It’s still over a week to St Patrick’s Day but Wexford will be green this week end as it hosts the Annual Convention of the Green Party. B &B’s, Hotels, restaurants and bars will be packed out as John Gormley leads his troops to the banks of the Slaney to reflect on what has been a torrid time for the party. While the party appears to fluctuate in polls close to where they scored at the ‘07 GE, there can be little doubt for Green members that the honeymoon is well and truly over. Wexford has been carefully picked, it’s a number one target seat for the party having been beaten for the last seat on the Borough Council in’04 by just one vote after 2 recounts and 3 days of counting. Moreover the Department of Environment will decentralise to the town in 2009 and Minister Gormley will become a regular feature around the town. They’ve a lot going for them but at the back of it all there’s a real doubt that the Greens can make that gain now. Nothing personal against the candidate, he’s a decent and honourable guy, but as people say to me they cannot wait to get the Greens or FF on the doorstep. In the words of one local FF councillor in this weeks paper “We’re going to be slaughtered”.
Let’s quote the appropriately named Green Day’s “Time of your life” So make the best of this test and don't ask why. It's not a question but a lesson learned in time. John Gormley may well find time to reflect on this at his National Convention. Last year’s conference highlight was his calculated snub to the Chinese Ambassador over Tibet, now he’s gone from hero to zero. Having avoided tackling Ahern over his contradictory tribunal testimony, looked the other way as they did u-turns on education cuts and made complete fools of themselves apologising or cutting OAP’s medical cards, all the party is left with is a tax on text which they claim will raise €1.2 B. More like a tax on pocket money! The party’s solution to the economic crisis is; get the finger out!
But its not as though the party hasn’t form in crazy ideas, can you remember the plan for driving licenses to go the church if you lived in the country or the plan to ban patios. The main topic for debate isn’t driving licenses or patios but a motion from Paul Gogarty TD to have a motion next year debating whether to stay in government or not. Recently I understand Mr Gogarty was at a public meeting where when FG Senator Frances Fitzgerald was speaking he rolled on the floor! Deputy Gogarty was the man who ate humble pie over his opposition to education cuts and emailed a constituent to tell them his party were going to leave government. I have my doubts as to whether Deputy Gogarty is cut out for politics. Clearly his Hot Press interview reveals some tensions in the party and it’ll be interesting to see what happens but at the end of the day its not hugely relevant, the real damage has been done already for June. The transfers that previously came their way from FG, Labour and SF will dry up leaving the Greens high and dry unless the ever-decreasing number of FF voters give them their last transfer.
That’s their lot, as Green Day say in “Time of Your Life” :- Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial. Guilty as charged!