Friday, February 12, 2010

Another one bites the dust

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. That could be the summary of Deirdre DeBurca's political career which appears to have come to an end this morning. DeBurca failed to be elected to the Dail in both the 2002 and 2007 elections in Wicklow, each time being the 2nd last candidate to be eliminated. She was then appointed to the Seanad by Bertie Ahern as part of the deal with the Green party. In the European Elections in June she faced the embarrassing situation of not reaching a quarter of a quota to be able to claim expenses back, while at the same time her arch nemesis Patricia McKenna did. Finally, she picked the wrong week to quit with George Lee having already used up all the column inches on the failure of the political system.

Her resignation letter makes for interesting reading. She says "I can no longer support the Green Party in government, as I believe that we have gradually abandoned our political values and our integrity and in many respects have become no more than an extension of the Fianna Fail party." That is a serious kick in the teeth to John Gormley and the rest of the Green parliamentary party. She follows up with "I have lost confidence in you as Party Leader" which is even more damning.

She continues by outlining the difficulties the Greens have in dealing with Fianna Fáil and FF's unwillingness to engage on issues agreed in both Programmes for Government. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following politics over the last few years. It was much easier for the PDs to call the shots because their policies were more closely aligned with FF's. The Greens on the other hand, having an ideology and ethics, were never going to get along with their senior partner. However, DeBurca leaves the knockout punch until the end where she says that things "reached a point where I, and most of the people I know, will be unable to vote Green in the next election." Ouch!

What will be interesting to watch today, is whether DeBurca comes out on the offensive on talk radio like George Lee did on Monday and then to see if Gormley hides like Enda Kenny did. Due to the small number of Green TDs and Senators there aren't many others who can go out and bat for Gormley. Dan Boyle and Eamonn Ryan will do their bit but I would strongly advise against putting Mary White or Paul Gogarty on the national airwaves.

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