You might recall that she actually promised to do this during the long and often torturous debate about whether the Green Party would enter Government, if her side did not prevail. Well, her side lost. The Greens entered Government, and today, at least one Green is keeping their promises:

This is one of those stories that’s only really a story because the mainstream media in Ireland made it one. Until last year, McHugh was nobody of any significance, until the media decided to make her the face of the so-called “Green wave”, when the prospect of her taking an MEP seat in Ireland North West was openly, and fervently, wished for in the pages of the bigger newspapers. And then again, in the General Election, she was the media’s candidate in Mayo.

She failed both times, of course, to win over the voters, but she did win over the journalists, to the extent that nearly every utterance from her lips was worth coverage in the Irish Times.

And so, whether you think it’s a non-story or not, it’s worth coverage. The media conspired to make McHugh the voice of the Green Party. And now the voice of the Green Party is saying “I’m out”.

But that’s not all she’s saying:

Not just a rejection of Eamon Ryan and the earth warriors, but a rejection of electoral politics, too? What does she want, a Monarchy? Sign me up, as long as the new King is a member of our rightful ruling dynasty, the House of Hohenzollern.

She’s right, though: The electorate are simply not going to vote, ever, for the kind of suicidal economic policies that would be necessary to make the green nirvana a reality. To achieve it, they’d have to sideline the voters altogether, and find some other mechanism – getting the courts to over-rule the state, for example, or shutting down the economy with rolling strikes, or something like that.

The problem is, of course, that she’s not likely to find much popular support for that sort of thing, either, and even anti-democratic methods usually require some mass support. Even Kings get deposed when the people are sick of them, after all.

Anyway, love or loathe her, you have to say this for McHugh: She stuck to her principles. If she’d just kept her mouth shut and gone with the flow, and stayed loyal to Eamon Ryan, you can be absolutely certain she’d be a Green Party Senator today, on a nice salary, with regular fawning profiles in the media. She’s chosen the intellectually honest path – you don’t have to agree with her to admire that kind of thing, which is very rare in this country.