudos to FF they really have won the election now!

author by JFKpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 19:13Report this post to the editors

The Greens and FF paving the way for the Clinton administration?
Catholic Establishment by two parties of the Irish/US ascendancy, you could not make it up.
No-one has mentioned Green Opposition to Nice II nor Minister Roche...

author by Jamespublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 19:25Report this post to the editors

The Green Party actively opposed the efforts to organise a mass tresspass at Shannon, pulling out of a demonstration for fear of violence and advocating a more passive solution.

Well here they are now with a deal that allows the US military full use of Shannon. Iraqi blood is less important than windfarms it appears.

Will we now see an end to the ridiculous habit of giving these people a platform at public meetings and marches against the war.

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 20:35Report this post to the editors

Two interesting bits of information on the Irish Times site:

1) Patricia McKenna has come out against the deal.

2) There are only 350 Green Party members in attendance at the most important vote the party has ever faced.

author by Kev - variouspublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 20:42Report this post to the editors

at least, according to politics.ie


author by AWI memberpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 20:54Report this post to the editors

Yes, and most of the contributors on politics.ie are falling over themselves to say what an honourable man he is. Right, and this is the guy that has brought the Greens into a government that will continue to facilitate the US war machine at Shannon as it heads off to mass murder people in the Middle East. Very honourable.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:10Report this post to the editors

I was at the Mansion House this afternoon. Many individuals and groups were present, the various campaigns were well represented. The war, Tara, deportations and racism, Shell To Sea and others were subjects that were were all vocalised to members of the Green Party as they entered the Mansion House.

My duality as an activist/reporter tends to confuse folks at times, especially the Gardaí. The Gardaí were extremely well behaved today and faciltated me as I approached the various politicians.

I got brief interviews with Eamonn Ryan and Trevor Sergant (who said lots by saying nothing). I'll upload the audios of each shortly.

The atmosphere was both jovial and serious as various activists greeted old friends and voiced their concerns to members of the Greens. Overall there was a feeling of betrayal, a feeling that the Greens had sold their souls just to sup at the table of the devil.

It poured rain most of the time but it didn't hinder anyone, except maybe the mainstream media, some of whom could be heard swearing about the 'bloody rain' from time to time.

I cornered Eamonn Ryan after the media had had their fill of him. Eamonn had been basking in the attention and was beaming with the afterglow of being asked such questions as: "if you are offered the post of Minister for the Environment, will you take it?" Most of his replies to the media were non-committal and vague: "We offer change," etc. When I stuck a mike into his face and asked him about Shannon, he told me that they'd done their best, and he started to launch into the farce about random searches for prisoners on CIA planes. I stopped him and asked him if the promises and goals of the Green Party over the last number of years were dissappeared (rendered themselves as it were). His smile dissappeared and he all but ran to the Mansion House, to heckles from anti-war protesters and various parties chanting "Save Tara."

When Trevor Sergant arrived he was immediately enveloped by the mainstream media, he was nearly pushed out onto the road. I asked him through the backs of many reporters if he was going to resign - he didn't answer or seem to notice. He was all smiles and platitudes. When Trevor's handler began to whisk him away from the throng, I called out to him, "one more question Trevor." Trevor seeing the mike and camera, stopped in front of me and favoured me with a big smile. When I asked him "What about Shannon Trevor?" the smile dissappeared and it was as if I had dissappeared too. I was ignored as Trevor looked everywhere but at me and made his way towards the Mansion House.

I met briefly with Ed Horgan before he went inside to fight for his and the Green Party's principles. Ed had a speech prepared and I managed to get a copy. I'll post this speech when I upload the audio files shortly.

All in all an interesting day. The Green leadership seem to have lost their ethos and principles, it remains to be seen whether the loyal party members have the fortitude to rein them in.

Doing the walk
Doing the walk

Eamonn Ryan - bringing change - working for change
Eamonn Ryan - bringing change - working for change

Gardaí policing each other
Gardaí policing each other

Mainstream huddle
Mainstream huddle

Ed Horgan - fighting for peace
Ed Horgan - fighting for peace

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:16Report this post to the editors


Lookin' good
Lookin' good

Save Tara
Save Tara

To hell with Shell
To hell with Shell

Resigned to glory seeking
Resigned to glory seeking

author by awi'erpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:28Report this post to the editors

The vote has just been taken at the Green Party conference. Landslide in favour of turning a blind eye to what's happening at Shannon. Fuckers.

author by xpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:38Report this post to the editors

They just signed their political death warrant.

author by ypublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:47Report this post to the editors

They may suffer in the future all right a lack of cross party transfers and the loony fringe vote.
Looks like a good chunk of their membership is happy enough and as the election proved war is not an election issue and hardly anybody cares about US troops in Shannon.

author by Watcher UKpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:47Report this post to the editors

So the people wanted change in Ireland,well it looks like the Greens have gone back on their word on tara,shannon etc.
We need a revolution ....Starting tomorrow at the Dail,the country has been shafted why oh why...

author by Observerpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:52Report this post to the editors

Well so now its clear, windfarms and energy creation are more important than the possible rendition of persons through shannon. What's all the rubbish about the Military being able to search planes. They have no legal authority to so do, it would require legislation. I presume they mean the Gardai who have such powers presently.

And can someone tell me what that nonsense means in the programme for government when they say they will "resource" the Gardai to prevent rendition. What resourcing is required for PC plod to hop along to the next civilian registered CIA flight passing through Shannon and tell the pilot he is popping in for a quick look. What utter nonsense. It is a complete fudge!

author by Kev - variouspublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:56Report this post to the editors

"Meanwhile, Independent TDs, Finian McGrath and Michael Lowry have both confirmed they will vote for Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach when the Dáil meets tomorrow. Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae has also concluded a deal with Mr Ahern."

Why is McGrath doing this? Anyone know what his 30 pieces consisted of?

author by Siobhan - TaraWatchpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:56Report this post to the editors

May they be forever remembered as the party who betrayed the democratic majority, and prostittuted Tara in their own interest.

It is indeed a sad day, but we will continue our fight unabowed to defend Tara to the batter end as our Ancestors have done since the beginning of time.

author by awi'erpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 22:00Report this post to the editors

The Greens have gone into government not just with Fianna 'Brown Envelope' Fail but with the PDs, Jackie Healy Rae, Bevelry Flynn and Michael Lowry. What a crew!

author by bjpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 22:07Report this post to the editors

Its not all doom'n gloom. What did the Greens ever do for us in opposition? SFA

At least now we will hopefully have a voice at the cabinet table and I'm betting there will be some things
that the Greens will never stomach, garda violence at Rossport, for example.

Give Tara and Shannon time and diplomacy and the outcome will be better than has been
achieved by years of sniping from the opposition benches.

Don't forget that as well as depending on the Greens, Bertie may yet depend on the likes of Tony Gregory and Finian McGrath

Nothing is lost yet.

author by Siobhan - TaraWatchpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 23:09Report this post to the editors

I Wish I could share your enthusiasim, but common sense prevails.

author by cleaverpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 23:24Report this post to the editors

Ah well the Anarchists were right all along, no matter who you vote for the same people get in, so Bertie now has the full political top trumps set, he was a PD and a socialist last time out, now he's a green, and within 2 years he'll be a shinner.
The greens will be shafted by FF within the year and will be back peddling their 'anti-war' alternative politics again but who'll believe them.
I live in Dublin N. Central and voted for Patricia McKenna, If the report above is true and she was against the deal fair play to her. Lets hope she has the principles to refuse the Seanad seat that will probably be offered to her as a sweetner.

author by Colmpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 23:30Report this post to the editors

What posessed them? The deal was pisspoor.

I voted for Patricia McKenna last month because of the lack of a socialist candidate in Dublin Central. I'm happy to see that she, at least, had the sense to vote "no" tonight but I'm astonished that she found herself so isolated.

Many socialists were in the habit of voting Green when there wasn't a socialist on the ballot paper. That's a habit we'll have to shake off now. They're about as principled as the Labour Party.

author by Memory manpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 23:31Report this post to the editors

to the action the Greens did in the Dail after Mary Kelly's action at Shannon at the end of January 2003. They supported it.

Fast Forward 3 days.............

The Pitstop Ploughshares do a similar action, the Greens piss in their organic underpants, condemn violent actions at Shannon.

Fast forward....... 4 weeks......March 1st, 2003.....Greens boycott and condemn direct action at Shannon.

Cross the sea and borders to the Czech Republic......the Greens are going to support the U.S. Anti-Ballistic Missile radar system which will be give the 'Green Light' by Poland in mid-July when President Kaczynski meets Bush in Washington.

The Green Movement sold out the moment it left the streets and entered the politics of power.

But fair fucks to the Greens who voted against the deal. It would be nice to hear/read their speeches.

Related Link: http://www.greenpartyhackssuck.ie
author by blablapublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 23:32Report this post to the editors

I'm not an avid follower of the irish green party, but within the shite of a 'democratic' voting system that exists, and the pretty bad deal they were offered without much leverage power, I think they were better in, than out. They're a young party with no experience at these negotiations or being in power, so hopefully they'll go through a steep learning curve and put as much pressure on as they can from the inside, regaining some confidence from the people, and go on to be a stronger party next elections...., it is a bit like going into power with 'the devil' as such, but maybe you can slowly poison his drink, if you've access to his cabinet!

Shannon was always way too big an issue to be negotiated upon over a few days.....so that was never in....it's a bigger issue than the Irish gov.

Tara and Rossport could have stood a chance, so they're a major disappointment...but that doesn't change the will power of the campaigners to keep up the good fight, only that it might have made their job a little easier.

let's wait and see, as long as Ireland isn't overrun with huge international energy firms buying up land for windfarms in the second windiest country in europe, we might see some good come of this yet


author by anonpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 23:37Report this post to the editors

The IAWM and PANA put a big emphasis on lobbying politicians and getting them to sign antiwar pledges. A waste of effort. So much for lobbying. Who's left now in the 'moderate' 'mainstream' antiwar movement? They can hardly count on the Labour Party. So, all that's left is Sinn Fein. Meanwhile, in the process of sucking up to these 'moderate' politicians, they pissed off many antiwar activists to their left. The IAWM/PANA are now stuck in the centre with nowhere to go and no party political friends.

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 23:54author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey. Co. DublinReport this post to the editors

In response to BJ who believes it is not all gloom and doom, I would like to make the following points.
A FF/PD/Green Party supported by a range of indepenents including Finian McGrath totally committed to actively supporting President George Bush's Imperialist war to gain control of the oil of Iraq and to consolidate US/Israeli military domination of the Middle East for years to come, will be elected to run the country for the next 5 years.
The opposition (?) is led by Mr. Kenny of FG and the Labour Party led by Mr Rabbitte who have also declared their total support for Bush's war and the active participation of Ireland in that war by allowing thousands upon thousands of US troops land in Shannon Airport.
I think it more that reasonable for those of us who have opposed the war to be depressed at seeing the Green Party, the Labour Party and independents who had opposed this Imperialist war so easily cross over to being warmongering blood soaked imperialists when the possibility of a Government Merc is waved in front of them.
The question now is, will the fact that Bush now has a new Irish Green Regiment to help him crush the Arab and Muslim people into the ground help him win his war?
They certainly will try. The Irish Army is being integrated into the Nordic EU Battle Groups and the FF/GP/PD Government will be sending them to Afghanistan next year. These 21st century Redmondites will ensure they come back in bodybags.
However, just as in the 1914-18 war, as the Irish soldiers come back in bodybags and the demand grows for conscription into the emerging European Army I predict that it will give rise to a newer and stronger Irish anti-imperialist movement over the next five years that will sweep away the Green traitors and the rest of them. The Irish people faced no longer with what has been an abstract concept of opposing war, but with the reality that it will be their own children who are being asked to die in this "war of civilisation" they will turn away from this FF/PD/GP Government and the FG/Labour opposition.
Since 1996 PANA had campaigned against war and Imperialism and has sought build an alternative committed to Irish Independence, Irish Democracy, and Irish Neutrality. We will not falter now in the face of betrayal by TS etc. We commend Patricia McKenna and Ed Horgan and the other Greens who held fast to values of peace and justice against all odds. We need to believe now more than ever that the rule of the Irish Imperialists, now so dominant, will not last, and as they drag us deeper and deeper into war as they intend to they will no longer be able to retain the support of the people.
They have climbed like rats on to the sinking ship of US Imperialism, and they will go down with it.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 23:57Report this post to the editors

Here's Ed Horgan's speech and the audio interviews with Eamonn Ryan and Trevor Sergant as referred to in my comment above. Sorry about the photo quality of Ed's speech - working on laptop with no photo editing facility.

Page 1 of Ed's address
Page 1 of Ed's address

Page 2 of Ed's address
Page 2 of Ed's address

Page 3 of Ed's address
Page 3 of Ed's address

audio Eamonn Ryan audio - 2.12MB 2.12 Mb

audio Trevor Sergant audio - 2.59MB 2.59 Mb
author by R. Isiblepublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 00:44Report this post to the editors

September 23rd 2003
Sargent Gives Two Fingers To Anti-Bin Tax Campaigners
GP Leader Trevor Sargent TD stated his party's support for a
flat-rate bin tax. In comments on indymedia.ie the GP Mayor of Galway City
Niall Ó Brolchain insinuated that the anti-bin tax campaign
were "intimidating ordinary decent citizens".

I'm sure there's lots more good indymedia.ie coverage of the Greenies. PatC had a nice description of them somewhere as "PDs Clothed In Green". Please add your own links.

author by Babspublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 00:59Report this post to the editors

How many brigades do the Greens have ? as Stalin asked about the Pope

Tail to wag the dog ?

Give it a rest -you cant get everytihng you want with the large FF numbers

author by SF'erpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 01:27Report this post to the editors

"I voted for Patricia McKenna last month because of the lack of a socialist candidate in Dublin Central".

Now, you might have a problem with Sinn Féin, and certainly the party's pantomime performance on corporate tax was something to behold, but believe it or not Mary Lou McDonald is a socialist.

Fair enough if don't think she's red enough, but she's certainly more of a socialist than anyone in the Green Party.

author by man in laoispublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 02:01Report this post to the editors

The Greens in my opinion have today proved themselves to be a bunch of fluffy political opportunists with a thirst for power.

Long may they live and rue the day!

author by Bikerpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 08:09Report this post to the editors

Once you go down the road of compromise on something as fundamental as the carpet bombing and subjugation of a nation and its people there is no coming back. As of today there will be a party in government known as the Green Party but in reality the Green Party we knew is dead. Already the wounded stares of Green members is evident as they wonder why people who previously had regard for them, and some who voted for them, look at them with disdain and anger.

author by Fintan Lane - AWI and ISNpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 09:42Report this post to the editors

It is clear that certain Green TDs have always had a deep suspicion of street activism and an unhealthy respect for the state.

Ciaran Cuffe is an example, judging by his peculiar behaviour at the St Patrick's Cathedral siege last year. He arrived at the end, just after the Afghan men had been brought out. Tension was still sky high. The gardai had moved in and 'persuaded' the Afghans to leave the cathedral; effectively, they had laid siege and cut off the men from their supporters for days. What does Cuffe have to say? Does he express his solidarity with those who stood there for days? Does he ask for continued support for the men and promise to pursue the case? No, he asked me for the use of the microphone, is given it in the expectation of some words of solidarity, and he proceeded to thank the gardai for their very good work and declared that the best possible result had been achieved. He then left immediately, leaving some people stunned and others jeering him as he disappeared into the night. What a performance! Some ally.

I suspect a goodly number of senior Greens have very little interest in extra-parliamentary activism and they are downright suspicious of non-hierarchical social movements.

The fact that they will be part of a government that allows the US military to trundle through Shannon airport means that they have effectively exited the anti-war movement. They should be ashamed of themselves.

author by Joseph - green voterpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 09:58Report this post to the editors

A few questions for all the horrendously biased posters,

1) If greens did not go into coaliton what would they have got?

2) Do any of you conceede that a single benefit from the negotiations has been achieved?

3) if your answer for 1) is 0 and your answer for 2) is >0 then it is logically wothwhile to enter govt?

4) What have any of you tangibly achieved for your causes?

5) Are you all now saying the greens support the Iraq war?

Socialist movement is dead and has been for a while now, green is the new movment and it seems that jealousy is rife among the reds, a nice trait for socialists. I suggest all socialist not reply to this post or even view this site, as they are probably doing so on a computer made by an american imperialst company, sitting on a chinese capitalist chair, wearing profit making taiwanese clothes.

Whose the hypocrites now, every benefit you have in life was created via a profit seeking entity of some form. Get real you morons.

author by isn't everyone?publication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:08Report this post to the editors

Most male groups of power-mongers don't like extra-parliamentary activism, or messy activism
of any kind, it messes with the nice, neat little systems they create to further their interests. That
is why they invent steering committees. The micro-left is as culpapble as the Green Party in
involving itself in the politics of sameness and that is why it is not seen as a viable alternative.
Aslong as the left imitates the right and continues to use the same tired structures, the same
wheedling, the same men at every meeting there is no change. Activism involves bringing in
all who want change, all voices. Now show me a left party with a woman/a black/an arab/a homosexual leader Please?
The campaigns for political change were led by women who are alienated from systemised
political activity, not one leftist party sought to go out and get a nurse's leader, a bin charges
campaigner, an eco-activist, an abortion rights campaigner and key into community agigtation.
This is the failure of the left. it is composed of educated middle class men with ideas and
structures identical to those they criticise. Having the bravery to face up to what is wrong is the
most important thing. Political systems in Ireland are glutted with male centres and the women
who join drop their principles as easily as the Greens did. They do not employ or work with other
women and distance themselves from the ones who help them achieve their position. It is
noteworthy that people like Mary Harney and Mary Coughlan have largely male staff and advisors.
The Green issue is not a political betrayal of a grass root, it is a trimming down in order to adapt
to a pre-existent system and that it will not change at any level as long as politics are centred
in and around the idea of a man with a woman in the home, providing the support and
minding the kids. Green very deliberately pick young married males to further their
marital status agenda and they are a very traditional party. No surprises there really
they are continuity FF.

author by Topperpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:24Report this post to the editors

"1) If greens did not go into coaliton what would they have got?"

They've gone into coalition and got nothing - everything important was conceded to FF, Shannon, Rossport, co-location, even Mary Harney as Health Minister. All they have are a few vague pledges and absolutely no power to make sure those pledges are carried out - if they pull out of the government, Ahern will still have a majority.

"2) Do any of you conceede that a single benefit from the negotiations has been achieved?"

Absolutely not. See above. This deal is an absolute joke. I never had any faith in the Greens but I'm still shocked by how low they were prepared to go in order to get into government.

"3) if your answer for 1) is 0 and your answer for 2) is >0 then it is logically wothwhile to enter govt?"

Of course not. If you don't achieve anything whatsoever, why do it? Much better to remain in opposition and help organise people to take action themselves. One big, succesful strike would achieve more in a few weeks than the Greens will in five years.

"4) What have any of you tangibly achieved for your causes?"

Well let's have a look at a few protest movements of the sort we'd like to build. The civil rights movement in the US (most of whose leaders were heavily influenced by socialism, especially Martin Luther King) ended a century of racist discrimination in the South, then developed into an anti-war movement that ended the Vietnam war. The civil rights movement in the North brought down the Stormont regime that had lasted for fifty years. The wave of strikes in Britain from the late 60 to the late 70s delivered higher wages, employment rights and working conditions for millions of people. There are many more examples. This was all achieved by mobilising people to do things for themselves - Martin Luther King was never a government minister, nor was Michael Farrell, nor was Arthur Scargill. If they had been, they would have been unable to lead protest movements.

There hasn't been anything on that scale in Ireland in the last few years, but there have been some significant movements that show the potential which exists (150,000 people marching against the Iraq war, mass participation in direct action against the bin tax). A far more promising route to real, lasting change than jumping into bed with Fianna Fail for a song and a few crumbs from the table.

"5) Are you all now saying the greens support the Iraq war?"

They are part of a government that is totally committed to facilitating the bloody occupation of Iraq in every possible way. US troops will still be flying through Shannon every day for their colonial mission. The Democratic Party in the US now has stronger anti-war credentials than Trevor and co.

Your post also contained a few bad-tempered insults that did you little credit and suggested that the left-wing critics of the Green Party have really touched a nerve.

author by josephpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:02Report this post to the editors


1) You did not answer this....

2) So even if you say nothing was achieved on a policy basis (which only a blindly biased person would say), are you also saying a ministerial positon is worthless? I f this is the case then fair enough you dont believe democracy works.

3) "One big, succesful strike would achieve more in a few weeks than the Greens will in five years."

This will never happen and you know it, London anti war protest (which I happily attended) achieved zero.

4) Not talking about foreign or past movements, im refering to Irish socialst movements, again you did not answer.you talk of potential, well if you say your marches have "potential" then the greens can equallyy say there methods have "potential"

5) Im sure some goods you buy from compaies are also companies that supply the US Army, that hardly makes yoy a supportes or Iraq war

okay morons was wrong (apologies) but hypocrites was fair enough, if i was to apply extreme principle arguments for socialists.

author by Topperpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:19Report this post to the editors

I may be wasting my time on you Joseph, if you can't acknowledge the difference between buying a product from a company that may have some connection with the Iraq war (something I have never knowingly done) and taking part in a government that is actively facilitating the occupation of Iraq in every possible way. The moral culpability is vastly different.

You also believe that a "big, successful strike" will never happen. As a rational belief, this is well up there with intelligent design - big, successful strikes happen all the time. The most recent notable one in a close neighbour of ours was the movement against the CPE law in France. The nurses' strike had the potential to be equally successful, but the leadership of the INO followed the usual trajectory of Irish union officials and chickened out before winning what their members were entitled to get. The same result when there was a huge mobilisation against Irish Ferries at the end of 2005 - both disputes show that the radical left isn't yet strong enough to provide alternative leadership for workers and stop the union bureaucracy from abandoning the struggle before it succeeds. I'm not talking about history here, I'm talking about the last 18 months, so trying to pretend that such events will "never happen" is desperate stuff really.

Try as I might, I can't see anything of significant value in this deal, just a few vague pledges that FF could easily trash over the next few years, leaving the Greens with no recourse (as I pointed out, they can't even threaten to bring down the government, assuming they had the balls to do so). All the important issues have seen a Green cave-in. There's no "potential" to be unlocked - the deal is what it is now and will remain what it is now. Social struggles have been at a relatively low ebb in Ireland over the last few years but at least they have the potential to grow stronger (and in unexpected ways - a few years ago, who would have guessed that the cutting edge of direct action in Ireland would come from a conservative rural community in the West, or that a group of Turkish workers would take on a powerful company backed by the Irish state and win?). I'll put my money there if you don't mind.

Regarding democracy - I strongly believe in democracy, so strongly in fact that I believe we should give it a try. I don't consider a system that gives control over vast areas of society to unelected elites to be "democratic" in anything but the most minimalist sense of the term. I can't vote for someone to replace Tony O'Reilly or the chairman of the AIB or the European Central Bank - all of these people have far more power over my life and yours than any Green cabinet minister (or even Bertie for that matter).

author by jonnopublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:37Report this post to the editors

I'll never vote for this lot again (and yes, I have in the past). May they get exactly what they deserve in the next election.

author by TD - Cosantoiri Siochanapublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:55Report this post to the editors

In my neck of the woods, the cock still hasn't stop crowing over the betrayal of Shannon, Rossport, Tara, hospital co-location, corporate donations, etc - the list is endless. Let's hope the poster I taped to a litter bin in Shop street this morning is a harbinger of things to come?.

The godamn shits, I still can't believe it.





author by awi'erpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:01Report this post to the editors

nice one TD! should be more of this throughout the country.

author by the eskimo - s2spublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:04Report this post to the editors

In Germany they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me--and by that time no one was left to speak up.
-- Pastor Martin Niemoller

author by natemapublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:09Report this post to the editors

Fair play TD, great images!

author by Dubpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:11Report this post to the editors

I don't know why left activists are so surprised at the Green "sell-out". They were always lining up to go in with FG/Labour or FF. For some reason do you think Greens/FG would be better??? I saw that on one of the tabloids was a headline saying "Greens Sell-out". That same paper during the election was having a go at Socialists for saying they won't go into govenment. Hypocrisy from capitalist press.

Wooly liberal middle class politics will end with sell-out. Solution is to build a working class movement that will not sell-out. Bring back Joe Higgins!!

Good to see some imaginitive protests. I like one with the bin.

author by Dafpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:12Report this post to the editors

Sorry to see you are so shocked TD. I know you were well intentioned when you plastered Galway with a preffered list of candidates. Sorry you had to find out the hard way that the Greens were filthy opportunists as were the Shinners, Labour, Connolly et al.

author by Cradlepublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:21Report this post to the editors

Joesph says....

"Socialist movement is dead and has been for a while now, green is the new movment and it seems that jealousy is rife among the reds, a nice trait for socialists."

The Green party is Green only in so far as the British Labour party is socialist. The truth of the matter is the green parties, most of them, turned grey a long time ago. Green means a programme to radically transform society....which you very obviously cannot do in coalition with FF, and in fact cannot do in government period. What killed socialism killed the greens - a model of social change revolving around elections and top down state led reform. All that was necessary to do is look at what happened with the Greens in Germany, who by contrast with Ireland actually at one stage were a radical party and were engaged in extra-parliamentary movements.

The Green Party in Ireland fills more the role of a environmentalist pressure group, except one that stands for elections instead of lobbying or doing court cases.

Interested to look back at what Jonaton Porritt had to say...he wrote a lot of the early Green books....

“By trying to make an unworkable system work, they are merely exacerbating the problems; by refusing to distinguish between symptoms and causes, they prove themselves to be mere dilettantes wearing their hearts on their mottled green sleeves.”

Ironically enough he ended up as an advisor to Blair and a advocate of "green" capitalism.

As for the 'new movement', what 'new movement', there isn't a green movement in Ireland, just a political party using that name, same as the Bollywood stars used a green carpet to signify their concern for the earth at their recent version of the Oscars .

author by SBP Readerpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:29Report this post to the editors

I am shocked by the vitriol and hatefulness of some of the comments here. Pragmatism is an important part of political consensus, and any coalition is the lowest common denominator of agreement.

Whether the Greens sold out or compromised or Browned, the outcome was never going to be Utopia. Some commenters seem to want perfection or nothing, or to believe that Greens in government are more evil than anyone else in government.

author by responsepublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:33Report this post to the editors

Are you kidding? The Green Party has agreed to participate in a government that facilitates the Bush war machine in Shannon airport. This is a complete betrayal of the anti-war movement of which they were a key element. Now they will be directly complicit in the mass murder of people in the Middle East.

This is enough for me to say, as somebody who voted Green for the past two elections, that I will NEVER vote for them again. Never.

author by awi'er (aka response)publication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:43Report this post to the editors

Mind you, I wasn't stoopid enough to give them my first preference but they got a high one. I predict their ability to attract transfers across the board will diminish substantially in the next elections. They'll no longer be the 'transfer magnets' of Irish politics, which may cost them a few seats.

author by Greener than Greenpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:45Report this post to the editors

It's well know in socialist circles that's it's not really possible to have socialism in one country because of the nature of global capitalism. And yet we had Cuffe on the 6.1 news yesterday trying to sell climate change in one country. That was the only soundbite he could reel off when Dobbo kept hitting him with GP policy going into the election.
Sorry Ciaran but there won't be climate change in one country.

author by Working Class FF Supporterpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:54Report this post to the editors

as a Working Class FF Supporter I am forced to eat my words about the Greens being immature. They have taken a giant leap forward from the immature inefectual posturing type politics that one reads so much on this site. If the Greens had not taken this step they would have zero influence with the public, now they will be listened to by7 ordinary working class people and any one with an open mind and believe me Sinn Fein and many in Labour Party would love to be in their place now in coalition with Fianna Fail the party with the vast majority of working class supporters in this country.

author by Etain - Green Partypublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 13:16Report this post to the editors

As a probationary member of the greens, I am deeply concerned at the turn of events that has taken place. Yes it is good to have power, but at what price? I could see the pain in John Gormleys face, What a descision to make,a man wrestling with his conscience.

Unfortunately I could not vote and it will be another five months before I can have my say, hence that is why I am writing this. I do object to one anti war protestor saying I had chosen to join the opposite ranks NOT TRUE! I attended as an observer.

I, like Patricia Mckenna and many others, am totally against the use of Shannon for the facilitation of troops and Extraordinary Rendition. The Greens have stated that 'The Irish Government is completely opposed to the practice of Extraordinary Rendition' I intend to hold them to that and should they back down I wll voice my discontent.

The same is to be said of other vital issues, such as Shell to Sea and Tara, can they deliver? I like many others was horrified to hear that we were going into coalition with Fianna Fail a party that I have little or no respect for. All this talk of respecting the planet and yet we continue to pollute the beautiful countryside and destroy our archealogical treasures by allowing companies like Shell to have their way, Have we no respect for what we inherited. It is a SAD! SAD! day for Ireland.

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com,www.irishantiwar.org,whc.unesco.org
author by Joepublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 13:23Report this post to the editors

Man the level of response is fairly ridicolous, although I guess this site is not representative of normal green voters. I suppose the extra publicity over 5 years could help greens next time round, or they could suffer, not on transfers I doubt, probably more on lost fringe flaky voters, which probably didnt win them seats anyway.

Yeah as previous poster said, it seems perfection or nothing is the motto for many posters, I'd imagine that is the same for the fundamentalist vs realists within the party itself. Anyway the "i'll never vote for them again" brigade surely will end up voting for other far left parties and the the bigger parties will scoop up even more seats. Solidarity on the left, is long gone. I dont know to much about the different far left parties, but there most be 5 or more. It says alot about them that they cant work togeter as one cohesive party. life of brian is coming to mind.

Hopefully there wont be some split within the greens, may be an exodus though.

author by Sofiapublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 13:24Report this post to the editors

They came for the Catholics in Germany? Surely that was quite a chunk of the population? What did they do with them? Were there Catholic concentration camps? Weren't many leading NAZI's Catholic?

I think you are mistaken, and have fallen for Catholic propaganda...

author by R. Isiblepublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 13:25Report this post to the editors

If the Greens had not taken this step they would have zero influence with the public
Is this what you see the function of politicians as being? To influence the public?

If you are correct (and I don't believe that you are correct about what politicians should be doing, or the chance of these particular ones managing to do it in their weak, powerless coalition position) then it would be a bad thing. You seem to assume that the greens are anything but reactionary. That's exactly why there's a list of actual Green positions taken on: the bin-tax, the shutting down of Shannon Warport etc above.

Anyone with any interest in the above issues has had over 4 years to work out the logical conclusion: diverting energy into working to get politicians elected as opposed to building energetic social movements which politicians desperately try to piggy-back is a waste of time. It's a similar situation to the complete collapse of the anti-war movement in the USA due to the Progressive Democrats turning out to work and vote for the pro-war, pro-business leadership again and again. If the people lead then the politicians may possibly follow. Pragmatic compromises involve starting from a position of strength and not surrendering key goals.

author by Con Carrollpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 13:39Report this post to the editors

if my memory serves me well. I remember media quoted that green party, member Paul Goagarty was opposed tyo any deal with FF PDs.
once again Patricia Mc Kenna stood with her beliefs. where was councillor Deirdre De Burca on this vote. a person said that she had mixed feeling on the issue in the Mansion house. a member of the SwP said that De Burca was opposed to the deal last week,

author by Davekeypublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 15:29Report this post to the editors

One of these days we are all going to finally wake up and realize that we don't live in a democracy.
That the whole thing is rigged, no matter who we vote for the system remains the same(and we're not in it).
That we tick a box every few years and hope that the politicians we voted for will live up to their promises (they never do).
We have a dillusional belief that somehow we are in charge of the poiticians (we're not).
We have a dillusional belief that this time it will be different, that nirvana is coming soon, like a junkie looking for his next fix (it's designed to never come).

The whole system is rotten to the core, it's an illusion, a magicians trick. The problem is that it trundles along and works to enough of an extent for most people not to want the hassle of the real significant changes it requires. So it will continue on for the next 5 years, giving away more of the peoples resources, facilitating the greedy, turning us more into the bottom line.

"along with real democracy comes responsibilty, which is why most men fear it"
- Sorry can't remember who wrote it

author by himselfpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 16:04Report this post to the editors

Its rare that the brazen face of electoral politics makes its hypocrisy so readily available in the archive. In the space of two blog posts we go from a "deal with the devil" to power for its own sake.
June 13th: "I don't believe that we're 'an opportunistic party seeking to appropriate the Fianna Fáil mandate to impose its faddish obsessions on the country.' as John Waters suggested in a newspaper article a few days ago. I believe we're here for the long haul, and that environmental issues are one of the few genuinely new ideas that have emerged on the political horizon in recent years. Perhaps, after 25 years our times has come."

May 28: "Let's be clear. A deal with Fianna Fáil would be a deal with the devil. We would be spat out after 5 years, and decimated as a Party. "

Related Link: http://cuffestreet.blogspot.com/
author by Gearóid O Loingsighpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 16:33Report this post to the editors

Looking at all from afar I find it quite amusing. Entire sections of the left denounced as sectarian the suggestion that the Greens weren't left wing. So now what do you say, the sold out! No they didn't sell out, they followed their politics to their logical conclusion. Some still talk of Sinn Fein as being on the left, but the only difference between them and the Greens is the Bertie didn't ask them to come on board, otherwise they would also be there in coalition with FF.

Crows come home to roost.

author by John McNuttypublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 16:54Report this post to the editors

And there was me thinking the Irish radical left has spent the last few years laying into the Green Party, Sinn Fein and Labour and deriding their supposed left-wing credentials ... no no I must have had it wrong, secretly the socialists thought Trevor Sargent and Gerry Adams were red revolutionaries and hoped they would lead us all to revolution. Oooops! Thank god we have Socialist Democracy to set us right, at least there's one group of people on this island who have no petit-bourgeois illusions.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 16:58Report this post to the editors

I had the pleasure of visiting Ciaran Cuffe in the Dail late last year to ask him if the Greens would sign on the dotted line and prove to the disability lobby that their stated support for legislated rights for people with disability was more than rhetoric. Mr Cuffe appeared irritated to be asked the question and insisted that 'nothing would be non-negotiable' if it came to brokering a Green role in government.

Despite having been given this fairly substantial clue as to the worth of their subsequent election manifesto, (which had a lot of talk about rights for people with disability in it - cynical or what) it is still pretty shocking to see the extent to which they have sold out. Political maturity my foot! Ahern was on the ropes and they have given him exactly what he needed to continue with the economic pillage: a totally compliant majority.

Has Dan Boyle lost the plot completely? His justification for the Green's capitulation is that they are a small party and have to make compromises. But they knew that to be the case going into the election. What then, was the whole pre-election performance about? Is anyone else vomit-sick of the term 'political pragmatism'?

author by Until Jerusalempublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 17:04Report this post to the editors

It was most amusing watching Rich Boy Barrett of the SWP on the RTE news last night telling Green Party members how they should vote. That would be RBB, who is a member of a rival party (which he never mentions on his web site; maybe he is just shy of boasting) who almost cost the Ciaran Cuffe a seat by running in the same consituency. Yes, I'm sure Green Party members would love to be lectured by this guy.


author by Until Cabinteelypublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 17:24Report this post to the editors

How dare he! Imagine that, daring to run against dear old Ciaran Cuffe, how could he do such a thing? Maybe, just maybe, he wasn't impressed by the Greens' "no pre-conditions" line and thought it would be worthwhile giving the people of the area the chance to vote for a committed anti-war candidate. It's perfectly consistent for RBB to challenge Green party members who still oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and our country's support for that bloody fiasco, and urge them to vote against a deal which will see their party become accomplices. You can criticise him if you like for not running under the SWP banner, but that's another day and another dollar.

author by Deirdre Clancy - AWI publication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 19:08Report this post to the editors

First off, I don't really know why anyone is surprised by the latest Green sellout. That's not to say it shouldn't be pointed out, but it's not that shocking. They've been going in this direction for some years.

There is a common misconception out there in the mainstream that political maturity entails joining the party political system. It's widely believed, largely because it's perpetrated by those already prominent within the system. They present their own political trajectories as the norm. So you may hear a Green Party TD say, 'I cut my political teeth in Carnsore Point', or something of that nature, and then go on to detail how they've now moved on from all that naive but well-meaning stuff to become a real politician. Because mainstream politicians get the most airplay in the mainstream media (and our national broadcaster is dependent on them for funding, after all), it's the prevailing view. It goes: you start as a local activist of some nature, you then gain some position of prominence in your local campaign or cumann, later emerging as a fully fledged, 'mature' politician, utterly integrated into the electoral system as it currently stands.

This is how the Greens will portray themselves from now on - they've been preparing the electorate for some time. Frankly, much of the electorate is quite comfortable with this state of affairs. Grassroots activists will be regarded as politically immature by the vast majority of the population just as they always were, and the Greens will do nothing to disabuse them of that notion (unless said activists win some sort of prestigious award, as Willie Corduff did, in which case the Greens will be quite willing to have a photo op with them).

Of course, this notion of 'political maturity' is a load of bunkum and has very little to do with truth and justice. We all know that. But this type of rhetoric is as old as the hills. Any genuinely concerned, experienced grassroots activist could have written the script. It might drive us to distraction (I know it does me) and at times make us feel like giving up, but it's hardly shock of the century.

The largest and most destructive military machine in the world continues to use one of our civilian airports. A place of untold significance to our ancestors, the ceremonial capital of Ireland and consequently an archaeological treasure trove, is being desecrated as we speak. Neither of these were deal breakers to the 'Green' Party.

It's pretty much up to us, the ordinary folks. The politicians don't give a damn. Shame on them, but shame on us if we let them continue with the bloodshed and desectration of our heritage.

author by Fintan Lane - Irish Socialist Network and AWIpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 19:30author address www.irishsocialist.netReport this post to the editors

It's just been announced that Dick Roche's last act as Environment Minister was to sign the go-ahead ministerial order to build the road through Tara. John Gormley is the new Environment Minister, so it is now up to him to implement this order and government policy. I suppose he's probably happy enough that he didn't have to actually put his own name to the order.

author by The Noble Wolfepublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 20:16Report this post to the editors

Full marks to Ahern for passing the poisoned chalice to Gormley ... a consummate politician !


author by Davekeypublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 20:25Report this post to the editors

Deirdre Clancy wrote -
"It's pretty much up to us, the ordinary folks. The politicians don't give a damn. Shame on them, but shame on us if we let them continue with the bloodshed and desectration of our heritage."

As I posted earlier it's pretty clear to me and I assume most people in this forumn that we no longer live in a democracy, the politicians do not represent us and can basically do whatever they want without accountability.

Peaceful demonstrations are completely ineffectve, they make good media events but are forgotten about very quickly.

Violent protests are met with an equally violent response from the Gardai and condemnation from the public.

Debate forumns e.g. National Forumn on Europe are really just energy sinks designed to allow people to vent off their anger and feel part of the system but are essentially toothless distractions.

It seems to me that new ways of bringing about change are essential now if we are to bring about real representation. The old ways haven't worked and are really just part of the system. The real issue is the apathetic masses who are quite happy to allow the government make all the decisions while they watch Big Brother. It's a sad state we are in and I don't see any way out for now.

author by Anto Whelanpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 20:26Report this post to the editors

It's a ministerial order... He can sign another undoing it very easily.. but of course he wont.. he has taken his 30 pieces of silver. The Greens are now fully responsible for all government actions.

author by Michael Martin - TaraWatchpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 22:26author email Wicklowwolf at yahoo dot comReport this post to the editors

Shame on those "Green" traitors for selling our heritage in the Tara/Skryne Valley to Bertie and his "developer" friends! How many brown envelopes have you accepted this week, Trevor?!

author by holymugger - Green Party Memberpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 23:20Report this post to the editors

These are mostly juvenile postings. If you are anarchists then I can understand many of these anti-green party views. Otherwise, what are you - fascists ? Certainly not democrats anyway. Lets get real here. The GP have not abandoned their principles. They have had to set aside many of their policies in order to implement some. No one was going to get the Shannon or the M3 issues sorted to our satisfaction. There are legal issues here. Remember that the poor of the third world suffer the most from climate change. What Ireland does is tiny but every country has to do its bit.

FF were going to be in Government anyway. Was it better to let them off agan with the PDs for another five years and continue to destroy whats left of our society, environment etc ? We live in a democratic society. If you have ideas for another type of system of Govt. or none atall, fair enough. But what would you do FASCISTS ?

I only barely support the deal GP signed with FF but I am a realist and I trust the Green ministers. You could at least give them a chance and judge them in 5 years. Thats what I and all GP members will do.
If they fail then they will be punished. BUT GIVE THEM A CHANCE.

author by Anarcho-commie-fascist-babykillerpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 23:45Report this post to the editors

"But what would you do FASCISTS ?"


Just in case you aren't familiar with the principle that has excluded your post from any serious consideration.

author by Hurler on the Ditchpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 23:46Report this post to the editors

I used to have the highest respect for John Gormley. Etain mentioned he was wrestling with his conscience? Does that mean he will accept the average industrial wage and put the rest into grassroots campaigns, one of the pillars of the Greens.

Does that mean that the Green Chairman will launch internal attacks against the FFers et al. re. Shannon and alongside his colleagues end Ireland's multi-million profitable role in the arms trade?

They have failed the Four Pillar exam on all counts in my opinion. And it is really difficult to see a creative way beyond the mire we find ourselves wallowing in.

To escape cynicism and despair I suggest readers check out this powerful reflection from the G8 protests:


Lets start living the alternatives we wish to see and ignore these merc-wanna-have fuckers.

With thinkers like Vandana Shiva on our side and millions involved in daily struggles to better their lives it's best not to get swamped by this pseudo Green sell-out.

Back to the streets, communities, fields - leave the Greens to stew in the cauldron of bile they've decided to stir!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandana_Shiva
author by Henrypublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 00:41Report this post to the editors

Irish Greens serve up fudge on GM food

After ten years of gnawing and spitting regarding GM food/crops the Irish Green Party gave up on their main GMO policies to enter Government in Ireland.

The Green’s pre-election policy had nine clear points (see below) that led with a promise to “immediately declare Ireland to be a GM-Free zone and prohibit the use of GM ingredients in animal feed and any testing or growing of GM crops and ban transgenic farm animals”. This promise, along with others, including a GM-Free regulatory authority to ensure that rigorous testing is put in place to verify that animal feed is free of GM inputs, have now been set aside. Now left is only a watered down vague one line sentence within a 52 page agreement for a Government program. The Greens now just commit to “Seek to negotiate the establishment of an All-Ireland GM-Free Zone”. This wording was agreed upon as part of a deal to enter into coalition with Fianna Fail, who while in Government have previously allowed GM fields trials and who a Green party elected official has described as “the devil”.

The commitment to simply “seek to negotiate” is the epitome of biopolitics. It is very clear the likelihood of a truly GM free zone for Ireland is zero considering that in Ireland BASF already has an EPA license to carry out field trials of blight resistant GM potatoes until 2010 if they decided to and the fact that the EU this week voted to allow more GM material into food products, including organic products. However, the Greens in government now open a real debate on GM crops in Ireland as the Greens have encountered what Urlich Beck in “Ecological Politics in an Age of Risk (1995)” described as “politically explosive hazards which render questionable the principles of calculation and precaution”. This will no doubt make for interesting discussions around the Government cabinet table.

Its clear that the Green Party in Ireland has sacrificed clear actionable commitments on GM food for inclusion in Government (not a first as the Green in Government in Germany allowed GM crop field trials). The fudge on GMO’s it topped off with a weak verbal comment by the Green’s Trevor Sargent that "The establishment of Ireland as a GMO-free zone is a project that I will throw myself into in a very enthusiastic fashion…” However, he is now part of a Government, of which the main political party, Fianna Fail, ten years ago made the pre-election promise to put in place:

“A moratorium on the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment and on the marketing of any foods which contain any genetically modified ingredient, or which was produced using any genetically modified organism”

only to state less than two years later that:

"Stability and predictability in policy are also important in terms of underpinning the competitiveness of the biotechnology sector... The area of Irish economic interest where biotechnology, particularly modern biotechnology / genetic modification, has greatest potential is in agriculture...".

It is evident that biopolitics is alive and well on the isle of “Forty shades of Green”, a title now politically more fitting than Johnny Cash could have ever imagined.

Pre-Election policy:

The Green Party/Comhaontas Glas in Government would-

1.1 immediately declare Ireland to be a GM-Free zone and prohibit the use of GM ingredients in animal feed and any testing or growing of GM crops and ban transgenic farm animals;

1.2 immediately begin negotiations with the UK government in an attempt to achieve an all island GM-Free Zone;

1.3 establish a GM-Free regulatory authority to ensure that rigorous testing is put in place to verify that animal feed is free of GM inputs;

1.4 veto any EU proposed legislation that would allow a certain threshold for GM contamination in conventional seeds before the seeds had to be labelled as containing GM traces;

1.5 oppose the patenting of seeds;

1.6 ensure that the Irish Seed Savers Association receives adequate funding. (This voluntary organisation is dedicated to the location and preservation of traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables. The ISSA maintains a seed bank and plays a vital role in saving our genetic diversity for the future.) We will also ensure that naturally occurring or conventionally bred rare and native varieties of seed can be freely sold.

1.7 introduce strict liability laws, holding GM companies and users of GM crops responsible for any GM contamination in Ireland in violation of Ireland's GM-free status;

1.8 At a local level, Green Party members of Local Authorities will campaign to make their Local Authorities GM-Free and assist local farmers to organise into GM-Free regions;

1.9 At EU level, Green Party MEPs will campaign to make the EU GM-Free and, at a minimum, to insist there is no lifting of the EU moratorium on GM crops and food until the new EU regulations on labelling and traceability are in place; there is an enforceable system of liability agreed; and the problems of coexistence of GM and non-GM crops have been resolved.

author by FRpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 00:54Report this post to the editors

Greens don't have a majority. They only have 6 seats. Fianna Fáil have 78 seats. A 13:1 ratio. It was the will of the people. It's called democracy. Fine Gael weren't happy to go in with Sinn Féin to provide a possible alternative to FF. Greens were never going to get everything but got a reasonable deal considering the mandate from those who voted. There was at least 1 Green candidate in every constituency. Only 6 got elected this time. Catch 22 situation with inevitable and painful compromises but far more can be achieved in government than outside.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 00:58Report this post to the editors

The pro Green Party agreement comments on this thread pay no regard to the issue of trust. They ignore the promises and principles which they encouraged genuine and committed activists to believe they subscribed to. But a greater threat to the objectives which honest, well-intentioned voters is emerging: if a willingness to trust what seems like a genuine promise is to be construed by self-proclaimed ‘superior’ activists as a lack of commitment to a cause, a pernicious and cynical form of activist elitism will be established. Fortunately, none of the genuine activists posting on Indymedia - or the majority of activists who work entirely out of the public view - fall into that sort of self-aggrandising, after the fact, ‘Oh-well-I-knew-better’ sort of category.

The truth about our current form of electoral politics becomes ever more apparent to people across all strands of society. There is a need for inclusivity toward people regardless of their particular level of awareness of the problems. Nothing will be achieved by sneering at those whom we believe are less 'clued up' than ourselves.

author by Realistpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 01:44Report this post to the editors

To all of those who criticise the Green Party for not implementing their entire manifesto in full: they do not have a majority in Dáil Éireann to allow them to do so.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 03:14Report this post to the editors

Harry Browne helps congeal the "betrayal" myth, handily ignoring all evidence of the clearly flagged intentions of the Greens "patently decent and honest people" and their hostility to anything that might upset their well-stocked apple-cart.

A Greenwash for Bertie Ahern: Ireland's Green Party Sell Out
June 14 2007

Related Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/browne06142007.html
author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 08:26Report this post to the editors

Most sane people are still trying to figure out what has happened and where we now are. A pre-election quote from John Gormley may help;

Deputy Gormley said:
“There are very few people on the front lines of medicine who advocate co-location. Indeed many respected health experts have described the idea as ‘cloud cuckoo land’."

There you have it. We are all now in 'cloud cuckoo land' . Just don't get ill for the next five years

author by GreenPartyMike - Green Party United Statespublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 08:43author email ollamhfaery at earthlink dot netReport this post to the editors

I am a member of the Green Party in Minnesota USA and I am appalled by this.

Ironically, here in the US, the Peace Movement abandoned us in favor of the pro-war, corporate friendly Democrats.

It would appear to me that the Irish Greens abandoned the Peace movement. How can anyone not see just how complicit Shannon Airport is, in the war on the people of Iraq? I am an American and I see it. To not actively oppose the US Military at Shannon, provides them with political cover and is complicity, Seats, elections and what people say be damned.

My fullest apologies to the Peace community and Grassroots in particular, on behalf of this one American Green.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:32Report this post to the editors

Pat Rabbitte has poured scorn on the agreement. Contrary to all expectations he appears not to have sold out - although we cant yet be sure whether there was any principled stand involved or not. Whatever about that, in today's Irish Examiner he highlights the utter meaninglessness of what the Greens have secured. He points out that the word 'review' appears 56 times, 'examine' 23 times and 'consider' 14 times. These are the euphamisms with which total subservience to the FF agenda are described. They don't even constitute a fig-leaf. You've got to hand it Ahern - he stripped them of every policy garment they had and they just let it happen. The Green party is stark, butt-naked. All we can do is to point and laugh.

The new government should be required to publish every detail of the deal that has been struck and the rewards and privileges that Green Party people have accepted in return for supporting FF. And what about Finian McGrath? If I'd owned a farm I'd have been tempted to bet it on him not doing something like this. Will Beveryly Flynn's court case magically be resolved in her favour? What's in it for Boyle? Does Trevor Sargeant's 'resignation' mean anything when he has stated that, of course, a junior ministerial post would be acceptable? As for John Gormley - does anyone seriously believe that this so-called last minute signing off of the Tara road by Roche is anything other than a puerile pantomime? 'It wasn't me wot did it, it was 'im, honest.' Don't insult us please. He is the guy who benefits the most in the Green Party. Any coincidence that he was also the green's chief negotiator. The new mercedes (again in the Examiner) have already been ordered - Eamon Ryan says he 'will only use his when necessary'.

Another aspect of this stitch up is of course that we are now going to have to listen to FG hypocrisy for another five years when everyone knows that they would do nothing differently if they were in power.
One of their spokespeople had Ciaran Cuffe on the ropes on the radio this morning about Green hypocrisy over Tara. When questioned about FG's own policy towards Tara, he was forced however to admit that FG would cheerfully ram whatever raods were proposed across the site...what a nerve!

Preserving one's sanity in the face of all this is going to be one heck of a challenge.


author by Mr Angrypublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:34Report this post to the editors

Yeah, how dare the greens go into government. They might actually achieve something. It would be far better to remain part of the lunatic fringe, spouting ideology and doing or achieving ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. They should have listened to Patricia McKenna .. making grand pronouncments from her Micky Mouse job, pretending to have actual power. Y'see real politics is about grand-standing but making no actual difference. They should keep to the fringes of politics and have no impact on the day-to-day decisions that affect the real people of Ireland.

author by holymugger - Green Party Memberpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:47Report this post to the editors

The only people in cloud cookoo land are those that think they can effect change in this country by not working the system. The Green Party are now going to work the system by entering Government and changing it from within. Meanwhile the "knockers" who post on this website will sit smugly sniping at them on the sidelines for the next five years instead of encouraging them and working with them. I know that John Gormley and Eamon Ryan want change. I know that they wrestled with themselves to do this but did you people not realise that The Greens are a political party. It stopped being a protest group sometime in the late '80s. Use this opportunity to your benefit and dont be so negative. Trust them to do some good and above all grow up.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:14Report this post to the editors

The fact Mr Angry and holymugger is, that contrary to election promises and it's own manifesto, the Greens are now part of and sustaining a government that intends to continue the roll out of privatisation of health. This will result in the most vulnerable being treated as second class citizens by a system that will treat people , not in accordance with their need, but on the money in their pocket. It is the vulgar Americanisation of our way of life. Inequity will be the order of the day.

Do we console ourselves by the fact that we can tell our elderly as they lie on a trolley on a corridor awaiting whatever is available(while the well-off are ushered through to luxurious facilities to receive immediate attention) that as they suffer the pain and humiliation, the air they are breathing is cleaner?

The fact is that The Greens could have achieved much more on the opposition benches as they would have left the government weak and therefore more amenable to control
They opted for perks and sold-out. Can I have my vote back? It was taken under false pretences.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:15Report this post to the editors

It's instructive to get this newly manufactured greenspeak psycho-babble from Party members who, judging by their messages, have no experience of real politics.....in workplaces, in communities, in the streets......whose notion of power is closely linked to 'positions', ministries, and the cobwebs of the system itself.
There will be a bit of time now (though my sense is that it will be no more than a few months) to observe and politically assess how the Greens 'work the system' and the impact they have on the lives of our people.
I am reading again a letter, sent to the iawm by John Gormley on Tuesday May 22nd: In it he says:
"The Green Party is totally committed to ending the use of Shannon for the illegal war in Iraq and to opposing the abuse of human rights through rendition flights........people can be assured that in any negotiation with other parties the issue of Shannon will be an absolute priority"!!

Now, and seriously, how can this man be trusted in anything he says or does from now on....how does 'realism' and 'growing up' fit in this total flipflop?
And why am I to believe that while his heart is supposedly ticking in the right place his pen, or keyboard, to the extent they reflect his brain, spout anything more than desperate lies?
Holymugger tells us not to be so negative.....I am not being negative Green man/woman.....I am simply saying the Green Party leadership sold the soul of the Party down the drain. That's as positive as I can get.

author by Topperpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:53Report this post to the editors

"Y'see real politics is about grand-standing but making no actual difference. They should keep to the fringes of politics and have no impact on the day-to-day decisions that affect the real people of Ireland. "

That seems to me like a perfect description of the Greens as of now. They can "grand-stand" from their ministerial positions and give themselves all the airs and graces they want, but they will have "no impact on the day-to-day decisions that affect the real people of Ireland." The privatisation of the health service will continue unmolested, US planes will continue to flow through Shannon. Green ministers won't stop the Corrib gas project from going ahead as Shell demands it must (although the local community might be able to stop them - the odds are against them but they certainly have a better chance than Trevor and co). The Greens will be kept "to the fringes of politics" while the key decisions will be made by unelected elites and their political agents in FF and the PDs. Being in office is not the same thing as being in power - a hundred years of social democracy has taught us that - and if the Greens are unable to digest this truism, they really are living in "cloud-cuckoo land." The bad-tempered abuse from GP supporters on this thread (perhaps best exemplified by the guy a few comments up who called us all FASCISTS, not fascists mind you, capital letters were needed) suggests bad faith and uneasiness on their part - if their case was so strong, they wouldn't need to raise their voices

author by GGpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:04Report this post to the editors

After 25 years building a Green Party across the island, nobody is
more conscious of the risks and pitfalls that lie ahead than the
leadership of the Party, including Trevor Sargent and the new
Ministers, Ryan and Gormley.

They have invested large chunks of their working lives to building
the party....drawing on the inspiration of the one of the most important
international movements in Europe since the end of WWII.

The choice taken by the Greens was not merely to embrace a static set
of written concessions in the Programme for Government. The choice
they made was to put their political lives and careers on the line
because they believe that ideas without power are just ideas.

The Green Party is not Friends of the Earth with bells on. The Green
Parties across the world occupy a particular role in the
international movement for social justice, sustainability and peace.
Their place is to seize opportunities to take the influence of the
movement into the corridors of `power'....and use the platform of the
State to present an alternative vision of how power can be used
creatively and to empower others.

The confidence of Green politicians, including Ministers in
Government in Finland, Italy, and elsewhee, is invested not merely in
their own prospects for political survival...but in their knowledge
that the political tide is turning....and while Governments may come
and go...the citizens continue to mobilize and speak truth to power
in all its guises and pretensions…

The Irish Green Party TDs do not lack courage because they have
seized the moment to bring their convictions to the heart of

The Irish Green Party TDs do not lack courage because they have
decided to abandon the easy certainties and convictions of

The courageous choice is to put everything on the line....to risk
everything....when the window of opportunity opens, and there's an
overwhelming sense that all the talking has been done.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:18Report this post to the editors

To GG: So you delude the voters, get yourself elected, then get a dose of courage and grab a little bit of power, sell the miserable deal to your paid up members, because you know a litlle bit of power is better than keeping faith with your supporters?

author by Topperpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:34Report this post to the editors

"The Irish Green Party TDs do not lack courage because they have
seized the moment to bring their convictions to the heart of

The Irish Green Party TDs do not lack courage because they have
decided to abandon the easy certainties and convictions of

The courageous choice is to put everything on the line....to risk
everything....when the window of opportunity opens, and there's an
overwhelming sense that all the talking has been done."

That's a bit windy and rhetorical for my liking, but anyway - what does it actually mean? Have they really "seized the moment to bring their convictions to the heart of Government"? Until recently, the likes of John Gormley seemed to have strong convictions about issues like the Iraq war, Rossport or the EU. I've seen Gormley speak at debates about the Iraq war, I've even interviewed him about it. I don't see any evidence that he's brought his convictions with him into the heart of Government. Rather, it seems as if those convictions were quietly shelved to make the journey possible.

And as for the "easy certainties and convictions of opposition" - there's nothing easy about going against the current. People in Rossport, for example, have had to endure police brutality and harassment on a daily basis because they were unwilling to abandon the "convictions of opposition". It's hard, thankless work. But it has to be done - otherwise we'd be faced with a situation where nobody in this fine country opposes the use of our airports to facilitate the bloody occupation of Iraq, to take one obvious example.

As far as I can see, it's much easier to go with the flow and accept the praise of the Irish Times and the Sunday Independent for your "mature", "responsible" attitude. You may honestly believe that this is the best way to go - but don't pretend that those of us who remain in an oppositional stance towards the establishment do it because it's easier that way.

Green supporters have repeatedly attacked the radical left (or the "fringe left", "micro left", to borrow the insulting terms they favour) and accused us of being powerless and irrelevant. Well, just to look at things from an electoral point of view - a very mild swing could have seen 3 or 4 radical-left TDs elected (Healy and Higgins were a whisker away from keeping their seats, RBB and Clare Daly also came close). That doesn't compare badly with the 6 seats won by the Greens with far more money and media coverage behind them (remember the Greens only had 2 TDs before 2002, and only 1 before 1997).

But more importantly, the radical left has some real successes to its credit in the last few years. To take the most striking example - the Socialist Party helped the Gama workers to organise a campaign against their criminal, exploitative employer, and Joe Higgins used his platform on the opposition benches to promote that campaign, which ended in victory. That victory delivered immediate benefits to the workers involved, but it also showed the potential for foreign workers to take action themselves and reverse the exploitation they experience at the hands of cut-throat employers. It certainly couldn't have been done if the SP had joined a ruling coalition and Higgins was the Minister for the Marine or whatever.

I guess GP supporters will find it very hard to get their head around this, because we're talking about a completely different approach to politics. It's not a question of delivering change for people from above, it's about empowering them to do things themselves and bring about change that way. That remains the most practical, realistic road to real social change.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 13:21Report this post to the editors

When pushed on the radio this morning to say exactly what areas of policy they expect to make a significant impact on Cuffe mentioned planning and climate change. Again you have to laugh. First off there is the infrastructure legislation which has stripped away all meaningful democratic involvement from the planning process and rendered our planning laws a developers and polluters charter. Unless it is repealed the Green party is bound and gagged. Could Gormley and Boyle not see the crowd of property developers sitting behind Ahern's shoulder making sure that their party donations would pay dividends? Do they not notice IBEC like a dracula in the wings making sure their vampiric designs on ordinary people's taxes will be drawn off as the lifeblood of private enterprise?

Were the Greens on drugs, I wonder? Did somebody put something in the coffee?

As for climate change, the average Fianna Failer seems to imagine that we are protected from the big nasty world here in Ireland. We're in the middle of the celtic tiger, the reasoning seems to go, so climate change will stay away. Or perhaps they think that because we are a small country it might not notice us. Christ knows what they think about it, to be honest, but again Ahern has signalled that his priority is protecting the wealthy - anything that affects the bottom line will be refused. Exactly the sort of thinking that brought us climate change in the first place.

Will the Greens now endorse incineration?

If our environment now depends on this group of political eunuchs, God help us all. Climate change is an issue that requires real courage to take on. Exactly like Ahern and Fianna Fail,
Sargeant has been pedalling the line that the situation could be saved without the least discomfort or inconvenience to anyone when the truth is we are in for a massive wake-up call. Telling the plain truth about climate change, however painful, is now an urgent necessity. People will jump up and down, throw tantrums and lash out - especially the greedmongers - but it is now entirely down to activists and other members of the public to assume the responsibility for this tough job. We don't have five years to fool around about climate change and our politicians will be utterly useless to us in the meantime. We cannot continue, like a bunch of spoiled brats, waiting for the adults - i.e. the international community and the EU - to impose environmental responsibility on us.

A million cartoons suggest themselves to desribe what the Greens have done. Anyone have the tech skills to provide us with a few? I have one particularly vulgar one in mind - Gormley et al bent over taking it....

author by R. Isiblepublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 13:21Report this post to the editors

There's a central important question about the actual effect that entering into electoral politics has for people/movements that seek anything more than a minor alteration in power relations. At least one attempt was made recently to examine this question given all the high falutin rhetoric being thrown around about elections: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/82761

There seem to be lots of examples that show that in some situations where one wants a fundamental change then striving for an alteration of power within representative democracy is futile and that any changes that happen occur as a result of fear of a non-governable threat. Examples include the long, failed process of "Home Rule" in Ireland (parliamentarianism was shown to be a complete crock); ending apartheid in S.Africa; the 8-hour labour day; Indian independence from the British Empire.

Politicians are OK as windy figureheads for the unmanageable force of the people which the establishment fears will break out into open rebellion if not appeased. A people that tries to appease its politicians in the vain hope of getting a small concession from them is a people that's wasting its time.

Yes, this is a shoddy analysis that needs a lot more detail to back it up.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 13:36Report this post to the editors

A good analysis is the book 'Chomsky on Anarchism', Oakland Press, last updated 2005. Originally published in 1969, it's instructive to realise how so much of what he predicted then has come to pass. He brilliantly strips away the myths of our system of electoral politics and shows how it isn't democratic at all.

author by Despublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 14:02Report this post to the editors

Environment Minister Gormley arrived at his office this morning on his bike and announced that the M3 project would go ahead. He could not change the previous minister’s decision. Meanwhile party comrade Cuffe hopes that his comrade can change the decision. This whole ‘programme for government’ is degenerating to the level of sheer farce. Reminds me of the commercial for some phone company, “we should be talking to each other”. All that’s missing is the late Sid James. The GP new policy on the country's heritage is to drive a bulldozer over it!

author by Rosapublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 14:35Report this post to the editors

This is a posting on his own website by Cllr. David Healy of the Green Party, Dublin North East. Speaks for itself, just wonder why he doesnt resign from the Greens now:

"A number of people have been asking me my views on the decision by party members to support the Greens going into government with FF and PDs.

I voted against. Unfortunately my name was not among those picked by lot to speak at our Convention. In conscience there is no way I could support a programme for government which will see a continuation of military use of Shannon Airport.

But even if I were to ignore my conscience, and the victims of war, the deal struck is a terrible one. No key Green demand has been met:

No end to corporate donations
No change to M3 through Tara valley or to any of the road-building programme
No new public transport commitments
Hospital co-location to go ahead

What about climate change? The programme for government contains a 3% target for annual reduction of greenhouse gases. There is no earthly way that this will be met without a fundamental change in transport policy. And there is no change to transport policy. Presumably that's why its just a government target instead of the legally binding commitment NGOs have been looking for.

As to why a majority of those at the Convention voted for this, I don't know. I remain amazed."

author by Not aggravatedpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 14:39Report this post to the editors

"The courageous American war-fighters will continue their triumphful flights through Shannon and onto Iraq where they will decimate the al-Qaeda foe.""

More US killed in Iraq than in the twin toweres. Long may the triumphful flights continue.

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 15:12author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, DalkeyReport this post to the editors

In response to GG I would like to make the following points.
GG says the Green Party are committed to social justice, sustainability and peace. I agree that up to their decision to enter a Government that has a commitment to continue to actively support President George Bush's decision to invade conquer and occupy Iraq in order to gain control of the oil in Iraq and to consolidate US/Israeli military domination of the Middle East, GG has a point.
The question is however on what basis can GG say the Irish Green Party can be in favour of peace while at the same time support an Imperialist war by the US Empire to gain control of oil?
Several of the other contributors say those of us who do not support the war are "ultra lefties" etc, that we should accept "reality" etc
The point however is that it id those of us who remain in the peace movement who are being realistic. It is very true that the vast majority of the people voted in favour of the war party called the FF/FG/pd Party and those of us in favour of peace an against the use of Shannon Airport in Bush's accept that. The question is however how long will they support the war party which now includes the Greens when the war continues to escalate (for example the EU is now advocating the invasion and conquest of the Gaza Strip) and Irish soldiers serving in the EU Battle Groups come back in bodybags and Irish people are conscripted into the emerging EU Army? It is the Irish peace movement that are the realists. The Crusader armies cannot win. They must withdraw from Palestine, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan. They will eventually anyway.
I believe the members of the Green Party who agreed to enter the Ahern Government and support Bush's war are sincere and genuinely believe they are doing the right thing. As the war drags on and on and as Ireland gets sucked deeper and deeper into the war they will change their minds, as will the Irish people. Once war is no longer an abstract concept, but actually means Irish people dying in Bush's war in Gaza, the Lebanon and Afghanistan, then just like they did in the 1914-18 war, they will change. It is the next 5 years that will see a real transformation in Irish politics as the people have to decide to support the war party or an emerging peace party.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by socialistpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 15:33Report this post to the editors

I personally know Finian who has no hesitation to call himself a socialist and who has been campaigning on behalf of working class people for many years now. If Finian can accept what was negociated with FF on Shannon then it is ok by me and most of his constituents even if it does not meet the approval of a few contributors on indymedia. Likewise if Finian whose record speaks for itself over the years can accept the rest of the governments programme then I for one have no problem with it.

author by Dubpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 15:41Report this post to the editors

No socialist can support right-wing parties such as FF and PDs in government. That is what McGrath did yesterday... put FF and PDS into power with the Greens as some kind of liberal fig-leaf.

Reality is that real socialists such as Joe Higgins was a constant thorn in the side of the Ahern regime for 10 years. Do you consider Joe Higgins to be sane? I do. He was only one there who made sence. If McGrath was a real socialist he would attempt to play the role of higgins in the new dáil. He would stay outside of government and would be a thorn in the side of Ahern and Harney. Because of McGrath there won't be a technical group and there is a fig-leaf of "socialism" around this government.

author by Apparat - ISNpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 16:26Report this post to the editors

The Green Fig Leaf, available to all (apart from those in State Capitalist China;) here:

Related Link: http://irishsocialist.net/publications_irish_green_part....html
author by Etain - Green Partypublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 16:26Report this post to the editors

Well Done David H on your stance and for speaking your mind. Yes! in response to the other green members comments,its early days yet and we should give them a chance. I have already contacted John Gormley and asked him to state his views on the above, so far no reply.

Destroy our heritage? Where is our sense of pride? The M3 is a road to perdition. Lilly livered politicians delivering half truths and all in the name of PROGRESS! what progress? losing your irreplacable national treasures, destroying our countries national resources and our communities spirit. If this project gets the total green light, I am handing my green party badge in.

I,d like to remind people of the wording of the proposed draft programme for government which states on pg 13 Environmental Enforcement 'People or businesses which despoil the Irish countryside or break our environmental laws should be punished and should make good any damage caused' also on pg. 15 first paragraph 'Work on an all-island basis to protect our shared archaeological heritage'

The government should do all they can to protect Tara, The Hill of Tara and the Gabhra Valley should become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Take some pride in your countries rich historical background, open your eyes now and have the forsight to realise that no tourist will consider visiting Ireland if we rid ourselves of our unique historical heritage.
Act before it is too late!

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 17:10Report this post to the editors

So "socialist ", Finian (McGrath) is a Socialist and anything he agreed is " ok by me" Any chance that you might run by us what Finian thinks of the appointment of Mary Harney to Health where she will continue to run down the National Service and replace it with an Americanised "for-profit" entity. Where citizens will be seperated according to their wealth and treated accordingly. How can a Socialist support such fundamental divisiveness?

The fact is that when push came to shove, McGarth, like Healy-Rae, acted like a local Councillor and with all the panache of a parish pump parochial hack, forgot his principles and sold-out. These are the facts, get over it. You and many thousands of others have been had. The only hope is that lessons have been learned.

author by ambiepublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 19:43Report this post to the editors

McGrath is a Bertie 'Socialist' not a Joe Higgins Socalist.

He was always a sell out waiting to happen

author by Batch21publication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 23:32Report this post to the editors

Look, we're dealing with a very cynical and selfish electorate here. After 5 years of constant howling about how shit the government is, they vote them back in. So in that context, and bearing in mind that Fianna Fail didn't REALLY need the greens, what are you gonna do? They weren't holding any cards and why not give it a go in power and see what happens?

What's the alternative, marching? I've tried that manys the time and where did it get me?

author by Jimbobpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 00:52Report this post to the editors

The Greens could have achieved more by walking away from Fianna Fail.
They made a huge mistake, fooled by temptations of power and they were bought very cheaply indeed. The little gains that the Greens got, although part of their manifesto, were not the things they chiefly campaigned on, (and they know that) and were not the reasons they were elected (this they also know) and it will dawn on them, that as representatives of the people, they were supposed to fight for what people wanted, not go down the route of cynical horse trading like the other discredited parties in the Dail. (I'm no socialist but I sure miss Joe Higgins voice in the Dail right now)
The Green Party has abused the trust put in them by the electorate, in return for a handful of magic beans. They will have to think long and hard about how much they will have to swallow to hold onto the ministries and pet projects, while Shannon is a military airstrip, Harney destroys public health care, and all the small print of NICE 2 comes to pass in privatisation of services.
All these however, the population in general deserves because we, as a nation have shirked responsibility for our own destiny, leaving it up to others to sort out for us. But where do we get off conceding or comprimising on the lives of Iraqi civilians, and US troops? Those are not ours to compromise. They have been abandoned.
If the Greens couldn't get anything other than a smoke screen promise on Shannon, then they should have walked away, and LOUDLY and PUBLICLY denounced Fianna Fail for favouring the deaths of 655,000 Iraqis over any risk of poor relations with the US government. That, would have been LEADERSHIP... something clearly lacking in Irish politics these days.
When the US attacks Iran, as they are clearly flagging... the Greens will have to either swallow the use of Shannon for another US war, or they'll have to walk out the door and leave their little gains on government reform behind them.
Hopefully, the Greens will wake up to this reality, before people in Tehran wake up to the sound of air raid sirens.
If not, then they deserve to be categorised along with FF as paying lipservice to the value of human life, and the rule of law. and turning a blind eye to bloody slaughter and wholesale stealing of a country's natural resources.

author by holymugger - Green Party Memberpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 08:10Report this post to the editors

Yes and all we are saying is that in the meantime we are going to give John Gormley and Eamon Ryan a chance. Because you guys would not even try. Is that right ?

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 08:20Report this post to the editors

holymugger - Green Party Member says,

"Yes and all we are saying is that in the meantime we are going to give John Gormley and Eamon Ryan a chance. Because you guys would not even try. Is that right ?"

A chance to do what? The programme for government, to which the Greens have signed up to, is agreed. Segregated privatised health services, cheerleading US wars, the M3 through our heritage etc etc etc

Take off the rose tinted glasses. Your leaders sold-out.

author by realo - nonepublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 09:11Report this post to the editors

Well on one thing anyway - It's amusing to watch politicians and commentators of all persuasions other than Green giving out to the Greens for looking after Green interests rather than those of whoever is criticising them.

For example: Putting the environment ahead of Shannon - I voted Eamon Cuffe rather than Richard Boyd Barret because I agree with that, and I'm glad to see him representing the people who voted for him rather than those who voted for other people and other priorities.

Sure there are a lot of compromises - They said before the election that they would compromise to get into govenmement but that would be better than staying outside and getting nothing done.

author by realopublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 09:16Report this post to the editors


author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:12Report this post to the editors

It sure appears ,realo , that even the Greens are having difficulties telling us what the Greens hope to achieve in this dogs dinner of a government. He/she says "For example: Putting the environment ahead of Shannon"
So we can support a slide into a catastrophic conflageration elsewhere so long as we are addressing environmental issues at home. This of course demonstartes the extent to which the Green leadership has strayed from core values. You cannot save the planet or address environmental issues while at the same time waging war. It is a kind of contradiction , don't you think.
Similairly, if you deny people access to good health care, which will happen when Harney privatises it, with the agreement of the Green party, (a fact that no amount of wishy-washy claptrap will airbrush away), whether the air is clean or not becomes no more than a moot point for those who are ill. It is silly to suggest that a pure environment without justice and fairness is a legitimate objective. The slaves of the Confederate States of America lived in an environmental paradise. Clean air, pristine water etc etc. Are you telling us they lived out fullfilled lives?

You then tell us that, "Sure there are a lot of compromises", again the point is missed by a mile. The Green Party compromised itself into irrelevence-fullstop. Open your eyes. We now have Gormley telling us that he cannot reverse the decision of Roche to destroy Tara. That is a lie. To suggest that a Minister could not reverse a previous decision is rediculous and unworthy. This little charade was pre-agreed in an effort to save the blushes of the Greens. Fianna Fails friends are already lined up and waiting to make a few more million out of the construction of the road and a little thing like our heritage will not be allowed to delay that. If Gormley thinks that anyone would believe his claim that he is "powerless" to stop this vandalism, then he must also think that the rest of us are gormless.
And pretending that you know how commentators voted won't wash either.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 13:52Report this post to the editors

‘Will Beveryly Flynn's court case magically be resolved in her favour?’ (Earlier post.)

It seems very likely that indeed it will! She is to launch a challenge to the law that says a bankrupt may not be a TD. Prizes for guessing what the outcome of that challenge will be? Well, that’s that little problem sorted. Ah well, why should the law be allowed to get in the way of improper behaviour? Why should not any old scheister be good enough to represent the interests of thousands of people, after all?

Contrast and compare to Ahern’s intention to introduce an exception to parliamentary rules so as to permit private donations to public representatives from ‘friends’. Like his Manchester business friends – some of whom have publicly declared that they were never his friends. Ahern repeated a bare-faced lie during the leader’s pre-election debate when he described his benefactors as ‘long-standing friends’ accompanied by a nauseatingly baleful facial expression.

“I certainly believe that Beverly Flynn will come back into her natural home, which is Fianna Fáil… We would certainly like to see her back in Fianna Fáil,” said Mr Ahern, who added that she might become an office-holder.”

That's a compliment from the disgraced Taoiseach to the disgraced TD. FF is surely a natural home for the both of them.

The word ‘integrity’ would curdle in Ahern's mouth.


author by mirasmapublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 15:54Report this post to the editors

Hell hath no fury than the fringe-left scorned. And by God the electorate sure scorned it!

Calls of "betrayal" were enevitable from the cerebrally-challenged outer-reaches of socialism when the Greens went into government. This is probably because the entire fringe is grounded on the principle that 100% of nothing is infinitely superior to 5% of something. A brief trawl through Indymedia will disabuse any doubters of the fact that the fringe is wedded to the principle of protest and doesn't do constructive engagement. There is also a pathology within the fringe which considers compromise a palliative which only postpones the inevitable dialectical triumph of the 'proles'.

The electorate has come to the same conclusion in its repeated rejection of the 'un-nuanced' left.

The disapointment of the fringe and its calls of "betrayal" can only suggest that they have not been listening. The fact is that the GP is not a socialist party, and never was. The GP (both here and elsewhere in Europe) is a radical anti-populist party. Patricia McKenna (who really should depart to the SWP where she belongs), doesn't seem to get it either. She should now stop cashing in on the electoral cred of the GP and run as the fringe-socialist she is. She would keep her principles (and lose her seat).

author by Bevpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 16:05Report this post to the editors

I mean why is it so hard to accept that a low tax party who seek to enrich a nation of materialistic
people who need their cars, their second homes, their manicurists etc, then go and give out
about it. Low tax parties starve the state system to increase privatisation. Ms Cooper-Flynn is a thief,
she retained the Flynn name to prove it. Ask anyone in the NW about Padraig and Beverely, they do
not really care about principle as long as the money is in the pocket and everything continues
just so. Its called clientelism and they work really hard to bring the wealth to the voters. I am
really surprised that the issue got any media time at all, except RTE who are attempting to sue
her. Everyone in this nation who voted FF did so because they like what they get and they
don't want to change that. Most would react in horror to FG/Lab because they are perceived as
a high tax party and not Nationalistic enough. That is what any camapaign for poltical change faces
and its best to realise that the urban vote is only a tiny % of the national vote. the choice in
peoples minds was this: FF/PD , low tax/corruption/SSIA's/Nationalism or Fg/Lab; farm income/
EU/NATO/high tax. We like our blackguards and catholics. Micro-left activity does not take cognisance
of the reality of lives which do not hang on political principle but bread and butter issues. The
green td's are perceived as liberal and scary in Rural ireland!

author by Despublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 16:25Report this post to the editors

It’s time to ditch any concern for our heritage, any reservations over waging war in the interests of US imperialism, it’s time to render assistance to Shell in their attacks on the people of Rossport, fuck their safety, profit comes first. It’s time to line up with Bertie (and soon with Beverly), it’s time to ditch our manifesto commitments and sticks our snouts in the trough! Who the hell cares about principle, about human life, especially suspicious foreign types when there is mercs and big paycheques involved. It’s time Patricia McKenna was consigned to the living hell of the SWP.

author by Allyatespublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 16:28Report this post to the editors

Never trust politicans.

I hope that their grand-kids ask them one day "Grandpa what did you do when we found actual proof of a shared Irish-English Celitc heritage?".


"I bulldozed it".

F**k them. They hate the Irish as much as any Tory. Only the Tories love their heritage!

author by Allaytespublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 16:31Report this post to the editors

How can they be 'green' and support a war that has the US using 'dirty bombs'? Afterall that is what depleted (a misnomer) uranium bombs are.

Whats so green about that?

author by R. Isiblepublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 16:45Report this post to the editors

The precise point being made in this article is exactly that this is not a betrayal. The Greens have consistently indicated that they will do nothing practical to stop Shannon, or the M3, or any of the other most pressing concerns of my fringe (which includes the consistent majority support voiced in favour of shutting Shannon to the USAF while engaged in war on another sovereign country).

This is the logical, consistent and completely predictable outcome of the Green ideology: bin-taxes for the poor, prisons for the youth, and munitions for the USA.

There's no surprise here except for the rightwingers that didn't appreciate either the reactionary moralistic appeal of the Greens and or the coming business opportunities resulting from the disruption over CO2 emissions.

author by Laurapublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 18:53Report this post to the editors

The treachery and hypocrisy is despicable. They knew about Roche's decision when urging their members to vote for the agreement. Remember the 'drafting problems' that occurred on Tuesday evening? I was told by a Green TD on Wednesday that there had been a massive row over Tara on Tuesday evening. Roche signed the order on Tuesday. No coincidence, they knew.

author by Michael Martin - TaraWatchpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 19:58author email Wicklowwolf at yahoo dot comReport this post to the editors

The Cock Roche's shabby conduct re Tara comes as no surprise. Wouldn't expect anything else from Tricky Dickie Roche!
But Gormley stalling on the Tara issue is an eye-opener for all those who put their trust in the Green Party. Gormley has two opions to get out of this mess honourably.
1) Overturn Roche's decision without further hesitation.
2) If unable to overturn the decision, then the Green Party should pull out of the coalition straight away.

author by Topperpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 20:11Report this post to the editors

"Hell hath no fury than the fringe-left scorned. And by God the electorate sure scorned it!"

I'm afraid you've got a little carried away with your hatred of the socialist left (personalised abuse seems to be a common feature of most of the pro-GP posts on this thread). I'll just cut and paste what I said earlier - no harm repeating yourself when certain folk just don't want to listen:

"Well, just to look at things from an electoral point of view - a very mild swing could have seen 3 or 4 radical-left TDs elected (Healy and Higgins were a whisker away from keeping their seats, RBB and Clare Daly also came close). That doesn't compare badly with the 6 seats won by the Greens with far more money and media coverage behind them (remember the Greens only had 2 TDs before 2002, and only 1 before 1997)."

I might add that Higgins (certainly) and Daly (very, very probably) would have seats in the Dail now if the constitution was obeyed and Dublin West and North had the right number of seats. Fianna Fail might be able to taunt smaller group for their lack of electoral support, but Green supporters should really have a little more humility - on a bad day, they could be wiped out like the PDs or worse.

"Calls of "betrayal" were enevitable from the cerebrally-challenged outer-reaches of socialism when the Greens went into government. This is probably because the entire fringe is grounded on the principle that 100% of nothing is infinitely superior to 5% of something. A brief trawl through Indymedia will disabuse any doubters of the fact that the fringe is wedded to the principle of protest and doesn't do constructive engagement."

A slightly more elegant way of saying "nnnn, you're all morons!", which is hardly the most dignified or mature way to participate in a discussion. More importantly, the substantial points being made by critics of the GP are totally ignored (yet again). The whole point is this - on every major issue of note, the Greens capitulated completely to FF. All they have are some vague promises of action on climate change that could be dumped just as easily as FF's commitment to increase foreign aid to 0.7% of the budget. Exciting as the prospect of electing a mayor for Dublin may be, I don't consider it a significant reform. As I see it, 100% of nothing may not be great, but it's no worse than 0% of something - the share the Greens have won by entering government.

And to repeat once more - declining to enter government with FF does not mean you can't do anything. You can organise people to take action themselves and win change that way. One succesful strike is likely to have more impact than five years of Green participation in government. Certainly, if health workers went on strike in opposition to the privatisation of health care, it would achieve more than the Greens have been able to get on that front (precisely nothing - Harney's obnoxious agenda in the Health Ministry will continue without any obstruction or modification whatsoever). Protest certainly does have a better track record than "constructive engagement", which is an idle fantasy unless you find yourself in the same camp as IBEC and the O'Reilly empire.

"The GP (both here and elsewhere in Europe) is a radical anti-populist party."

I certainly haven't the faintest clue what this mean, and I doubt you do either.

author by Siobhan - TaraWatchpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 00:16Report this post to the editors

The bare facts remain that all indicaions point to the fact that a deal was struck on the day before the anouncement was made.

Dempsey and Cullen came out smiling and gloating that a deal had been agreed. One should consider that Noel Dempsey was theMOE when Tara was sold to prositution in the first place. Little wonder then that it would be he, who is given the position of MOT to finish off the job.

His involvement in this should not be underestimated. The route of the problem began under his watch. What did he and his Estate Agent friends have to gain? Who brought the land around Tara? Follow the money trail.

There is no excuse for the greens and their dispicable sell out. We know that Gormley has the power to review this 'decision' . The question is does he and the other Greens have the Balls to do so.

author by Aragonpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 09:55Report this post to the editors

For those who dont actually have balls?

author by realopublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:13Report this post to the editors

Again - it is not a betrayal for it to put first what it has advertised before the election as *its* prioritiies.

Whether or not these are right is a separate debate. In the debate that the election was, people simply didn't vote for the finge left. And admitedly not enough for the Greens either - that's why they can't get all their policies implemented. But they are in a position to get many implemented (and who really thinks that FF would have stuck with their pre-election promises on the environment without the deal with the Greens?).

Now, will the deal cause a Green wipe-out in the next election? Probably so, but because of loss of transters from FG and Labour, rather than the much smaller numbers on the radical left.

(In an attempt to add some facts into this debate, here's their pre-election manifesto:
No mention of Tara at all.
Admitedly Shannon is mentioned, but mainly in connection with transport, with the US milatary flights being one sentence on page 19 of 20: Clearly not their top priority).

By all means diagree with the Greens or any other party, but try not to be too surprised that their priorities are what they said they are, and not what you'd like them to be.

author by Mistyfiedpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 14:11Report this post to the editors

On reading David Healy's comments I take it the answer is no, but I am wondering if the Green Party members voted themselves in to government on the understanding that they could quite likely be sacrificing the Party for possible gains on global warming? Was it deliberate, open-eyed decision of 'now or never'? Whatever happens, six people are made for life with their comfy TD/ministerial pensions and can retire happily to a few acres in West Cork, no problem.

Just on Tara, as Siobhan says, follow the money. Would it be worth a visit to the Land Registry Office to see who owns the land along the route of the M3, or are the land sales based on agreements pending the final gohead from the government? Anyone know any of the local farmers and hearing any gloating of upcoming windfalls, retirement to Alicante etc.?

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 14:12Report this post to the editors

Realo, will you tell us which bit or bits of the Greens Manifesto will be implemented. The agreed Programme for Government seems to take little or no direction from it.
Maybe there's some good news here after all and we have just been having difficulty seeing it. So off you go in your own time, Realo, spread a bit of sunshine. I'm holding my breathe.

author by Former Greenpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 14:47Report this post to the editors

Very interesting comment thread so far and most of the comments are spot on. I'm a former member of the Green Party who left about three years ago. I was disillusioned by the general unrelenting middle-classness of the party, exemplified by their position on the bin taxes. That and incessant comments like " do you not thing that [insert name here] is too left wing"? Their efforts to appear "credible" over the past five years - such as singing the praises of the "business community" [Captialist Bastards] - added yet another layer of disillusion. Also, having witnessed at first hand the modus operandi of one of the current Green ministers, I'm not surprised that they went into government with FF despite having been so obviously shafted in every respect.

What I don't think the Greens realise is that their core voters, not the 300 hundred odd members of their convention, are deeply distressed by their deal with FF. These are intelligent people who have been treated like cretins by the Green leadership. Unlike many FF voters they're not people who need politicians to run errands for them, but people who think critically and care passionately about the need for changes to the poltical system; greater fairness and who realise, moreover, that profound change is necessary to meet climate change. I think its unlikely that these people will vote Green again. Also, Green voters, understand the political system and that compromise is sometimes necessary. But that utterly degraded and cheap compromises the Greens have made will completely alienate savvy Green voters. There is one possible upside to this turn of events. With the Greens now firmly established as a right wing party, committed to right wing policies with soft-green trimmings, there voters will have to go somewhere else in five years time. Many will probably turn left. RBB came close this year, a similar result in 2012 coupled with a sizeable chunk of Cuffe's voters who can't stomach effectively voting for FF/PD (which is what a vote for the Greens in 2012 will be) and things will be interesting. Similarly, in Dublin North, Trevor will have some serious explaining to do when his ministerial colleague continues allowing Attila The Property Developer run riot. Perhaps some of Trev's former voters, seeing that voting Green is a dead-end, may give Clare Daly a shot.

We'll see.

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 14:50author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey. Co. DublinReport this post to the editors

There have been 121 contributions to this thread, so maybe its time we moved on. The reality is that despite our best efforts PANA was not able to make Ireland's termination of its policy of of neutrality and its active participation in Bush's Imperialist war to gain control of the oil in Iraq and to consolidate US/Israeli military domination of the Middle East an issue in the election.
The Lansdowne Market Research poll commissioned by PANA which showed that 58% of the people opposed the use of Shannon in the war was simply ignored by the corporate media and the major political parties. The vast majority of the people decided to vote for Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the PD's and the Labour Party, all of whose leaders said before the election that they supported Bush's war and the use of Shannon Airport in that war. After the election, the Green Party and Finian McGrath changed sides and also decided to support Bush's war. Many of those that opposed the war, like Joe Higgins, Patricia McKenna, Sean Crowe, Seamus Healy, Richard Boyd Barret, and Catherine Connolly to name but a few, were defeated.
The fact is PANA and the othe anti-war groups were not strong enough, were not well organised enough to win. Quite simply were not able to get that 58% of the people who opposed the war to make it the central issue on which they voted. So while it is true, the Labour Party, the Green Party and Finian McGrath betrayed the Irish peace movement and are now part of Bush's Crusader Army,
we need to now focus on rebuilding the Irish peace movement.
PANA, the NGOPA, the IAWM and Labour Youth which work together under to broader umbrella alliance, the Stop Bush Campaign that organised the march on the 15/2/03 are holding a series of vigils at Shannon Airport on every 2nd Saturday at Shannon Airport. If people wish to take part they can contact me at Tel. 087-2611597.
Finally, the total overwhelming reality is that Bush's Crusader Army will be defeated. It will take many more years, but it's defeat is inevitable. The nearest comparison in historical terms is 1914.
Then, as now, there was all Ireland participation in an Imerialist war. Then as now, virtually the entire political/media elite enthuastically supported the war. Then as now, those that did not, reflected the views of a small but respectable minority. Then, as now, those that oppsed the war worked together, (Connolly, Griffith and other founded the Irish Neutrality League in 1914). Then as now,as the war dragged on and on, as the Irish who joined the Battle Group of the British Union came back in bodybags(this time its the Battle Groups of the European Union), the people turned away from the Irish warmongers and Imperialists. As this Imperialist war drags on and on, the same process will happen again. See you at Shannon. We shall have our victory. The Imperialists will be defeated.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by holymugger - Green Party Memberpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 22:43Report this post to the editors

Siobhan Tarawatch. You say that you "know" that Gormley can reverse Roche's despicable decision. Well then can you please publish your legal advice which states this. I am asking this with an open mind.

author by holymugger - Green Party Memberpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 22:52Report this post to the editors

Laura said "I was told by a Green TD on Wednesday that there had been a massive row over Tara on Tuesday evening. Roche signed the order on Tuesday. No coincidence, they knew".

Well you you please give us some more details on this please. This is a serious allegation.

author by Siobhan - TaraWatchpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 23:13Report this post to the editors

Yes I can back it up.

National Monument Act (section 14a) introduced that, where according to section 22 of tne Interpretation Act 2005, a minister has the power to revoke or amend pfevious directions

" A power confered by an enactment to make a statutory instrument shall be read as including a power exercisable in the like manner and subject to the like consent (if any) , to repeal or amend a statute made under that power and (where required) to make another statute made under that power and (where required) to make another statutary instrument in place of the one so repealed".

author by Siobhan - TaraWatchpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 23:18Report this post to the editors

Rodger Garland was on National radio the day before saying that he could not have faith in a party who would Preside over the deatruction of Tara.

So make up your own mind.

author by Let's be clearpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 08:26Report this post to the editors

Siobhan I think you have missed a big point. You quote a piece from the Interpretation Act. That says a Minister can change something called a Statutory Instrument. But the decision Richie Roche made was not a Statutory Instrument.

Have you anything else to go on?

author by Beyond the fringepublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 09:18Report this post to the editors

So I guess that confirms it - nobody is going to be able to come out with any clear, lucid arguments to justify the deal struck by the Greens with FF. Instead, we just have a series of comments saying "you're stupid! you're crazy! you're stupid and crazy!!!" - abuse and windy rhetoric in place of serious argument. I think we "flakes" can enjoy the irony of the mature, grown-up Greens and their supporters resorting to childish playground abuse when they face a bit of criticism. Maybe prize for best comment should go to the Labour party member a few posts up who regrets the failure of his party to get into office and deliver - what exactly? Another tax amnesty perhaps?

author by Lets be clearerpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 09:53Report this post to the editors

Hang on 'let’s be clear' Are you trying to claim that a minister cannot change a decision made by a previous minister? Are you aware of how ridiculous that assertion makes the whole electoral process look?

I doesn't matter who you vote for folks, all the fuck ups of past governments are unchangable.....

Would you mind showing us all, for clarity and so there is no further confusion amongst us lesser mortals, the exact legislation which forbids incoming ministers from altering, changing, reversing decisions made by his predecessors.

author by holymugger - Green Party Memberpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:05Report this post to the editors

No Green party member has claimed the programme for Government was a good deal. The best argument in favour of the Greens going into Government is that they are in charge of two important Govt. Departments and have a chance to effect some positive change in how this country is run.
M3/Tara, Shell, US/Shannon. These abominations are not of The Green Parties making and it is entirely unreasonable for people to think that a small party can overturn these decisions. The fact of the matter is that only a very small number of the electorate voted for The Green Party and it barely held its 6 seats. On the otherhand, the vast majority of the electorate voted for FF/FG in all three constituencies relating to the above (Meath, Mayo, Clare) and in the country as a whole. The Green Party therefore had a weak hand dealt by the electorate on these issues. Also FF did not need the Greens to make up the numbers. It only wanted them to make things a little more comfortable.

I for one am not saying that the next five years will definetly be a success. I dont know. But it is worth a try. And if The Green Party is destroyed in the process so be it. It will have been worth the try.

author by Siobhan - TaraWpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:14Report this post to the editors

Definitely has to be an (unnamed) FF, who commented that the discussions with the Greens was the " easiest Lay in the History of mankind" - Irish Times Saturday.

It is unfortunate that the greens have decided to Prostitute Tara in order to serve their own lust for power.

A statutory instrument is a law, so HE has the power to change the LAW.

Related Link: http://TaraWatch.org
author by holymugger - Green Party Memberpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 22:24Report this post to the editors


I hope you are not the PR person for the Save Tara Campaign.

author by Michael Canney - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:35Report this post to the editors

On behalf of the Campaign to Save Tara; from our legal advice the statute Labour are quoting (The Interpretation Act) is not applicable in this case and John Gormley would only be entitled to change the previous directive if the were 'a materal change in circumstance' which would allow him to re-visit the decision. We are seeking further clarification and are canvassing wide legal opinion. It is our opinion that the new Minister should not rely solely on the advise of the Attorney General in this matter and should himself actively seek other options and opinions.
Such a change in circumstance would and should occur should a detailed examination of all the documentation arising from the archaeology be thoroughly reviewed. A number of other such sites were, by any independent and objective analysis, worthy of National Monument status. Was such information passed to Roche's office and how were these recommendations dealt with?
In addition only a section of the Lismullen National Monument falls within the road-take and the remainer is in private hands. This obviously has some legal implications.
Finally, the Lismullen Monument is in a very poor state of decay and in our opinion was severely damaged by inappropraite arcaeological methodologies (we have pictures of heavy machinery operating in this area in January of this year).
We are pursuing all these avenues vigourously and will be meeting the new minister very shortly to find out how exactly he intends to honour his parties oft stated support for the preservation of the Tara/Skryne Valley and a re-routing of the proposed M3.
In the meantime we are calling on everyone to do what they can to support the protesters on the ground who have been amazingly sucessful in delaying and disrupting work in the Valley up to now.

Related Link: http://savetara.com
author by Muireann Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tara publication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:49Report this post to the editors

Further information on the legal situation in this article by Michael Smith.
Irish Times 19 June 2007

Gormley has discretion to call a halt to M3
It is still possible for John Gormley to do something about the M3 and Tara, argues Michael Smith , who says independent assessment is the first step
The Hill of Tara has been sacred for 5,000 years. It was already 2,000 years old at the time of the siege of Troy. It was once the ancient seat of power in Ireland - 142 kings are said to have reigned there. In ancient Irish religion and mythology Tara was the sacred place of dwelling for the gods, and was the entrance to the otherworld.
In the recent negotiation of a programme for government the Greens could not get a commitment to run the M3 motorway away from Tara to safeguard its integrity. But there are still ways the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, could achieve this result.
For the Greens the fact is that although they may not have negotiated a very green programme for government, much can be achieved through the daily exercise of their offices - particularly that of Minister for the Environment. Historically in Ireland, economic and even social aspirations have been phrased mandatorily - "the Minister shall . . .", whereas environmental objectives have been framed as discretions - "may".
In the past most of the mays were treated by ministers for the environment as opportunities for a may not. While legislation looked pro-environment, it was not exercised in a pro-environment way. The most important engine for this Government's green agenda will be having Ministers in the right place to exercise those discretions in a green way.
Dick Roche, Fianna Fáil's recently-departed minister for the environment, chose not to designate national monuments along the M3 route near Tara, but many archaeologists - outside of the NRA at least - felt he could and should have. In the end he designated only one feature, the 80m-diameter henge structure at Lismullin, as a national monument. But even in that case he availed of the possibility allowed by the insidious 2004 National Monuments (Amendment) Act, which was the reaction to a previous debacle at Carrickmines, to issue directions to allow it to be recorded and then destroyed.
It appears the minister was strengthened in his willingness to do this by indications that much of Lismullin had been destroyed and was vulnerable to the elements, and also that there would not be much advantage to retaining it since most of the rest of the archaeological landscape has been destroyed following excavation.
Gormley apparently believed he could not overturn Roche's directions. But this seems to be wrong on first principles.
The Attorney General's office offered verbal advice to this effect but it may be difficult for the Attorney General himself to offer advice as, professionally as a senior counsel, he represented Meath County Council in the Vincent Salafia case, which called for designations of national monuments along the route of the M3. There may be an appearance of a conflict of interest. Gormley should therefore seek independent advice.
However, it now appears that it is legally possible to designate other sites - such as Collierstown, Baronstown, Roestown along the Tara-Skryne Valley - as national monuments. Where Roche failed to designate, Gormley can. He should follow up independent legal advice with independent archaeological advice.
It is likely that other national monuments along the route will also emerge as it appears Lismullin itself escaped detection under the initial geophysical survey and was only recognised by chance.
As regards Lismullin, designated a national monument but prey to directions allowing destruction, what Roche directed Gormley can simply undirect or redirect.
The route is a blank canvass awaiting proper independent assessment of the appropriateness of national monument designations.
With the Tara-Skryne Valley packed with newly-designated national monuments and no ministerial directions allowing for their destruction, it would clearly be impossible to drive the M3 project through.
Tara may be just the first of a series of issues where Gormley can promote environmental protection without reverting to the Cabinet. The Minister has control over environment, heritage and local government. Many of his powers do not require Cabinet approval. For instance, many of the powers relating to protection of national and built heritage give the Minister wide discretion.
As regards urban and rural planning, much of the national spatial strategy depends on the Minister intervening where local authorities flout it - as they typically do, for example, in facilitating sprawl in the hinterland of Dublin.
If we are to reconfigure the country away from Dublin and its hinterland to other cities and towns, progressive exercise of those discretions will be a major step.
For those of us who spent years battling against the system for the protection of the environment and heritage and for the promotion of good planning, Lismullin in Tara could be a bridgehead to a bright new green world.
Michael Smith is a former chairman of An Taisce. This commentary was written in a personal capacity
© 2007 The Irish Times

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by W. Finnerty.publication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 13:19Report this post to the editors

I believe Michael Smith's assessment (Irish Times) is correct for many reasons.

I further believe that if this assessment gets enough support it will help Minister Gormley to do what's right by the People of the State, as opposed to "what's right" by a relatively small clique of despotic lawyers who appear to be successfully hoodwinking the people into believing they are genuine "Gods" of some kind.

All of my research during the past several years suggests the bulk of these lawyers really are gods okay: but it's "tin god" variety, of the kind that's badly lacking in anything of real value or substance.

That said, I thankfully have no reason whatever to believe our legal profession consists ENTIRELY of tin-gods, and what's needed now (it seems to me) is for a team of our high quality lawyers to FULLY check-out the constitutionality of "the insidious 2004 National Monuments (Amendment) Act".

Personally, I would describe it as "insidious and in all probability unconstitutional": in other words, a piece of illegal law - by virtue of the fact that it violates parts of Bunreacht na hEireann (the BASIC law of Ireland) in the ways described below by Dr Gerard Hogan SC.

"Gerry Hogan, senior counsel for Mr Salafia, claimed the legislation used to push through the project was unconstitutional. He said the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 weakened the role of the Oireachtas (Ireland's national parliament) by giving the minister discretionary powers to determine the fate of the country's heritage. Mr Hogan claimed the state's duty to protect monuments had been 'seriously compromised'. (This quote has been taken from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/20....html .)

The facilities and procedures Minister Gormley needs for having the constitutionality of The National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 checked are described at http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government...sions ; and, please note, it is nowhere stated that the Attorney General (Paul Gallagher) has to give Minister Gormley his permission.

I can't say I envy Minister Gormley, and the severely "out-numbered" position I suspect he's in just now; but, while wishing him well, I imagine that he (and his supporters) might like, at this point in time, to consider - LONG and HARD - the lines below:

"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries."

Democracy or Despotism?

Which path will our new Government take?

These questions were put to a number of senior lawyers and politicians yesterday. For anybody interested, please see http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.co...l.htm

Some may be interested to know that the list of addressees used for the e-mail at the address just above includes Peter Sutherland (Former Attorney General, Chairman of Goldman Sachs International Bank, Steering Committee Member of the Bilderberg Group, and European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission): who, with due regard for his Trilateral Commission Chairmanship, and correctly or otherwise, I suspect may be one of the main driving forces behind the production of laws which are unconstitutional: and consequently illegal.

Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com
author by maruti - Green Party Member Poland - Polish Greenspublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 14:25Report this post to the editors

All I can say... if Gormley doesn't get his head out of FF ass, then wtf kinda Greens are they? A lot can be said about the German Greens, but they were tough and made quite an influence on German politics.

I'll give the Irish Greens the benefit of the doubt for now... but come on... Tara? Shannon? Shell to Sea? Three key issues and you are caving in? Have some guts to say 'fak u Bertie!'!

Green Parties are needed. Even more so now than whenever. But we need strong Green politicians with a strong moral spine. Come on Gormley! Show some metal and find your balls! Even Greens outside of Ireland are watching in disgust.

Even the Czech Greens have more metal than Gormley... their voice is heard and they stand up for issues they believe in.

Hopefully the future of the Greens belongs to Patricia McKenna.

author by tfpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 17:01Report this post to the editors

I'd say give the new Minister for the Environment (John Gormley) and Irish Green Party a bit of a chance to show us how they handle the new power they've now got - which is potentially huge, if they play their cards well.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

I think it's too soon yet to be judging their performance in Government - much too soon.

Putting things right will take a lot more than saying "fak u Bertie!" - though doing so might help a lot at times, in the days, weeks, months, and years that possibly lie ahead for this present arrangement.

"Fak u Paul" (Gallagher) is the first thing Minister Gormley needs to say.

Am I right, or am I faking right?

author by ALpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 19:01Report this post to the editors

Now, if you don't come down Paul, I'll cut the Tree from under you.

Related Link: http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/jala/8/cuomo....html
author by Tadhgpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 19:48Report this post to the editors

At the beginning of the act the meaning of a Statutory Instrument is explained as...
"statutory instrument" means an order, regulation, rule, bye-law,
warrant, licence, certificate, direction, notice, guideline or other like
document made, issued, granted or otherwise created by or under an
Act and references, in relation to a statutory instrument, to "made"
or to "made under" include references to made, issued, granted or
otherwise created by or under such instrument."

author by Siobhan - TaraWatchpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 21:36Report this post to the editors

Thanks for that clarification.

We at TaraWatch are still realing from the aftereffects of Cockroaches dispicable last act before being ousted from office. We really felt that our struggle would be over and that we could get back to our lives once the greens were put in charge of Enviornment. Unfortunatly this is not the case. It is very disheartening.

But we will continue are fight until ALL avenues are exhausted. We owe it to our ancestors.
One must remember that Tara was already 2000 years old at the time of Troy. What other government in the World would carve such a wonderfull legacy up, and sell it off in their own seriously misguided self-interests. It is an National disgrace.

Related Link: http://TaraWatch.org
author by bombardier fritzpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 21:48Report this post to the editors

Damn right.
Well I remember Joseph "Joschka" Fischer cheerleading the NATO "intervention" in the Balkans including the bombing of civilian targets in Belgrade.

author by maruti - Polish Greenspublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:17Report this post to the editors

However controversial the decision concerning the Balkan war was the German Greens and Joschka Fischer didn't crumble under coalition pressure, but they made a tough, thoroughly debated decision. You may not have liked the decision, but you can not say it was not consciously made.

Hence criticize Fischer for the Balkan decision, but you can't say he sold out.

author by Jim O'Sullivanpublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 17:07Report this post to the editors

"However controversial the decision concerning the Balkan war was the German Greens and Joschka Fischer didn't crumble under coalition pressure, but they made a tough, thoroughly debated decision. You may not have liked the decision, but you can not say it was not consciously made."

So waging war is ok Maruti, providing the Greens can square it with their conscience
This whole debacle is becoming flakier and flakier.

author by Despublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 17:36Report this post to the editors

I am sure the occupants of the tv building in Belgrade and the Chinese embassy staff really appreciated the conscience wrestling of Herr Green Fischer!

author by maruti - Polish Greenspublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 19:03Report this post to the editors

War is never OK. But does that mean that i.e. we should allow Rwanda to happen again? There is a big difference between being an aggressor and being part of a peace intervention.

We could in the face of crimes like Rwanda and Serbia turn around and let genocide/ethnic cleansing continue. Or we can intervene. Bombing them with flowers won't give you too much...

Not all the methods were right and having an unhonest partner as the USA in a war isn't a 'cool' option

With various reserves I back both the Kosovo and the Afganistan intervention. I'm not saying the path chosen was the best, but it was better than just waiting for the problem to solve itself. The US led bombing campaign was a joke, not an intervention.

I'm a realist man, so going all radical on me and saying WAR NAD, PEACE GOOD won't influence me. Sorry, but you'll have to up the level the argument.

You may not like the decision, but you can't say Fischer 'sold out'. That all I wanted to say.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 20:37Report this post to the editors

Dear Maruti,

You don't have to go back 7-8 years to find out what Fischer is made of. Just think about what happened in Germany when Israel attacked and killed over 1,000 people in Lebanon leaving Raytheon cluster bombs behind that are still killing children.

"At the start of this week, German Green Party deputy Jerzy Montag travelled to Israel at the head of a German-Israeli parliamentary delegation. In a press statement, his office in Berlin declared that a delegation from the German-Israeli society is also participating in the trip to Haifa.

The statement declared that the aim of the trip was to win support for the “military action and the current policy of Israel” which has been “criticised by many” in Germany and has met with a “widespread lack of understanding.”

On Tuesday, Montag, who until now has made a name for himself by strongly advocating closer cooperation between the Greens and Germany’s conservative parties, repeated Israel’s war propaganda word for word. Montag told Spiegel online: “Israel gave no cause for hostile fighters from Lebanese national territory to kidnap and kill members of its army. Israel gave no inducement for the bombardment of Israeli cities. Israel has a right to protect its citizens. And it does.”

The Israeli terror, involving days of continuous bombardment of southern Lebanon, the systematic destruction of roads and bridges, power stations, ports, airfields and entire neighbourhoods in the city of Beirut—all this is, according to Montag, “actions in self-defence.”

On Wednesday morning, as millions awoke to hear the news that Israeli combat aircraft had attacked a United Nations outpost in Lebanon and killed four UN workers, Germany’s former minister of foreign affairs in the previous Social Democratic Party-Green Party government, Joschka Fischer, published a comment in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. His article had appeared in the Guardian newspaper one day earlier under the title “Now is the Time to Think Big.” "

Support for Green bombs??
Support for Green bombs??

author by bombardier fritzpublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 21:23Report this post to the editors

How about reading what an internal report of Joschka Fischer's foreign ministry said about the political siruation in pre-bombardment Kosovo.
Good to see that you swallowed all those lies about ethnic cleansing peddled by Joschka and his buddies.

Well he's sitting pretty as a guest Professor in Princeton USA right now laughing at naive dupes like you.


Opinion of the Bavarian Administrative Court, October 29, 1998
(Az: 22 BA 94.34252):

"The Foreign Office's status reports of May 6, June 8 and July
13, 1998, given to the plaintiffs in the summons to a verbal
deliberation, do not allow the conclusion that there is group
persecution of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo. Not even regional
group persecution, applied to all ethnic Albanians from a
specific part of Kosovo, can be observed with sufficient certainty.

The violent actions of the Yugoslav military and
police since February 1998 were aimed at separatist activities
and are no proof of a persecution of the whole Albanian ethnic
group in Kosovo or in a part of it. What was involved in the
Yugoslav violent actions and excesses since February 1998 was a
selective forcible action against the military underground
movement (especially the KLA) and people in immediate contact
with it in its areas of operation. ...

A state program or persecution aimed at the whole ethnic group of Albanians exists
neither now nor earlier."

Related Link: http://lists.peacelink.it/balcani/msg00610.html
author by R. Isiblepublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 23:40Report this post to the editors

NATO analysis indicated that the planned NATO bombings would exacerbate ethnic tensions . Diane Johnstone has a very thorough analysis of the NATO intervention and the propaganda and lies that are still retailed about this episode. There's a very detailed "Louis Proyect" review here:

There's another good review from Edward S. Herman here:

This article summarises some of the material about the massacres

Joschka Fischer and other liberals' actions should be considered in the context of the above.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 23:51Report this post to the editors

Fool's Crusade:
Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions

by Diana Johnstone

Related Link: http://www.monthlyreview.org/foolscrusade.htm
author by Sascha Harrispublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 00:44Report this post to the editors

The view of the Bavarian Administrative Court did not represent the views of the German government, and the citation of this decision is polemic. The German government was not keen on any involvement in Serbia, not least because of its constitutional determination not to employ German troops in international conflict. It is correct that Germany supported all former Yugoslavian states through substantial aid and that Germany accepted most of the refugees from that area. The links between Germany and Yugoslavia extend back to the late 1950s, when Germany encouraged Yugoslavians to become guest workers. Germany did not wish to be seen as interfering in foreign affairs in a manner which may show it to be aggressive. The unresearched and incorrect articles quoted here present Germany as pursuing a traditional anti-Serbian policy; this is not accurate. If Germany engaged against Serbia during the First World War it was as an ally of Austro-Hungary and in opposition to the Russian-French entente. Germany's sympathies with Croatia during the Second World War were entirely pragmatic and have much to do with Croatia's collaboration. The implicit claim in the previous entry seems to be that Germany should have blanket-bombed Serbia in American style. To portray Joschka Fischer as a war-enthusiast is just silly. As in the case of Iraq, Great Britain and the USA took little interest in the issues that actually ignited this conflict, but agreed on the kind of display of power which was not an option for Germany. No doubt the words "Nazi" and "world domination" would have featured in the previous entry if Germany had taken such a position. To associate Mr. Fischer with such a tradition is silly.

author by Partisanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:18Report this post to the editors

The stuff that Diana Johnstone wrote about the Balkan wars is the most nauseating, dishonest, propagandistic rubbish, denying the involvement of the Milosevic regime in atrocities against Bosnian Muslims and whitewashing the record of that regime, presenting it as the victim rather than the aggressor throughout the conflict. You only have to read her article about the Srebrenica massacre to see this - if anyone wrote the same nonsense about the massacres at Sabra and Chatila, they would be rightly denounced as apologists for Israeli war crimes. Edward Herman, Alexander Cockburn and Counterpunch should be ashamed of themselves for giving credence and a platform to apologetics for Serb nationalist chauvinism, in the name of left-wing values.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 14:39Report this post to the editors

The stuff that Diana Johnstone wrote about the Balkan wars is the most nauseating, dishonest, propagandistic rubbish, denying the involvement of the Milosevic regime in atrocities against Bosnian Muslims

Your comment is the most nauseating, dishonest, propagandistic rubbish. You can cite absolutely no single instance from Johnstone's book where she denies that Milsoevic's regime was involved with atrocities. On the contrary her book exposes the atrocities on all sides (e.g. the first massacre by Croats of 120 Serbs in Gozpic) and the support and arming of one side in the conflict by the NATO allies. It documents very clearly the massive disinformation campaign which sought to paint a simple picture of Serbs as being uniformly evil NAZI-like non-humans including the most blatant outright lies.

Really, your lack of specific objections to specific points in the book indicates very clearly that you have never read it. Well done.

Also, re the record of Joschka Fischer and the German Greens, Fischer has slightly recanted his humanitarian bombing strategy. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the bombing of the Serbian civilian population (a position which was at odds with majority sentiments in the Greens in Germany which had a popular strategy of pacifism especially influenced by being used as a US pawn in the cold war for decades), and later of bombing the Afghan civilian population, but later decided that the Iraq invasion was a bad idea.

Other liberals still haven't woken up to the reality that bombing cannot achieve any sort of humanitarian goal, a reality that is faced by the men and women of Afghanistan and Iraq daily as a result of this sort of nauseating, dishonest thought. At least Fischer is smart enough to wake up and realise it's time to move on.

This is a long report from 28 Nov 06 which hews a fairly moderate line:

This is an interview with SoCal activist (involved in a lot of women's rights and immigration issues) Sonali Kolhatkar. Sonali has been host of "Uprising" on KPFK (LA affiliate of the Pacifica Radio Network) for several years after deciding to give up astrophysics for activism. She was a central figure in supporting RAWA for a long time and knows what she's talking about:
The Taliban is stronger today than it was in 2001, even if they don’t control as much territory. The Northern Alliance warlords and druglords have government power and legitimacy, which they didn’t have in 2001. It took barely a month for the U.S. to defeat the Taliban in 2001. Yet today, the Taliban are carrying out suicide attacks—an unheard-of phenomenon before 2005—and are gaining popularity because they don’t kill as many civilians as the U.S.

This shouldn't really be so surprising given that the USA in general, and the military in particular is a deeply misogynistic and violent society (see for example the thousands of rapes of US servicewomen carried out by their comrades reported here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/articl...6.ece ).

Liberals, whether of the Green, Labour, Democrat or any other variety have a complete lack of reality about the effects of parliamentarianism, imperialist intervention or capitalism. We're seeing the effects of their la-la-land fantasies right now and have at least a decade of strong evidence to judge the concrete destruction wrought by the latest self-deluding propaganda.

The reality of this disaster is so huge that even the mainstream media is slowly swinging around to report the incontrovertible results of the partisan backing of one group of warlords against another while indiscriminately bombing civilians, see for instance this INS piece by stringer Teri Judd:
When asked whether life was better now than under the Taliban, Fowzea Olomi (40), director of the women's centre, simply laughs: "The Taliban have gone?" Life now, she says, is worse. Pointing to her burkha flung to one side, she added: "I never used to wear that before, just a scarf. But now we are all scared of the Taliban because of kidnappings and suicide bombers and shooters."

It's early to judge yet, but anyone that voted Green should right now be trying to state clearly in point form for themselves a list of objectives which they thought they'd achieve by voting that way. Post them here and then let's see in 4 years whether you should have taken a bit more responsibility than hoping that world-peace and windmills will come from empowering a non-recallable, non-mandated representative who says the complete opposite of what you believe half the time.

author by Partisanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 15:06Report this post to the editors

Bless! You really don't have a clue what you're talking about. A lot of hot air and waffle to camoflage your glaring ignorance of the wars in Bosnia and Kosova. You only have to read the article on Srebrenica by Johnstone in Counterpunch to see that she is a shameless, dishonest apologist for the crimes of the Milosevic regime: http://www.counterpunch.org/johnstone10122005.html .

A classic instance of "blaming the victims", on a par with anything that has been written in defence of Israeli crimes in Lebanon or the occupied territories. That a self-professed libertarian should be defending such appalling rubbish suggests really crass ignorance of the subject. Try reading this pamphlet by a British socialist group that demolished many of the "left" myths about the Balkan conflict:


Or you could go on believing that it was all six of one and half a dozen of the other, and the West was really to blame for the whole thing.

author by Partisanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 15:16Report this post to the editors

Reading back over your post, it's obvious that you are determined to believe that a) I am a "liberal" and b) I support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with NATO's attack on Serbia in 1999. Since I opposed all three wars, you are really going to have to try harder, and stop assuming that you know all about the political views of people you debate with. Your casual assumption that anyone who questions the revolting attempts by Diana Johnstone to blame the Bosnian Muslims for the atrocities carried out against them by Milosevic and his allies, must therefore be a cheer-leader for the sack of Falluja is evidence of the kind of one-dimensional, intolerant thinking that libertarians should really know better than to indulge in.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 15:37Report this post to the editors

Minister for Justice informed
W. Finnerty.

The new Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Brian Lenihan TD) has been informed today regarding the unexplained difficulties which continue to exist - for no GOOD whatsoever apparently - in connection with checking law which is believed to be unconstitutional.

The main example cited was "the insidious 2004 National Monuments (Amendment) Act" - as Michael Smith referred to it his Irish Times article of June 19th 2007.

Mention has also been made, and evidence supplied, to Minister Lenihan regarding the way the Trilateral Commission has been playing a major role in applying the "global agenda" to law courts around the world.

Who invited the Trilateral Commission to be doing this I wonder?

The present European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission is former Attorney General of the Republic of Ireland Peter Sutherland.

Full details of today's e-mail to Minister Lenihan, which was copied to several senior lawyers, politicians, and bankers, can be seen at

Some readers may be interested to know that Trilateralist Richard Gardner has declared the new world order would be better achieved by "an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece" (through the use of unconstitutional legislation no doubt). This point has also been mentioned to Minister Lenihan in today's e-mail.

Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com
author by R. Isiblepublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 15:53Report this post to the editors

Given your refusal to specifically identify factual points on which Johnstone is wrong I shall continue to believe that you have no actual basis for your wild allegations. The only possible thing which you can do at this stage to productively dispute this is itemise your disagreements. Failure to do so will lead to the reasonable conclusion that you haven't read the book. Have you?

On the other hand, any attempt to counter the official/media team's claims and supposed evidence was quickly interpreted as apologetics. This is hardly new. In each U.S. war critics of U.S. policy are charged with being apologists for the demonized enemy—Ho Chi Minh and communism; Pol Pot; Saddam Hussein; Arafat; Daniel Ortega; Bin Laden, etc. The demonization of Milosevic was in accord with longstanding practice, and the charge of apologist for challenging the official line on the demon was inevitable for a forceful challenger. What is perhaps exceptional has been the extensive acceptance of the party line among people on the left [...] -- Edward S. Hermann

I make no assumptions about what you believe or don't about the Iraq, Afghanistan wars and the post is slightly confusing in that it addresses some specific points that you made: namely that Johnstone is "dishonest" or "denying the involvement of the Milosevic regime in atrocities against Bosnian Muslims".

In attempt to move beyond your style of content-free "yes she did/no she didn't" exchange (which isn't interesting and can't be because you provide no specific information), and also to stick to the purpose of this story, namely thinking about whether the "Green ideology" results automatically in being anti-war, anti-imperialist etc the last comment also addressed the specific history of Joschka Fischer. I don't think it's a stretch to say that the actual history of the Greens in power around the world has been very little different from mainstream of liberal thought.

I'm not interested in you personally, so I don't care whether you gave any specific wars your blessing. It's irrelevant to the established facts that there has been a current of thought for at least a decade that foolishly believes that bombing poor people in far countries can have positive results. The Greens as much as any other mainstream liberal party have expressed that tendency.

Don't bother to reply unless you can identify specific facts which Diane Johnstone got wrong. Comments on indymedia.ie are for the purpose of adding information and while your personal worldview is probably fascinating to you, only information and news has value to people living outside of your head.

Returning to the more interesting question of Mr.Fischer as a succesful representative of Greens in power, it is interesting that he also is a supporter of the other staple of "liberal" thought, namely free-trade agreements of the type that have wrought destruction on American and Latin-American working class:

So why should we not vigorously pursue the ambitious goal of creating a free trade area together by 2010 to embrace the entire Mediterranean area?

What is more Europeans and Americans can create incentives for cooperation within the region by opening our markets precisely for goods produced transnationally.

Joschka Fischer 07 Feb 2004

So, there you have it: pro-war, pro-freetrade Greens. And he's one of the better ones.

author by Partisanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 16:29Report this post to the editors

Your latest post is a fairly obvious and crude attempt to bully me out of the discussion (perhaps with the implied threat that as an Indymedia editor, you can delete my posts if they don't comply with the standards you lay down). Since your previous post was directly addressed to me, and was overwhelmingly taken up with your arguments against the war in Afghanistan, the fact that I opposed that war, and the subsequent one in Iraq, is very much relevant.

Anyway - to Diana Johnstone. You're quite right, I haven't read "Fool's Crusade" itself. But I've read a fairly extensive sample of Johnstone's journalism, and have no reason to believe that reading the same arguments in book-length form would be a useful way to spend my time and money. I've never read "The Case for Israel" by Alan Dershowitz either, but I've read a fair sample of his articles and seen him interviewed and drawn the conclusion that he is a liar and a charlatan. I've drawn similar conclusions about Johnstone - either that, or she is so blinded by ideology that she is incapable of perceiving the facts.

I have posted a link to her article about Srebrenica. Anyone can read it and see the dishonesty that oozes from every paragraph. She repeatedly refers to the Srebrenica "massacre" in quotation marks - if Dershowitz or someone else of his ilk repeatedly referred to the Sabra and Chatila "massacre" in the same way, you would rightly assume that they were trying to minimise the crime or deny it altogether. The article is a tortuous, dishonest attempt to minimise what took place at Srebrenica and to minimise the culpability of the Milosevic regime for it.

Judging by the summaries I've read of it (including the one you posted above), "Fool's Crusade" is merely an extended version of this mendacity. Here's a link to a useful critique of her work: http://www.haverford.edu/relg/sells/indictments/Kocevic...l.htm (written by a Bosnian, some of whose relatives were killed in the massacre). And a blog post by the same author rightly criticising Noam Chomsky's
indulgence towards Johnstone: http://genocideinbosnia.blogspot.com/2006/01/noam-choms....html.

The main arguments put forward by Johnstone and other "left-wing" apologists for Milosevic are that 1) there may have been atrocities in the Balkans, but all sides were equally guilty, and 2) the West had it in for Milosevic and engineered the break-up of Yugoslavia. The first claim doesn't stand up to any scrutiny, certainly atrocities were committed by all sides but the same could be said of any conflict - Hizbullah also killed civilians during the Lebanon war last summer, that doesn't mean the Israeli state was no better or worse than its opponents. The Milosevic regime and its chetnik allies were by far the worst offenders, followed by Tudjman and his forces, with the Bosnian Muslims much less culpable (and by far the greatest victims of the conflict).

As for the second point, if "the West" had it in for Slobo, why did western governments pander to him for years? They enforced an arms embargo that only hurt the Bosnian government that was defending itself against Serb nationalist aggression. Washington and its allies eventually got fed up with Milosevic, feeling he had grown too big for his boots and had to be cut down to size. That doesn't change the fact that they appeased his regime during the early years of the Balkan wars (Saddam may have become America's greatest enemy, that doesn't mean he was their enemy during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s). The course of the conflict, and the overwhelming culpability of the Belgrade Stalinist-nationalist regime in the break-up of Yugoslavia, is well described in the ISG pamphlet I posted earlier.

I sincerely hope that your admiration for Johnstone is simply the result of ignorance. It would be really alarming if you had studied the Balkan wars in detail and found her story the most persuasive. Finally, a few links to articles by radical-leftists who combine anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism with passionate hatred of Milosevic and solidarity with his victims:





author by R. Isiblepublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 17:00Report this post to the editors

Me: Specifics please [...] Given your refusal to specifically identify factual points on which Johnstone is wrong I shall continue to believe that you have no actual basis for your wild allegations. The only possible thing which you can do at this stage to productively dispute this is itemise your disagreements. Failure to do so will lead to the reasonable conclusion that you haven't read the book. Have you?

Me: Don't bother to reply unless you can identify specific facts which Diane Johnstone got wrong.

You: Reading Johnstone is a fool's errand [...] Anyway - to Diana Johnstone. You're quite right, I haven't read "Fool's Crusade" itself. But I've read a fairly extensive sample of Johnstone's journalism,

Yeah. Sure you have. That's why you can't back up your assertions.

The main arguments put forward by Johnstone and other "left-wing" apologists for Milosevic are that 1) there may have been atrocities in the Balkans, but all sides were equally guilty, and [...] The first claim doesn't stand up to any scrutiny, certainly atrocities were committed by all sides but the same could be said of any conflict

What?!!! Atrocities were committed by all sides? That's a disgusting defence of the war-criminal Serbians and minimizes the hundreds of civilians killed by the Serbians. I mean the thousands. I mean tens of thousands. Wait, how many did each side kill? Specifics please. Johnstone gives them, why can't you? I counted them on the telly.

As for the second point, if "the West" had it in for Slobo, why did western governments pander to him for years?

You might as well ask the same question about Saddam Hussein. The Johnstone book, which you'd do well to add to your extensive reading "sample" goes into this question. As regards removing your self-exposing drivel above I sincerely hope that it's left as it reveals you in a very amusing light. Thanks for the laugh. I hope you do get around to reading Johnstone sometime, but given your ability to know all without reading her work I suppose it's not really worth your time. Bye now!

author by Partisanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 17:19Report this post to the editors

It's rare to come across somebody so utterly convince of their own righness while displaying such glaring, embarassing ignorance of the subject. You obviously haven't a clue what you're talking about, and resist stubbornly any attempt to enlighten you. You just scanned across my post looking for quotes you could take out of context and then added in a bit of meaningless personal abuse to compensate for your lack of substance.

I posted a link to a detailed critique of Johnstone's work by a Bosnian writer - you offered nothing in response. I specifically identified one instance of her dishonesty - her article about Srebrenica, attempting to deny the scale of the massacre and the culpability of the Milosevic regime. You offered nothing in response. You have obviously refused to read any of the links I have provided for your benefit, perhaps fearing that your total ignorance of the subject would be exposed if you had to read anything other than the dishonest rubbish spouted by Johnstone. You even accuse me of lying, claiming that I have not read an extensive sample of Johnstone's work. This is just pitiful - I've read plenty of her bilge, on Counterpunch and other sites, and I know very well what she has to say about Bosnia. Reading her nonsense about Srebrenica made me want to puke, reading a full-length book would be above and beyond the call of duty.

It's funny that you descibe yourself as a libertarian, since your conduct on this thread exposes you as utterly intolerant and determined to crush dissenting views with rhetoric and bile when you can't deal with the arguments. Your defence of Johnstone's work can no longer be defended on the grounds of ignorance, since your ignorance is clearly willful and conscious. You could have enlightened yourself in the last half hour merely by following the links above, and reading the views of people who actually know what they are talking about - but hey, why listen to a man whose grandfather was killed by Milosevic's troops at Srebrenica? What would he know? You've read a book, and you know better. Why don't you post on his blog telling him that he's wrong, you obviously have enough chutzpah for it...

I hope anyone else reading this thread will take the time to follow the links above and judge the facts for themselves. R.isible is obviously determined to remain in complete and total ignorance of the Balkan wars and go on spouting pro-Milosevic nonsense. I'll just enjoy the irony of an "anarchist" who defends the acolytes of nationalist-Stalinist regimes responsible for mass murder. Diana Johnstone belongs in the same category as the "journalists" who went to the USSR under Stalin or China under Mao and found a workers' paradise. For his part, R.isible appears to be a lazy, ill-informed yet remarkably complacent dupe of Johnstone and her ilk (Ed Herman is just as bad).

author by The Eskimo - s2spublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 17:43Report this post to the editors

by Realist Fri Jun 15, 2007 01:44

To all of those who criticise the Green Party for not implementing their entire manifesto in full: they do not have a majority in Dáil Éireann to allow them to do so.

To realist :

by (the greens) forming a coalition with FF they have enabled FF to implement their entire manifesto in full. Pretty weird huh, ironically they cant impliment their own. ?? Who are they serving, their party members,or FF ?

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Fri Jun 22, 2007 08:42author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey. Co. DublinReport this post to the editors

Since 1996 PANA has campaigned against Ireland's integration into an EU which is being transformed into a centralised, militarised neo-liberal Superstate allied to the US and actively involved in the resource wars of the 21st century. One of the greatest advocates of the EU superstate was Joschka Fischer, the one time leader of the German Greeens, and now the Irish Greens idol. Thes latest example of this process is the US/EU support in seeking to starve the people of Palestine into submission by cutting off aid to them and by supporting the Zionists. In the elections to the PA Assembly in January 2006 Hamas won 74 seats and Fatah won 45, but the US/EU did not like the results of their election.
Now the Irish Greens as part of the new Government is supporting the decision to starve the people of Palestine and Gaza in particular into submission. I suppose they will justify their participation in crushing them into the ground on the basis they after they are all dead, at least the world's carbon footprint (in this case my hundreds of thousands) will have been reduced. However, let us not be too depressed, at least Trevor is enjoying his food.
In this electin the Irish people voted for the aptly named Soldiers of Destiny, now partially covered by a little green paint. However as the war parties of FF/PD's and the Greeens drag us
deeper and deeper into Bush's war, and as the Irish Army as part of the EU Battle Groups join the war, I am confident that when the bodybags start coming back as they did in the 1914-18 war, the
people will change their minds.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by anti-war irelanderpublication date Fri Jun 22, 2007 09:23Report this post to the editors

well said Roger! The Greens are now complicit in EVERYTHING this right-wing neo-liberal government does, from co-location to the USAF Shannon to the siege of Palestine. Collective cabinet responsibilty and all that. If you get into bed with the devil...

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:48Report this post to the editors

Further to and in support of Roger's comments re:Palestine, the EU and the (new) Irish Government, have a look at an excellent article by Michael Warschawski from Jerusalem in :

Michael, who was recently an IPSC guest in Dublin, is a founder member of the Aletrnative Information Centre. His views on Hamas are particularly illuminating.

author by maruti - Polish Greenpublication date Fri Jun 22, 2007 16:08Report this post to the editors

It's shocking that the so-called 'free minded' on Indymedia are so full of shit, close minded and downright manipulative...

1. Whitewashing the ethnic genocide in Serbia... Sometimes I get the feeling that people will do anything just to win the argument, even lie... I can discuss whether or not the Green Party decision was right or wrong, but I won't give any credence to bullshit trying to shmaefully place doubt on the ethnic placing that took place in Serbia. Similarly as I will not enter a discussion with Holocaust denialists.

Thanks to Partisan especially for letting me know that not all people are just 'against' - period.

2. Roger Cole has the most intriguing logic... or utterly lacks any logic. What Roger is doing is called eristics and it was best put into use by Goebbels and the comunist regimes...

Basically Roger puts the argument this way: Since PERSON A likes the FIRM B, hence he thinks EVERYTHING FIRM B does...

But it doesn't work like that, basically what your doing is giving a very simplified analogy that has nothing to do with complex reality. Fischer backs the EU because of various ideological reasons. Fischer backs the EU despite the fact, that there are many things he doesn't like about the EU. Weighing in the pluses and minuses he prefers to believe there is more good than there is evil. AND SO DO I!

ROGER: Get out of the framework of good and evil... we live in a complex world where there are no absolute rights and wrongs.

And Roger: Hamas aren't exactly your class pupils... Besides if you follow the news you would know they are releasing funds. And Green parties europewide stated that they are against blocking help for Palestine. Its not like they 'rule Europe'...

3. Dear MichealY (first all thank you for having a good, solid, honest and sound argument with me):
Jerzy Montag is known to have very clear and - to an extremely large extent - nonrepresentative stance on Israel. Using him as a 'spokesman' on the issue for all Greens everywhere isn't too fair with the vast majority of Greens that don't agree with Montag, or even Fishcer. Greens are pluralist, hence they allow quite a large variation of views within the party.

Besides you are misquoting Montag and basically radicalizing his views to a point of nonrecognition. I speak German and the English translation is quite manipulative. I suggest reading:

4. Fischer article: Now is time to think big.


You might not like various statements made by Fischer (although most are true), btu look at his postulate:

How then, will Israel define its security in the future? Currently, Israel emphasises massive deterrence, but it would be well advised to utilise the political and diplomatic possibilities presented by this war and take the initiative from a position of strength to offer a comprehensive peace to all those who are ready to recognise its existence and permanently renounce violence, not just in word but also in deed.

Making Israel/Palestine/Lebanon into a conflict between good (Palestine, Lebanon, Hezbollah) and evil (Israel) has nothing to do with reality.

5. As a Green I am proud of not being left or right. On economic issues that allows us to be rational instead of blocking ourselves within the frames of 'socialism' and 'free-market'.

Fischer 'free trade areas' and Bushes 'free trade areas' have no connection. Fischer proposes a fair deal, Bush proposes deal - all the best for me,. the rest for you. Fischer's free trade area is the EU. Bush'es is NAFTA. Compare the two. I like EU FTA. I hate NAFTA. Free trade area are very good instruments is used fairly.

If that makes close-minded people like R.Isible to label greens 'pro-freetrade' than let them. I myself am not interested in people who can't think openly.

6. Greens as pro-war - utterly idiotic... not worth a comment. Never have been, never were. And that includes Kosovo as well as Afganistan.

author by bombardier fritzpublication date Fri Jun 22, 2007 20:17Report this post to the editors


"During the riots ... in the towns of Mitrovica and Pristina - the first serious unrest for five years - 28 people died and 500 houses were destroyed, as well as 42 Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries."

Related Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/20...8.xml
author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Sat Jun 23, 2007 11:17author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey. Co. DublinReport this post to the editors

In response Maruti, Polish Green, I would like to make the following points.

Of course life is complex. Of course reducing everything to good v evil is wrong.

But then, I said nothing of the sort. I said that since 1996 the Peace & Neutrality Alliance has sought to build an alliance in Ireland to oppose the process by which this country was being integrated into the US/EU military structures to ensure Ireland's full and active participation in the resource wars of the 21st century. It is an alliance that up to the formation of this Government included the Irish Green Party that fought the election with a manifesto that included opposition to the war in Iraq and Ireland's participation in that war by allowing Shannon Airport to be used as a de facto US military airforce base. The US invaded and conquered Iraq in order to gain control of the oil of Iraq and to consolidate US/Israeli military domination of the Middle East and the Irish FF/PD Government over the last 4 years has actively supported Bush's war. The Irish Green Party has now joined that Government and now under the rules of Cabinet collective responsibility also supports Bush's war. The states of the EU also support the war and there is ample evidence, for example, that Poland allows its airports to be used in the CIA's torture flights. The refusal of the states of the EU to accept the democratic decision of the January 2006 election in the PA area, and cut off aid in support of the US/Israeli axis is just the latest example of the US/EU Imperialist ambitions.
I also said that in the Irish election the vast majority of the Irish people voted for parties like Fianna Fail(the aptly named Soldiers of Destiny) that openly supported the war. But when people voted for the Irish Greens they thought they were voting for a party that opposed Bush's war, and that many, if not most, that did so, now feel betrayed, as I do.
I also said that with the Irish Army being integrated into the EU Battle Groups the process of the integration of Ireland into the US/EU military structures is continuing and that just as they did when Ireland was part of a previous militarised, centralsed, neo-liberal superstate, the British Union, Irish soldiers will be killed fighing for the emerging EU Empire. As they come back in increasing numbers in bodybags the reality of Imperialist war will change the minds of the people just as what happened last time there was all Ireland participation in the Imperialist war of 1914-18.
That war saw the collapse of Empires, and that same will happen again. So if you think the US and EU Empires are going to survive their Imperialist wars you are making a big mistake.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by Ianpublication date Thu Aug 02, 2007 00:12Report this post to the editors

A lot of people on this board seem to think that the Green party are supposed to be socialist. Fact is, we never were and never claimed to be.

You people talk about working class people voting on working class issues, but if so, why did so many working class people vote FF back into power? If they had voted for the Greens, or anyone else even, then the GP would be in a better bargaining position.

Topper: "I guess GP supporters will find it very hard to get their head around this, because we're talking about a completely different approach to politics. It's not a question of delivering change for people from above, it's about empowering them to do things themselves and bring about change that way. That remains the most practical, realistic road to real social change."

If change comes from below, more than above, sure it is then not a problem that the Greens are in government?

author by Terencepublication date Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:53Report this post to the editors

In an article today, titled: Ireland’s “Green” coalition: Environmentalists and Fianna Fail unite (see URL below) from wsws.org, their analysis of the coalition is very much in line with what has been said already here. For instance they open with this quote:

Green parties worldwide are already synonymous with spectacular renunciations of principle. Policies advocated, perhaps for decades, are dropped within hours of entering government. In return for some minor adjustments of environmental policy, Greens have assumed responsibility for aggressively advancing the interests of their own capitalists.

Still, the political duplicity displayed by the Irish Green Party in entering government with Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats is extraordinary.
It is also a sharp indicator of tensions and instabilities in Irish society that can only deepen following the third re-election of Taoiseach (prime minister) Bertie Ahern, and his Fianna Fail party.

And further on down in the same article they hit the nail on the head when they say:

The ministerial positions won by the Greens are in the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Henceforth, the Greens will have direct responsibility for the M3 motorway through Tara, and for the controversial oil and gas terminal at Rossport, County Mayo. The party will therefore specialise in attacking sections of radicals and environmental campaigners that might once have been its supporters.

Related Link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/aug2007/iris-a14_prn....shtml
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