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Progressive block not going to happen


If the Irish Times article is close to the truth, they have sold out on many/most of their key priorities for one paltry ministry in a government with FF/PDs, including Harney in health. This is an embarassment after such lengthy negotiations and talk of red lines. I hope the convention doesn’t vote for the end of green politics in Ireland. This is not what many Green voters voted for and it will inevitably affect their future voting behaviour negatively.


Extraordinary days! We have seen the leaders of the Green Party rush in high excitement to share responsibility for destroying our heritage at Tara, promoting privatisation of our health service, supporting the use of Shannon by the US military, and overriding the rights of locals at Rossport. I have no doubt that responsibility for all these will attributed to the Green Party not least by their 'partners' in government.

Luke Mc

Forget about Tara and Shannon. The real deal is US-style healthcare, no new commitments on public transport, and remarkable naivety on the part of the Green Party Parliamentary Party, and craven cowardice on the part of their members.


I would have to agree with Simon: where is this progressive block going to come from? If anything, progressive forces are in decline, pushed out as they are from a bulging crowd around the centre. Unless there is an appetite for change, no party will build an alternative vision. (Right now despite a health service that rankles, and other gripes, the overriding mood is the feel good factor of more money in pockets). If in the strict sense civil war politics is all but over, we have a situation analgous to that in Britain where no great ideological difference divides the main parties. Perhaps the analogy cannot be taken too far, but basically the three largest parties here are indistinguishable.

Our friend B Freidman (whom I happen to have just finished also!) argues that progressive causes advance in an era of sustained economic prosperity. In part the boom here has allowed some progress to be made: expanded maternity leave, more funding for inner city projects, expansion of special needs teaching etc. But the overriding architecture of our sociecty remains unchanged: universities are still overwhelmingly the preserve of the middle classes, the protected professions of law and medicine continue to set their own numbers - and by extension their own fees. They do so, funnily enough, in stunning defiance of the orthodoxy of "competition is good" and deregulation! A combination of vested interests and party politics shape the dreadful failed plans for decentralisation and planning, etc etc.

So perhaps the Greens looked onto the horizon and saw no progressive tide on the way. Instead they decided to enter government and find out for themselves whether FFs populism and clientelism can be tamed. In their weak position, they cannot make any substantial change, but they might at least set a different tone, and if nothing else, gain valuable ministerial experience which will stand to them next time round.

charlie woods

I think the Greens are fatally compromised, it will greatly benefit SF in the long run,
a) because they didnt or couldnt be taken to the cleaners by FF this time by going into government

b) disillusioned Left voters will shift towards SF more readily now.....People are free to check out my new weblog 'An Unrepentant Communist'


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