Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Open letter to left Greens: What next?

with 4 comments

Open letter to left Greens: What next?
— Read on www.letusrise.ie/featured-articles/open-letter-what-next

Greens on FFFGGG

Yes 1435 No 457

for political suicide 76%

against political suicide 24%

Saoirse McHugh Green Party Opponent of FFFGGG

Dear left activists in the Green Party,

Over the last week, Green Party members who opposed the Programme for Government waged an impressive fight against entering a right-wing coalition with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Unfortunately, with the assistance of an immense campaign by the media, and enormous pressure from the pro-coalition TDs, the Yes side has won. Tomorrow, Green TDs will become Ministers and begin to implement a neoliberal Programme for Government.

We appreciate that as we are not members of the Green Party, we don’t have the detailed understanding of the internal dynamics that you have. However, the decisions you make in the coming days can have a significant impact on the development of the left that we need. We therefore offer some ideas here, which hopefully you will find helpful while you discuss your next steps.

Get out now

Entering into government with FF and FG ends any possibility of the Green Party being a vehicle for radical change. The Greens will be the mudguard for unpopular policies implemented by the government – from the increase in carbon taxes to the continued reliance on the private market for housing and public services, with all the predictable consequences. It is likely to be largely wiped out again at the next general election. More importantly, those active in movements for ‘System Change, Not Climate Change’, will not be attracted to a party which is managing the neoliberal capitalist system.

The conclusion to draw seems clear to us. TDs who disagree with the Programme for Government and who disagree with coalition with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael should vote against the nomination of Michéal Martin for Taoiseach. Left activists should leave the Green Party in an organised way and help to build an eco-socialist left.

After Labour went into coalition in 2011, there were those within the Party who hoped that by staying within it they could mitigate the worst of the mistakes of their leadership. They didn’t. Instead, they were largely tarred by association with the hated policies of that government. It will be the same with the Greens. Participating in social movements will be difficult to square with membership of a government party. You should get out now!

The alternative

Above all, we need your involvement in social movements which will drive change. In the coming months and years we will need to work together to build movements for climate justice, housing action, and a National Health Service. Even with a right-wing government in power, we can win victories.

Left-wing activists who oppose coalition with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael and leave the Green Party can play a crucial role in building a broad party of the anti-capitalist and eco-socialist left. From our perspective in RISE, these movements would be tremendously strengthened with a broad party of the left, encompassing all who share a commitment to people-power movements to drive change and oppose austerity, oppression, and coalition with the establishment parties.

Such a broad party should facilitate different caucuses or networks within it, as for example the Democratic Socialists of America does. There would therefore be space in such a party for all of the existing groups and independents of the principled left to join and be active within it. RISE would advocate for revolutionary eco-socialist ideas within such a party.

The truth, as we all know, is that the left is currently a fractured landscape. So what, concretely, can left activists who break from the Green Party do to most effectively contribute to building that broad left party? Within that landscape, People Before Profit is the highest profile organisation on the left by a significant distance.

Since our founding, RISE has worked very productively and collaboratively with PBP. We therefore appeal for left-wing Greens to enter organised discussions with People Before Profit and RISE, and any others interested, about taking joint steps towards such a broad left party. This could represent a qualitative step forward towards the construction of a mass left party, and strengthen our ability to build movements for eco-socialist change in every workplace and community.

We are eager to discuss further with Green activists. Please contact us at risesocialists@gmail.com.

Yours fraternally,

RISE members

4 Responses

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  1. […] Such a broad party should facilitate different caucuses or networks within it, as for example the Democratic Socialists of America does. There would therefore be space in such a party for all of the existing groups and independents of the principled left to join and be active within it. RISE would advocate for revolutionary eco-socialist ideas within such a party. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/open-letter-to-left-greens-what-next/ […]


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