A Question of Trust?

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Senator Dan Boyle, Chairman of the Green Party, has tweeted the following:

There is a questioning of trust and an adding to uncertainty that is making the basis for being in government much more difficult.

Are we about to see a General Election? Will the Greens pull out?

Reuters has picked up on this story also. I wonder will the EU-IMF be putting pressure on the Greens too stay in government?

Election.ie is rightly asking where is John Gormley during all this?

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Firstly I apologise for the lack of posting recently, I have been under pressure with College and work and other commitments.

Anyway, today I was asked in an email about my stance on the attempt by Green Party Leader and Minister for the Environment  to ban hunting in Ireland. Specifically the Meath Stag Hunt.

Personally I am against Stag hunting. These are wonderful creatures. They are so beautiful and serene, we should be preserving them for future and for our  visitors to see.

On the other hand fox hunting is something I am not sure about. Some people think they are pests, other think they are part of the eco-system and need to be protected.

This video has me in two minds about  hunting them!

Though the action of some hunts can make them hard to defend.

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Sargent resigns

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The Statement:

Statement by Trevor Sargent TD

A Ceann Chomhairle, I thank you for the opportunity to explain to the House the circumstances of the clinic enquiry I received in June 2008 relating to an assault in September 2007 which were partially reported in the media this afternoon.

A victim of an assault came to me to voice his frustration at the slow progress being made with a case where he alleged he had been head-butted when he told me he had reported vandalism to parents of a child he had seen trying to remove a road sign in their housing estate.

My intention was to ensure the Gardaí were aware I had received a representation from a victim in an alleged assault and that the full preparation of the case would benefit from witnesses not yet interviewed being interviewed before proceeding further. The victim was afraid for his safety, meanwhile.

I accept however that although my actions in contacting An Garda Siochána were not a criminal offence, under Section 6 of the Prosecutions of Offences Act 1974 such a communication could be deemed not lawful. In this regard, I accept I made an error of judgement. Accordingly I hereby tender my resignation forthwith as Minister of State for Food and Horticulture.

Green Party Leader, John Gormley also issued a statement:

“I am greatly saddened by Trevor Sargent’s decision to resign as Minister of State.

“There is nobody in Leinster House – or in Irish politics generally – whom I admire more than Trevor. He has brought a unique mix of ability and talent, decency and honesty to Irish public life.

“Trevor’s departure is all the more difficult because he is more than just a colleague, he is a trusted friend and confidant.

“I note that in tendering his resignation he has acted promptly and without any self interest. That is totally in keeping with his approach to politics and the contribution he has made across the past four decades.

“Trevor will continue to serve the people of Dublin North as their TD with the same total dedication he has shown since June 1992. He will be missed from the Green Party team in government but he will continue to work closely with his parliamentary party colleagues.”

I didn’t see that coming… I think he was set up. But it doesn’t reflect well on a government which is obviously at war with itself!

How long more will it last?

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De Burca’s Gone

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I didn’t see this coming, but Green Senator Deirdre De Burca has resigned from the Green Party and the Seanad! This is the second high profile resignation this week.

De Burca has left due to not being able to support the Government, in a statement she said:

“I have written to my party leader, John Gormley, explaining to him the reasons for my resignation. I believe that we have lost our way as a party and have gradually abandoned our values and our integrity since becoming part of this government.”

“I do not take the decision to tender my resignation lightly but am very clear that I cannot continue to be a part of what the Green Party is supporting in Government.”

This may rock the Greens a bit and is the most high profile resignation they have seen since becoming part of the coalition Government.

It also takes the pressure off Enda Kenny and Fine Gael for a bit!

Irish Times Story

UPDATE: Read the full resigantion letter on  Deirdre’s website, fairly interesting stuff!

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Taoiseach to Attend COP15

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During the week I got confirmation that the Brian Cowen will be attending the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change in December.

Does this mean that Ireland is placing a large amount of importance on the conference or is Brian just playing along and supporting his Danish colleagues?

I wonder could it be down to Green Party pressure that is attending or does not want John Gormley to get all the media attention, well Irish Media attention.

I know Simon Coveney  of Fine Gael is planning on attending also, but I must reconfirm this. I must also see if Labour’s Dominic Hannigan or Liz McManus will be attending. Watch this space!

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FG 17 points ahead of FF

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I never thought I would see an opinion poll like this in my life time. But Fine Gael are 17 points ahead of Fianna Fail in the latest Irish Time TNS/MRBI Opinion Poll. The full party ratings are as follows:

  • Fianna Fáil  21% (-1)
  • Fine Gael  38% (+6)
  • Labour Party  20% (-4)
  • Sinn Féin  9% (nc)
  • Green Party  3% (-1)

This is the first poll to have the Greens down. They are down where the PD’s languished before disappearing. Will it happen to the Greens?

To have Fine Gael on 38% is just amazing! This is just a starting block of course and could be termed a “Lee Bounce”  if we in FG dont keep up the work and the pressure.

In terms of leader satisfaction the poll is as follows:

  • Brian Cowen 18% (-6)
  • Enda Kenny 33% (+3)
  • Eamon Gilmore 51% (+7)
  • John Gormley 25% (-4)

So while Labour support is down four points, Gilmore is up. Its strange that his satisfaction is not translating through to support for the Labour Party. Cowen is beginning to hit rock bottom with his rating on less then 20%.

The Bye-Election, Local and European Elections results will be very interesting! Roll on June 6th and 7th!

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Stronger Local Democracy – Options for Change

The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Green Party Leader, John Gormley, launched a Green Paper Yesterday enititled “Stronger Local Democracy- Options for Change”. In his remarks on the announcment he had the following to say.

“Stronger Local Democracy presents a set of options for change which share a strong common theme of renewing local democratic leadership. Local government in Ireland is capable of doing much more to meet the needs of local communities. The options presented in this paper suggest how we might achieve that stronger local government system,”

Fine Gael’s Environment Spokesman, Phil Hogan TD, called the plan ‘High in Rhetoric but low in detail’, he explained

“The proposals include a directly elected Mayor for Dublin, with the possibility of directly elected Mayors in other cities and counties, but do not explain the functions of this office.”

Ciarán Lynch TD, Labours Spokesperson on Housing and Local Government welcomed the publication of the Green Paper, but he went to say

“The Green paper is, perhaps by its very nature, full of woolly aspiration, but it now needs to be tightened up, and flesh needs to be put on those bones. It is vital that as the reform process moves towards White Paper status, that these proposals become a reality, and not just a worthy list of aspirations that languish on the Govt’s desk, like we have seen in other areas of government.”

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Local Government, Martin Ferris TD had the following remarks to say

“While I welcome some of the proposals including the introduction of directly elected Mayors and the provision for holding plebiscites, I believe that in general it does not go far enough in setting out guidelines for a more radical strengthening of local democracy.”

He went on to say that nothing was being done to challenge the power of City and County Managers.

The Green Paper can be downloaded from the Departments Website in PDF