Dáil debates

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Ceapachán an Taoisigh agus Ainmniú Chomhaltaí an Rialtais: Tairiscint - Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government: Motion


2:10 pm

Photo of Paul MurphyPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, RISE)

There has been some discussion in the media over the course of the day about what the character of this Government is. Brian Dobson on RTÉ asked whether we might put the label "centre-left" on this Government. If he is watching, the answer is "No", we might not put the label "centre-left" on this Government, because if one puts together the two right-wing parties that have ruled this country in the interest of the rich for almost a century, if one adds the Green Party, which signed up to a neo-liberal programme for Government, and then one throws in some of the most right-wing Independent Deputies in this Dáil, what one gets is not a centre-left Government. What one gets, very clearly, is a right-wing Government.

I want to use my speech to appeal to the left-wing green activists who put up an impressive fight against this coalition to leave the Green Party. The fact that the deal passed does not change one single fact and the truth they spoke about the programme for Government. It is still a programme for austerity. It is still a programme that will worsen the housing crisis. It is still a programme that gives a tax cuts to the very highest earners with one hand while preparing for eco-austerity taxes for working-class people with the other.

The point has been made that this Government brings to the fore a left-right divide in Irish politics. The question to green activists is which side of that divide do they want to be on? Entering into government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael ends any possibility that ever existed of the Green Party being a vehicle for the radical change that we need. It will be wiped out at the next general election. More importantly, those young people, the people mobilising on the streets demanding system change, not climate change, will not be attracted to a party that is managing the capitalist system. We need their involvement in social movements that will drive change. We will need to work together to build movements for climate, housing and social justice, because even with a right-wing Government in power, we can win victories. We need also to build a broad party of the anti-capitalist and eco-socialist left. Left activists who leave the Green Party could play a crucial role in that. There should be a space in that party for all who share a commitment to people power movements to drive change, for all who oppose environmental destruction, austerity and oppression and for all who rule out coalition with the establishment parties. Leave the Green Party. Join with the left in fighting against this right-wing Government. Do not be a mudguard for it. Help us to fight for a left Government to implement a socialist green new deal.


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