Green Party has voted overwhelmingly to support the new proposals that
their leadership has negotiated with Fianna Fáil. As we explained
recently, the reality is that the new programme offers nothing
substantially different from what was on offer before, merely a few
tiny reforms to the programme that FF set earlier. Its a cold plate of
lame duck with wilted greens:
Greens are feeling the heat and are pushing for a windfall tax on the
property developers. The latest opinion poll shows that 50% of Green
voters oppose NAMA while only 21% are in favour. A windfall tax isn’t
such a bad idea – as far as minor tinkering with the system is
concerned, but in this instance this is pure opportunism. It’s an
attempt to try and present themselves as somehow different to FF.
Doubtless there will be some window dressing and a bit of spin to try
and ease the passage through the Oireachtas. But the Greens are looking
forward to the next General Election even less than FF, so they are
likely to be left with a sorry compromise. The Greens are on the horns
of a dilemma, support the government and hope for the best or break
ranks and take the consequences,” NAMA: Putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank
seems that even the proposals to alter the NAMA legislation have been
watered down from this original proposal. The Greens are in a
particularly weak position. They stand to be slaughtered in the next
election, so they are anxious to avoid bringing the coalition down, but
by virtue of this their position in the coalition is that much weaker.
Their fate is tied in completely with that of Cowen and Lenihan. At the
same time any attempt to present the Greens as a radical alternative
has been blown out of the water long ago. They are facing oblivion in
the next election, while at the same time they appear to be withering
away. Only half the expected number of members showed up for the
conference at the RDS.
coalition now seems to be facing a long slow death although Cowen is
quite capable of stumbling into a crisis. The situation that is opening
up will only make things worse. The trade union leaders are being
forced into action and the passage of NAMA through the Oireachtas will
be complex and difficult. There are no guarantees for either Gormley or
Labour has been keen to pour scorn on the Green’s
discussions. But without a clear socialist programme, there’s nothing
to suggest that Gilmore won’t just end up as a junior partner in Enda
Kenny’s cabinet, facing more or less the same problems as the Greens.
The crisis won’t go away the day after a general election, far from it,
we have entered a very unstable period in world history. Without a
break from capitalism we are facing years of austerity and attacks on
the working class.
needs to present a clear socialist alternative. That means
nationalising the banks and big industries under workers control. It
means demanding the nationalisation of any company that threatens
redundancies and combating any job losses, wage cuts and cuts in
services in the public sector. No doubt the Labour party leadership
would see this as dangerous talk that would undermine their position.
But what alternative is possible under capitalism? The experience of
Latin America and especially Venezuela demonstrates that the workers
and youth will support a radical programme. At one stage the Greens
presented themselves as the radicals, that has proven to be false. The
genuine ideas of socialism and Marxism will increasingly gain an echo
throughout the whole of this island and internationally.