The Green Party have released their election manifesto this week, you can read a copy of it HERE.

It’s a brave document, in parts good, in parts a reminder of why the Green Party have the reputation they do.

As you read it you find yourself repeatedly agreeing with the normal parts of the manifesto and then running into some point that is simply totally divorced from reality and being reminds you that what you are reading was written by the Green Party and is totally uncosted. The word ‘forest’ actually appears in the document more times than the euro symbol. 24 to 14.

That may have been done to show us that the Green Party knows that politics is about people, not money, but it would still be good to know how much of the public’s money they intend to spend creating the ‘circular and sharing economy’ they keep mentioning.

So they say ‘Ireland should have more forests’ and you nod and think that sounds lovely, and then you read on and realise that the crime the manifesto is  toughest on is illegal logging. And that’s not a joke.

They say a ‘crime against nature’ should be seen as a ‘crime against humanity’ and should be subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. It’s an unfortunate usage of language by the Green Party because the term ‘crime against nature’ has traditionally been used in the legal context to refer to sodomy, and it’s unlikely that the rest of the EU would support the Green’s rounding up homosexuals and sending them to the Hague.

Then also say you should be able to have a week’s worth of drugs on you at any one time without criminal charges and that it should be illegal to give children homework. The former policy will be a great help to parents as the increased availability of various sedatives will presumably help them to deal with the later. This must be what politicians refer to as ‘joined up thinking’.

The drugs will be particularly helpful if they bring in their plan to “reduce the waiting time to a maximum of 30 seconds for pedestrian signal times and ensure that all pedestrians have adequate time to cross the road”, because after driving, if it could be called that, through a city with that regulation in place you’re going to need something to take off the edge to prevent you from simply getting out of the car at a red light and beating a pedestrian to death with a bicycle.

Other parts of the Manifesto go so deeply into boilerplate political nonsense that they don’t even really make any sense. For instance, they say they will “work to introduce a legally binding duty of care on large online platforms to put the well-being of people at the heart of decision-making processes” which is a sentence that reads as if was made in factory that was originally designed to make Hallmark cards. It could mean anything. It could mean nothing. More likely the latter than the former.

It is a shame they seem to have stepped back from their intention to reintroduce wolves into Ireland; it was the sort of innovative solution to the problem of obesity that this country needs.