Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Left Greens in Ireland Organising Internally – and Saoirse McHugh Leaves calling for “an actual eco-socialist party”

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This is a rapidly moving story. Saoirse McHugh’s departure from the Green Party in Ireland is no surprise to readers of this blog :

McHugh signed a “Just Transition Greens” (JTG) statement which did not address a key question : rejection of coalition with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – actively opposing the current FFFGGG government. Active Opposition to the Maradkar-Ryan coalition is the accelerating direction of travel. Saoirse McHugh signed the the JTG statement, and has left the Green party. She directly calls on the JTG to break off from the Ryan-Greens and form “an actual eco-Socialist party”.

Saoirse McHugh – “Form an actual eco-socialist party”

Ask yourself if a similar critical organised current would be permitted inside People Before Profit (PBP) [ultimately led and controlled by the Socialist Workers’ Network] or Solidarity [ultimately controlled and led by the Socialist Party]?

The answer is No.

RISE, part of the Solidarity-PBP electoral coalition, proposes the following :

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.

RISE also needs to bite this bullet – a radical-left organisation that participates in a broader party that is internally democratic, but grants less internal democratic rights to its own members, signs a political suicide note.

“THE PROMINENT ENVIRONMENTALIST Saoirse McHugh has left the Green Party.

The Achill activist rose to prominence after an appearance on Prime Time during the European election campaign, where she spoke passionately about the need for reform of the Direct Provision system and strongly criticised “millionaires scapegoating migrants”.

After failing to win a seat in the Midlands-NorthWest constituency in the European election last May, McHugh said that she would leave the party if it went into government with either Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Ahead of the general election in February, McHugh repeated this intention. The Green Party is in a coalition government with both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, after 76% of the party membership voted in favour of the Programme for Government.

“The reasons I have left are obvious,” McHugh tweeted out today.I joined the Greens with the hope of furthering the cause of climate justice… The PfG that has been agreed on is a terrible document.

McHugh said that the membership were told the Programme for Government had “contained certain things that it didn’t”, and that problems in housing, tax avoidance, healthcare, and agriculture are linked with environmental breakdown.

McHugh also said that she hopes the affiliate group Just-Transition Greens break-off from the Green Party and form “an actual eco-socialist party”, adding that she “couldn’t stomach being affiliated with the Greens”.

McHugh also said that she doesn’t believe that the path “to a just and free society lies in electoral politics”, making reference to bullying and internal party struggles.

“This government, I believe (and I hope I’m wrong) will do massive damage to the idea of environmentalism by linking it with socially regressive policies.”

Last night, the Cork Greens spokesperson Rob O’Sullivan also announced that he was leaving that group, as well as the Queer Greens group, over the Greens going into coalition with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.“.

Éamon Ryan’s narrow leadership victory by 994 to 946 votes for Catherine Martin does not change anything fundamental. Martin, like Ryan, endorses the FFFGGG coalition and is a cabinet Minister.

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