To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, a man with Wexford connections; to lose one candidate is a misfortune, but to lose 2 sounds like downright carelessness. First the 2004 Dublin Green Euro candidate Patricia McKenna walked and now her successor has bolted, launching a scud at her party leader for not standing up to Fianna Fail. To be fair to Gormley she’s no George Lee. Senator De Burca had abandoned the Wicklow constituency for Dublin. She was looking for a post in the cabinet of Euro Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn which she didn’t get. In reality she had no political future so she walked.
While Fine Gael is big enough to cope with a resignation a smaller party like the greens will be more damaged by a walk out. In fairness the Greens will keep the seat as it is a government appointee and I imagine Mark Deary or maybe Wexford’s Danny Forde will now come into the reckoning for this as they try to focus on constituencies where they have a possibility of success in the next GE.
Many will question the timing of the resignation and ask why Senator De Burca had no problem supporting the programme for government, NAMA or blasphemy and why now? Her resignation will destabilise the party as it is now apparent even to senior greens that the Custom House bunker that John Gormley shelters in while the country goes belly up cannot ignore the reality that FF is running rings around the inexperienced greens.
Where does this leave the greens? Closer to exiting from government or cosying up closer in full knowledge of the inevitable electoral consequences? For a small organisation any resignation is damaging and takes longer to recover from. Bizarrely Labour is the only party now organisationally stable but I remember resignations during the 1980’s and I know the effect they can have on morale among ordinary members. To be fair to Labour has a philosophy. It gave something for members to debate and boy did we debate it. At some stages it was deeply fractious and divisive. So I know where the greens are going on this one. They'll hang in their riding roughshod on the FF horse and facilitate bankers, builders and cutbacks. Someday they’ll look back on Paul Gogarty’s expletives with amusement indeed it may be the only thing that may well unite them.
Time was Green politics was provclaimed as clean politics, now Green Politics is mean politics. We’re closer to an election one way or another, there’s no way this government will last till 2012