Tuesday 19 June 2007

The Legacies of Bertie

The initial confusion has subsided somewhat. I have regained composure and offer to you now my compendious analysis of the merger of Fianna Fáil and the Green Party. Compendious and cynical, but needs must and so on.

Firstly, this is almost certainly the last term in the chequered existence of The League Of Bertie. The Man from Drumcondra therefore must be considering his political legacy; however much he insists on his continuing passion for the job. The question he asks himself then is this: "How shall Bertie be remembered?" Introducing... The Greens. Simply put, if their proposed 30% reduction in Irish carbon emissions is a successful policy then it will no doubt be manipulated as Bertie's success. He will become Bertie the Environmentalist, as well as Bertie the Peacekeeper (Northern Ireland) and Bertie the Health Conscious (the smoking ban). It is euphemistic bullet points such as these that Irish political historians (and secondary level school books) tend to focus on. You think Bertie does not realise this?

The other possible scenario is of course the abject failure of the carbon emission reductions. If this happens, who do you think shoulders the blame? The Greens will be chewed up and spit out, easily assuming the malignant lightning conductor mantel of McDowell... Still, what else can one expect whilst hugging trees in stormy weather? (Splendid metaphor there.)

Secondly, the motivations behind the Green decision to coalesce with Fianna Fáil. This decision was a nervous grab for power. Hungry pragmatism brought about by the realisation that Fianna Fáil could very easily return to power in five years time. Granted, one can not argue with their rhetoric that it is an opportunity to implement Green policies. However it comes at a significant ideological cost, and given time could seriously weaken the Green Party's ideological support base. The tears of McKenna could yet prove prescient.

Much has been made of the duplicity of the Green movement into coalition. The widespread surprise at this occurence is somewhat redundant, in my own humble. And I should not be alone in this opinion. Yes, Sargent made some noise about not entering into the fray with Bertie. But it was his noise. It has he would not lead the Green Party into coalition. Of course, by continuing as acting leader he has broken his promise to the Irish electorate, but a new party leader should appear soon. Considering the grand deceptions of Irish politics, to pursue this one seems a tad pedantic does it not? Also, throughout the election the man never stopped mentioning Green Parties around Europe who have been in government... The most high profile example? The German Greens. The German Greens who sided with (essentially) the German Fianna Fáil.

What happened them? They got fucked... Pass the tissues McKenna.

By the way, I voted Green.

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