Ireland going Green

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    • #709451

      …I am excited that the Greens have entered government- I really think they have a conscientious idea about lifestye and what the environment (the built and natural) mean and could mean for the people of this country….. and no i didn’t vote for them! 🙂
      ….just wondering what are people’s thoughts on what changes we can expect and dissapointments if they become whipping boys for Fianna Fáil……

    • #789725

      they’re in with FF. Nothing will change. The programme for government has nothing in it for the Irish environment. Just reviews, commissions and investigations into certain issues. Last thursday was the beginning of the end for the Irish Green Party. They’ve already had a disagreement over co-location and have been rogered on Tara.

      If they’re still the mudguard for the right wing by the local elections in 2009, I fear for their councillors, and thereby fear for planning in Ireland.

      And I did vote for em no.1

    • #789726

      I fear the same, but live in hope.
      What is partioularly disappointing is their apparent acquiescing on improved building energy performance standards in favour of another deal-clincher. I would have thought this to be uppermost in priorities given the freeforall we’ve had for the past ten years, and the amount of stock yet to be shovelled through the system in the next five years, much of which in any event already has planning permission. The Programme commits itself to:

      “Introducing new national building standards in 2007 to ensure that new housing has 40% lower heat energy demand than existing building standards and revise them again in 2010 to achieve a 60% target in further years.”

      This has already been commented on in various quarters as being a cop-out. The 60% will only apply to housing being built in five-six years time. Why not now? If it’s possible in 2010, why not today? Are they hoping for earth-shattering technologies to be developed in the interim?

    • #789727

      Well, I honestly think they’re better in Government. You can’t get a whole lot done in Ireland as a small party in opposition, however, as the PDs have shown, you can almost implement your full agenda if you’re in Government as the minor partner. Even back in the 1997-2002 FF-PD supported by a gaggle of independents, the PDs really did drive their policies through.

      It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but I think they’re in a position to get a lot more than they formally agreed to pushed through.

      I think Roche loosing the Dept. of the Environment is a MAJOR step forward.

    • #789728

      They got nothing except things FF were thinking of introducing anyway. That way if unpopular decisions have to be made, Bertie has a ready-made scapegoat. FF knew the Green agenda is the coming thing and did’nt want to look too regressive, After all Bertie is well used to climbing on bandwagons and putting a caring veneer on his policies (Remember “I am a socialist” and the invitation to Fr. Sean healy to speak at the 2005 conference,) but its -in the end-meaningless, just a way to cod people. As Fintan O’Toole said in the Irish Times today Ahern is the most contemptuous of environmental concerns of all of the Taoisigh. Does anybody imagine Fianna Fail will abandon its friends the developers, who throng the party tent at the galway races? No way.The Greens will be pawned off with reviews, will take the blame for anything that hurts people in the pocket and-FF hope-will be punished for it at the next election, leaving another threat destroyed and Bertie chuckling. Fianna Fail is the party of one-off housing, pig farming,de-listing historic houses,re-zoning,holiday homes, brown envelopes, golf courses etc etc. At the local level it has nothing only contempt and hostility for An Taisce, tree-huggers,rare snails,hill walkers,protected sand dunes,’oul heaps of stones (as they’d call them), wetlands….you name it. They want development. As their county councillors always say “it’ll provide jobs ” (as a friend of mine once said “Yeah…so did Auschwitz “). And to hell with any other consideration. Sustainability? Yeah, right. If the Greens can change the culture of the party of Jackie Healy Rae and Liam Lawlor, even in the slightest,they won’t be a political party, they’ll be saints….or wizards. While they are in there with Fianna Fail they’d better learn to imitate the three little monkeys (See no evil etc)…not to mention getting used to holding their noses.

    • #789729

      Well, I think all we can do is wait and see. I think you’re vastly underestimating the Green Party’s ability to fight their corner. I’m reserving judgement until they’ve been in a few months. However, I think the Green TDs and the likes of Dan Boyle who will be a senator, are seriously tough operators.

      I would much rather have seen FG-Lab-Greens but, given that the electorate did give FF a rather large mandate, we’re stuck with them and I’d rather see them in with the Greens than just FF+PD or FF+the motley crew of independents.

      It’s a democracy, and people keep voting for FF. Sadly, they are very reflective of the state of Irish society and always have been. You get exactly what you vote for really.

      I think what’s going to be more key is getting more FG and Green councillors in at local authority level. That’s where FF has tended to do most damage, rather than at a national level.

    • #789730

      “I think Roche loosing the Dept. of the Environment is a MAJOR step forward”

      it’s not. It’s just a smaller step backwards than what he was taking. There’s no point waiting and seeing really. The programme for government has more in common with the FF manifesto in 2002 than anything the Greens are about. In Transport, nothing whatsoever will change. In Local Govt. we’ll have an elected mayor in 2011. Why not 2009 when the local elections are on? Will it be for the city council area, the county or the region? and what about a Land Use and Transport Authority? No. They’re gonna go ahead with the fumbled nonsense DTA that FF started to assemble in 2001

      I agree MrX that they will fight their corner, but they will be whipped by the lethal operators that FF are. I predict that the polls leading up to the locals in 2009 will cause a quick retreat from govt for some inane reason. If not they’re screwed.

      Hiivaladan I agree with all your post except the bit about Golf Courses. Nothing wrong with golf in my book 🙂 oh right, yeh the environmental damage stuff….. still though…

    • #789731

      Right on! Thanks, alonso. I think the best analysis was given by Diarmuid Doyle in the Tribune this morning. He pointed out that,as Pat Rabbitte noticed,the word ‘review’ appears 56 times in the Programme For Government and the words ‘examine’ and ‘consider’ 23 and 14 times respectively.He said “the Greens seem to believe they can succeed where Labour and the PDs failed in the past and civilize their new coalition partner. As Dick Roche proved on Thursday, that is not possible” .And you can be sure the PDs and labour had tough operators who could fight their corner too.
      However I do agree the local councils is where a lot of the damage is done and it important to get more-never mind Greens but any- ABFF s in there.

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