With additional reporting from Gary Kavanagh. Photo: The four final draft logos for the Green Left.
An array of dissident Green activists have been working for six months to launch a new political party, with the aim of undermining the Greens, according to documents leaked to Gript. Putative members of the new Group include ex-Green Party candidates Saoirse McHugh and Rob O’Sullivan, Barrister Ceile Varley, and ex-Green Councillor Lorna Bogue. Harry McEvansonya, the Green Party’s returning officer in last year’s leadership election, is also involved in the development of the new group.
The Party is actively seeking to recruit sitting Green TDs and Councillors, according to the leaked documents, and has already approached several. A source told Gript that Green TD Neasa Hourigan is the nascent party’s “Top Transfer Target”, but no reference to Ms Hourigan is found in the documents.
According to the documents seen by Gript, the new party will be “eco-socialist” – explicitly rejecting capitalism in favour of building a socialist alternative.
The party acknowledges that it will have some difficulty differentiating itself from the rest of the left, and has put together a “strengths and weaknesses” strategy document analysing the other parties on the left. Here is their strategy for taking on the Green Party, for example:
On policy, the party is planning to make some genuinely ridiculous proposals: A thirty hour working week, for example, is the headline of their social policy.
The party also wants to ban private aircraft from Irish airspace, and create a cap on the number of flights Irish people can take in a calendar year. The party also wants to close down Shannon Airport, and other regional airports.
Oddly, for a Green Party, the Green Left will also oppose the carbon tax.
On the economy, the party will advocate reducing economic growth, but has not yet figured out exactly how to pay for its policies. It will advocate “some sort of wheeze (to be elaborated) to get multinational companies to pay for this shit”
The Party was due to launch on February 1st, but Gript understands that date has now been delayed on several occasions due to “difficulties on agreeing a full policy framework”. Internal disputes are understood to have erupted in relation to degrowth, taxation, and the question as to whether the party will, or will not, advocate for a phased move towards a total ban on milk production in Ireland.
While the specifics of the new party’s policy remain a “complete mess” (in the words of one source) that has not stopped a number of Green TDs and Senators from engaging with the group with a view to joining.
The new party has suffered a setback, however, with the passionate internal disputes about policy leading directly to the leaking of its internal documents in recent days to rival groups on the left, as well as to Gript.