Thursday, July 26, 2007

Greens mean spin.

In today’s Irish Times (Opinion & Analysis) Mary Raftery, under the heading “Greens mean business”, sings the praises of our new Green party ministers, citing specifically Environment Minister John Gormley’s reversal of rezoning decisions made by Monaghan Co Co and a supposed hardening of Ireland’s position on GMOs.

However, Minister Gormley’s predecessor Dick Roche had taken the same action against Laois Co Co in October 2006, while her statement that “at the EU Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health, Trevor Sargent abstained in a vote on a GM animal feed ingredient called Herculex which continues to be banned“ hardly suggests a new or radical stance.

An article could just as easily be written under the alternative heading “Greens mean spin”? In the past month we’ve had Trevor Sargent’s big photo opportunity buying a Toyota Prius, Eamon Ryan paying (with our money) for his carbon footprint and taking a subway with a camera crew in tow, while John Gormley got tough with the litter bugs. The decision to increase the on-the-spot fine for littering from €125 to €150 is supposed to send a stern message to offenders, but it’s laughable. If non-enforcement of the current fine isn’t working, non-enforcement of an increased fine is unlikely to do the trick.

It’s time for Green ministers to stop these petty PR stunts and start to show us some substance, other than simply replicating what their FF predecessors would have done anyway.

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