Two weeks after the ‘Green Wave’ in the local and European elections, Labour, the Green Party and the Social Democrats are propping up the establishment in local councils across Dublin.
On Dublin City Council, the Green Party will work with Labour, the Social Democrats and Fianna Fail in a coalition that may well be replicated after the next General Election.
On South Dublin County Council the Green Party will prop up a right wing coalition made up of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, despite the latter party actively working to block People Before Profits’ Climate Emergency Bill in the Dail.
In Dun Laoighre Rathdown, Fianna Fail will control the council with Labour, the Greens and the Social Democrats supporting them.
Time and again parties of the centre left have offered themselves as alternatives to the establishment only to prop them up once the votes are counted.
Each time the results are the same too, as the right impose policies that support the rich, discredit the centre left and hurt their voters.
Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have consistently put the interests of landlords and speculators at the heart of local government policy.
They have stripped power from elected representatives in favour of unelected CEO’s, cut funding for public services and created the worst housing and homelessness crisis in the history of the state.
By working alongside these parties Labour and the Greens act as a mud guard for the right instead of actively building a progressive alliance on the council.
In particular it is sad to see this being done by the Green Party who have been the beneficiaries of young environmentally concerned voters. Doubtless the claim will be made that this policy will enable the Greens to influence decision making and ‘make a difference’.
We believe experience shows that we can make more difference by allying with the striking school students and activists like Extinction Rebellion than by doing deals with and ‘greenwashing’ Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, which will inevitably mean abandoning principles and breaking promises.
People Before Profit wants councils that build public housing on public land, fund proper climate change initiatives and invest in local services for the good of the community.
But these policy proposals will never be implemented so long as the centre left continues to give cover to Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.