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Greens (Ireland)

Britain: Why I resigned from the Green Party of England and Wales

Joseph Healy.

By Joseph Healy

April 2012 -- Red Pepper -- I joined the Green Party 10 years ago as I believed that it had something new and radical to say in British politics. I was also a founder member of Green Left, which was formed in 2006, and I helped draft the Headcorn Declaration, the group’s mission statement. One of my aims in doing so was to ensure that there was a radical left faction in the party constantly pushing it in a progressive direction -- and providing a counterbalance to those in the party for whom pragmatism and "lifestyle environmentalism" were the driving forces.

Ireland: Electoral revolt against austerity, left makes big gains

Election night report of the count in Dun Laoghaire. United Left Alliance's Richard Boyd Barrett TD interviewed on RTE by Brian Dobson after being elected.

By Harry Browne, Dublin

March 3, 2011 -- Something changed in Ireland on February 25 when we cast our votes in parliamentary (Dáil) elections to replace the government that has overseen the utter collapse of the economy and Ireland’s debt enslavement to fund bankrupt banks and their bondholders.
The traditional centre-right ruling party, Fianna Fáil, lost nearly three-quarters of its seats, and will be replaced as the main party of the next government by Fine Gael, the centre-right party that is accustomed to spending most of its time in opposition. This has its own drama, to be sure, albeit rather predictable in outcome.

But in opening up a new space for the left, putting Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams in the Dáil, along with community activists like Joan Collins and Seamus Healy, and old Trots like Joe Higgins, Richard Boyd Barrett and Clare Daly, this election has provided a new platform for a resistance movement that could extend far beyond the polite precincts of parliament.

Ireland: United Left Alliance's electoral challenge strengthens

January 16, 2011 -- United Left Alliance -- The challenge of the United Left Alliance to the right-wing consensus in Irish politics is strengthening rapidly. As of today, a total of 17 constituencies will be contested by 18 ULA candidates in the looming general election. As well as Tipperary South and West Waterford, 11 constituencies in Dublin, two in Cork, as well as Wexford and Limerick city, candidates have been nominated for Carlow/Kilkenny and Laois/Offaly. This means that almost 50% of Dáil [parliamentary] constituencies will have a left alternative to the establishment political parties.

Joe Higgins MEP of the Socialist Party said:

It is entirely possible that this number will be extended in the coming weeks but even at the current number, it is the first time in Irish politics that there was such a wide representation of principled left candidates presented to the electorate in a general election.

(Updated Nov. 24) Ireland: Fianna Fail/Greens cave in to EU/IMF on `bailout'; Left vows to fight austerity

Photo by Christina Finn/Politico.

November 23, 2010 -- Irish Republican News -- The public finances of the 26-county state [Ireland] will, for the next three years at least, be subject to “regular reviews” by external monitors working on behalf of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union (EU) and the British and Swedish governments.

On November 21, the Taoiseach [Prime Minister] Brian Cowen and minister for finance Brian Lenihan, after a week of shocking lies and deceit, said they were accepting the IMF/EU bailout. It later emerged that the G7, comprising the seven most powerful countries in the world, had met to give its approval to the deal.

The Greens: mainstream party or minor irritant?

Greens MP Sylvia Hale addresses a rally in solidarity with Venezuela. Photo by Aporrea.

[The following speech was delivered as the 10th Annual Juanita Nielsen Lecture, on March 23, 2010. Sylvia Hale is a Greens member of the NSW state parliament, elected to the Legislative Council (upper house) in 2003. Juanita Nielsen was a campaigner against the big business development of Kings Cross, Sydney, who disappeared in 1975, and widely suspected of having been kidnapped and murdered by crime figures associated with property developers. The address has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.]

* * *

By Sylvia Hale

The rise and fall of the Irish Greens

By Joseph Healy

August 8, 2009 -- Being Irish, one of the thousands who left the country during the 1980s economic crisis, I follow Irish politics closely. I joined the Green Party of England and Wales in 2002. In 2006, as part of a group of Irish Greens members in London, visited Dublin to make contact with the Irish Green Party. We went to raise the issue of support for the Irish diaspora in Britain.

These were the days of the Celtic Tiger — the apparent runaway success of the Irish economy, which tempted many Irish emigrants to return home.

We met one of the party’s TDs (members of the parliament, the Dail) John Gormley. However, it quickly became apparent that he was not very interested in the issue of Irish people abroad, probably because we have no votes to offer him.

The same year, I became the secretary of the Green Islands Network (GIN), which brings together representatives of the Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh parties. It was recently joined by the Cornish Greens.

The network aims to share political experiences and ideas. It played a central role in working out relations between the Northern Irish Green Party, in the six counties that make up the northern statelet, and those in the southern republic. We finally got agreement, leading to the Northern Ireland Greens becoming a full part of the Irish party.

Ireland: Socialist Workers Party calls for a `broad radical left party'

Joe Higgins.

By the Socialist Workers Party (Ireland)

June 11, 2009 -- The election of Joe Higgins as MEP and the defeat of Fianna Fail in Dublin indicates that the political landscape is changing. The recent elections represent a seismic shift in Irish politics. Ever since 1927, Fianna Fail has dominated the working-class vote but this has now changed -- most probably forever.

Even before the current economic crisis, the Fianna Fail vote had entered a long slow decline. At the height of the Celtic Tiger, for example, Bertie Ahern scored less votes than Charlie Haughey. When the crash hit, Fianna Fail dropped all pretence of populism and launched an aggressive attack on working-class conditions.They have now paid dearly for this.

The electoral base of the Greens has also been decimated. The Greens claimed that they are in government to help save the planet from environmental decay. But they have stood over decisions which have cut the public bus service. They have also voted for cuts in education spending, even while defending the absurd bail out of the banks. Their removal from local authority councils is therefore well deserved.

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