23 December, 2008

Happy Holidays

It' s the only way to travel, when the buses are full, and the queues for car parks have your blood boiling.

I spotted this cycling Santa in the window of Mike's Bikes on Patrick Street, just down the road from my constituency office in Dun Laoghaire. Hopefully early in the new year he'll have all the elves signed up for a bike, and safety equipment courtesy of the scheme announced in Budget 2009.

Some good news and bad news to end the year.

On the negative front Pope Benedict has got himself into hot water with his statement yesterday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior being as important as saving the rain forest from destruction. Not quite the right note to kick off the season of peace and goodwill. I've issued what I can only hope is a measured response over at the Green Party site.

On a more positive note Barack Obama seems to have appointed a top-notch team of scientific advisers, and that can only be good for the rain forests, and the rest of the planet. For me the lesson from his campaign is not so much about using Gothic font and new media, but about connecting with people. In Ireland knocking on doors and public meetings are as important as always.

Grist, the online green magazine has some tips for the festive season here, and once the twelve days of Christmas are over you can find out where to recycle and dispose of your festive trimmings here.

Thanks for all you comments over the last year, particularly the constructive ones. See you all in January.


Beannachtaí na Nollag, agus Síocháin san Athbliain.


3 comments:

tomcosgrave said...

I'd have at least thought a couple of comments on the state of the Irish economy at the end of 2008 and the role that your governmental partners in Fianna Fáíl and the Progressive Democrats have played in causing it would be the least you could post here.

As I have said before, I think the Green Party will suffer severely at the local and European elections for achieving very little yourselves and allowing a lot by FF.

Doesn't anyone in the Green Party realise that the party staying in government is actually allowing FF to try and cover their tracks? It is quite clear to me that the Greens have some sort of a misguided sense of responsibility and are attepting to stick to your word and the deal you made, therefore proving your suitability for government but you need to get better advice on the nitty gritty of politics.

My advice? The Green Party should get out of Government with FF now - on your own terms. If you wait till the General Election, I'd expect every Green Party member in Dáil Éireann to lose their seat, with the exception of Trevor Sargent and Mary White because they choose to remain quiet.

And despite my trenchant criticisms of the Green Party since they have entered government, I would hate to see that happen.

Happy Holidays and all the best for 2009.

Ciarán said...

Tom,

Lots I could write about, but never enough time. Sure, I'd love to know more about Sean Fitzpatrick, Lar Bradshaw and everyone at Anglo Irish. Interesting, I went looking for Declarations of Interest of the above online, and couldn't find them. More digging required there. I was going to call for the Financial Regulator to stand down, but Senator Dan Boyle has done that several times already!

I think recapitalising the banks makes sense, as they need to remain solvent, not so that 'people can buy cars' as Brian Lenihan so bluntly put it, but so that savings and jobs remain intact, and to allow lending to start again.

I think it is interesting to look ahead at the milestones that we want to see passed in future years: elected mayors - in Dublin and elsewhere; campaign finance / electoral reform; a carbon levy, planning reforms, enacting civil partnerships legislation; a Noise Act; family-friendly policies, stronger local government; all of this and more.

Looking back over the last year and a half, I think we've made a decent start in Government, and for a Party with 6 Dáil seats in Government with a Party of 80, we're doing fine.After 26 years in opposition, it is good to be in a position where we can make deliver on some of the changes that we want to see occur. Future policies to create and foster green jobs are crucial, as I pointed out in my last blog entry, and I believe that's where the shoots of future growth will emerge.

God knows, It would be easy to walk away in a huff at almost any opportunity, and at times the friction of coalition is almost audible. Perhaps creative tension describes it better! However on balance I feel the gains outweigh the downsides, and I feel there's enormous opportunities to be the change, as well as shaping the agenda in future years.

Thanks for the good wishes!

John said...

Cieran, Look at what happened to any party which went into coalition with FF..My party (labour)suffered serious losses after 92.. Th PD's are as good as extinct..FF have a very good PR machine which appears to blame their government partners for every problem they have created..I have some solid friends in the Green Party, and I honestly don't want to see you going down the path of political extinction..and this is exactly where the Green party is going as long as they remain in partnership with FF... My vision for the future of Ireland is one of coalition of all left of centre parties in Government.. There was a time when I thought that the Green party was part of that equasion.