Remember Extinction Rebellion ? I thought they had a point as climate change does place a threat to the future of mankind. Every time I think about my grandchildren’s future, I think about climate change and how it will impact on their world. Walking every day I notice the lack of aeroplanes in the sky, the bird song seems sweeter and there are more butterflies about. These kind of sentiments helped to get the Green votes at the last election but they are now in danger of squandering that support. Politics can be a rough and disheartening game and it is a stark illustration of the fact to see Deputy Leader and Chief Negotiator of the Greens, Catherine Martin, trying to unseat their leader Eamon Ryan. Like Micheal Martin he brought his party back from extinction and in some quarters it seems they will get no thanks for their efforts.
In the case of the Greens I feel exasperated. It was like a breath of fresh air having Professor John Sweeney of Maynooth on the radio on Thursday morning essentially saying that we have already signed up to a significant reduction in gas emissions and as a country we will face huge fines if we don’t deal with the problem. So, bottom line, what the hell is the problem with the government formation. I happen to think Richard Bruton has dealt extremely competently with his Climate Action brief, and he must be proving invaluable to Fine Gael in trying to deal with the unruly Greens. In truth, the talks on government formation cannot last much longer. We have to experience the triple hurdle race that is putting it to the separate party memberships. It would be dangerous to presume that the Blue Shirts and the Soldiers of Destiny will go along with a deal and frankly God knows about the Greens with a leadership battle hanging over the whole process.
So where does this leave us ? If I was involved in the high command of FF or FG , I would be developing an alternative path to government either with the support of a group of Independents, or combining those with Labour. Alan Kelly has been staking out his ground very effectively of late. Could he be persuaded now to stand by his country ? Quite frankly, if something like this happened, the Greens would be getting what they deserved. The unedifying spectacle of the leadership battle has dented their goody two-shoes image. Now they just look like grubby politicians.
Speaking of Alan Kelly brings me to the question of masks. In the Dail he referred to the Government’s handling of the matter as a “disaster”. As far as I’m concerned, we should go with the science on Thursday’s Tonight Show. We had Dr. David Nabarro of the WHO and Professor Luke O’Neill both strongly advocating the use of masks, most particularly in circumstances where we are unable to socially distance. An obvious example is public transport. In this case the wearing of masks should be mandatory like it is on the London Underground. I fail to understand the government’s inaction on the matter. Run out of steam, Leo ?