Disturbance at the Heron House

The call came in to Party Central
“Meeting of the green and simple,”
Try to tell us something we don’t know

People ask me, those that know I have campaigned to get John Gormley re-elected, will the Greens go in to government with Fianna Fáil? Following the fall out last Friday evening and those pictures of Dan Boyle with his head in his hands at the press conference all over the papers at the weekend, those same people have been strangely quiet. They know, like me, that FF will do anything to get the Greens into government. The PDs are not enough, Healy-Rae and attendant ‘independents’ are not enough. No. Bertie, the most devious, the cleverest of them all, wants a surefire government to hand over to Brian Cowan or Mary Hanafin come the autumn.

Of course getting the Greens into Government does not mean conceding their own ideas to their junior partners. It means inviting them around for tea and bad coffee to their own place – it’s in Merrion Square, it’s near the National Gallery, you might know it. Sit them down around a large polished wooden table and make them wait for a few minutes and let them contemplate the majesty of it all. You’ll get most things once you treat people nicely. To be honest I am surprised John, Dan and Dónal hung on for so long and top marks for the persistence over the weekend. John’s own comment that ‘they seemed to like us too’ was as frighteningly naive as it was amusing. God damn it, he couldn’t even give Aine Lawlor a straight answer this morning on the radio when asked if he would continue with walking into government buildings thereby giving access to the mass media by not reverting to a ministerial Mercedes.

I texted a fellow campaigner over the weekend to celebrate a sort of triumph of principle over power and what seemed like a stand against giving FF everything they want, including a Minister for Health from a failed political entity (and that will happen). Those words seem shallow now. I am almost ashamed to recall it. His response: “Thanks, compromise is one thing but….”. I was delighted that the Greens were sticking to something of their own. What a difference a weekend makes?

The worst thing is, Bertie and pals do not need the Greens for numbers. South Kerry TDs and that crook Cooper-Flynn from Mayo can do that for them. They want to bring the Greens into government to hold on to power for as long as possible, help to consolidate the decline of the PDs as an effective political force and appoint an FF Ceann Comhairle. They’ll make John or Trev Minister for Environment & Energy, isolate the department and point at them in five year’s (three?) time and invite the electorate to laugh. Is that ‘just politics’?

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