Where to, now?

The Greens Special Convention was a strange experience. The PfG amounts to a rearrangement of the deckchairs with the education seats at the front. JG admitted as much to me, saying that the money would be taken from elsewhere (presumably health or soc. welfare). NAMA is rapidly being revealed as the bailout for developers and mispriced gamble that I have always said it was.

I was taken aback at the ‘lust’ for office and was reminded of Norman Lamont’s comment about ‘being in office but not being in power’.

The rationalising that has gone on re NAMA being inevitable and that we should stay in to put ‘Green’ fingerprints on it is sickening to me. NAMA was never inevitable. The Greens have made it so.

Every evil deed requires an abettor, someone who by their action or inaction facilitates it. Margaret Thatcher could not have ruled for so long had David Owen’s ego not led him to split the Labour Party. George W Bush could not have invaded Iraq if Tony Blair had not gone along with it. The Greens are FFs abettor in this cynical transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to the capital owning oligarchs.

The Greens footnote in Irish history will likely be as the financial ignoramuses who facilitated FF’s failed bailing out their developer friends  in a last property gamble just as the Climate Catastrophe and Peak Oil struck.

My regrets are twofold. Firstly, that I did not help G5 hold out for a separate Special Convention on NAMA instead of the split Conference/Binding vote that we ended up with. Secondly, that I was so distracted by the acquiesence of the membership in the leaderships lust for office that I made a very poor speech on the day.

The other strange experience of the day was watching the petty jockeying of some of the antiNAMA personalities.

Full marks goes to the leadership for their faultless choreography on the day and their disciplined adoption of the lessons learned from their FF masters.

So where to, now? I have heard of a good few resignations since the day and overheard someone from HQ saying on the day that a lot of folks had ‘forgotten’ to take their membership card out of their display lanyards – “Mar dhea!” The choice is between staying in and trying to work with the ‘rump’ that still holds to Green values or leaving.

18% voted against PfG and 31% against NAMA. A third is a good number to work with but how many are still in? A quarter is a harder task. The problem with staying in lies with the unique nature of the Green proposition. We see the world being at a peculiar juncture – the end of easy resource consumption and the beginning of the climate catastrophe. So there is only a short window of opportunity to make necessary changes. No other parties have this sense of limited time and opportunity. When the Greens are destroyed at the next election how long will it take to rebuild Green credibility? Will it be possible to rebuild it, given the Irish political psyche? If that can be done will the ‘ship have sailed’ by the time it is done? Will not all the other parties have become Green by default?

It would, of course, always be fun to remain in the party for the purpose of giving the leadership a regular poke in the eye with the sharp stick of NAMA’s failure. But should there not be more to political activism than this. Also, there are opportunities to make changes technologically and to start building an ‘Ark’. At rate we are changing globally we are headed over the cliff.

How does one reboot a civilization?

Apologies for the rambling nature of this post. These thoughts are still evolving in my head. My final word is to give thanks to the new friends I met during this campaign.

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