08 March, 2009

Towards a Green New Deal in Wexford

They'll go far.

That's a snap I took just a few minutes after John Gormley finished his speech to the Green Party's annual convention in White's hotel in Wexford last night. Leading change from within Government has been one of the key themes of the Conference.

Interestingly, for the first time I noticed that there was a fringe event for older Greens yesterday. We are getting older. I'm 45 and I joined the Party 27 years ago, when I was just out of short trousers. It's crucial that the Party continue to pass on the baton to a younger generation. There are a lot of younger candidates running in the local elections, people like Adam Douglas and Niamh Fitzgibbon. I think they'll do well. It is a real challenge though, particularly for smaller Parties to reinvent themselves and not fall into the family dynasties trap. The Progressive Democrats had their difficulties in passing the torch, and Labour will have to work hard to bring on the next generation. Dún Laoghaire continues to have its fair share of poltical dynasties, as does the current cabinet. Some politicians have succeeded in taking over the 'family seat' and creating a seperate identity to the family member who preceded them, but it's always a challenge. One analysis of George W's term in office is that he suffered from the need to finish the war his father started.

New thinking is required though to make the green recovery successful. Political parties like ourselves need to ensure that we continue to attract new ideas, and new blood to the party. We're changing the system from within, but often some of the best thinking can be found far beyond the railings of Government Buildings.

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