Dear John, Or another Politician with a conscience

 Remember Joe Behan?
 Well here's another politician with chutzpah:

Letter of Resignation from Senator de Burca to Party Leader John Gormley February 12, 2010

Dear John,

I am writing to inform you of my intention to resign from the Green Party Parliamentary Party and from Seanad Eireann with immediate effect.

It is with great sadness that I tender my resignation, having served as an elected member of the Green Party for eight years on Wicklow County Council and for a further two and a half years as a member of Seanad Eireann. During that time I have worked faithfully on behalf of the party to try to advance its political agenda in order to put this country on a more sustainable path.

I regret to say that I can no longer support the Green Party in government, as I believe that we have gradually abandoned our political values and our integrity and in many respects have become no more than an extension of the Fianna Fail party. 

I have had a number of conversations with you as Party Leader over many months now about my growing discomfort with the decisions that the Green Party has been supporting in government. You have been very aware of my frustration with the fact that despite the Green Party holding the balance of power in this government for some time now, our willingness to try to exercise that influence appears to grow less with every passing week.

As a party, we seem to have been paralysed by the electorate’s rejection of many of our candidates (including myself) in the local and European elections last June. Any suggestion that we challenge Fianna Fail, or face it down over important issues, seems to bring up a great fear in us that we will have to leave government. In fact staying in government appears to have become an end in itself now for the Green Party.

While I was always aware that our political inexperience as a party would leave us vulnerable to being manipulated by Fianna Fail in government, what I hadn’t predicted was the strong attachment to office that appears to have developed since we became part of government.

It is with regret also that I must also inform you that I have lost confidence in you as Party Leader. The Parliamentary Party has had almost daily meetings now since well before Christmas at which we have discussed the very real problems we are experiencing in getting Fianna Fail to co-operate with us in implementing policy initiatives that were agreed as part of the original, and the revised Programme for Government. From stonewalling us and trying to unravel key aspects of our policy initiatives being implemented, to ignoring our input into the preparation of new legislation, to reneging on two key agreements made between Party Leaders, the Fianna Fail Party continues to ‘run rings’ around us and to take advantage of our inexperience and our very obvious fear of facing the electorate.

Despite the fact that you have been asked on many occasions over the past few months by the Parliamentary Party to take a stronger line with Brian Cowen and the Fianna Fail party in relation to certain core issues, you have clearly been unable, or unwilling to do so.

 Unfortunately the effect of this unwillingness to act is that the Green Party has been slowly haemhorraging support because of a growing public perception that we have lost the courage of our convictions and have become no more than an obedient ‘add-on’ to Fianna Fail.

For example, I am aware that you as Minister have a key report in front of you from Dr Niamh Brennan on the issue of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. I’m afraid I lack the confidence that the findings of this report will be acted on in the timely and appropriate manner that the public interest requires.

I believe that in your role as Party Leader you have done a disservice to the Green Party and to its members in allowing this ‘drift’ to occur. It would appear that holding onto office and to seats have become more important to the party than holding on to its fundamental political purpose. We have lost our way as a party and I am sad to say that it has reached a point where I, and most of the people I know, will be unable to vote Green in the next election.

I don’t take this decision to tender my resignation lightly. I am very clear however that I do not want to be part of what the Green Party is continuing to support in Government.

Yours sincerely..

There are other greens currently in office who know exactly how costly and short sighted the current cuts to Special Needs Assistants in National Schools will be. 
Greens who understand through experience the difficulties of raising and teaching a special needs child in a world that wants to shut them away to be minded and institutionalised.

Please; have a good old look at yourselves and make a stand before another generation of kids with special educational needs who could have made it in "Big School" with the right support - are betrayed by myopic government policy.


jazzygal said…
Hear Hear Hammie. xx Jazzy
Jean said…
It's good to know that there are still politicians out there with principles, but scary that they (and we) are simply ignored. XXX
Anonymous said…
And Dear Bertie, Thanks so much for the nomination in the first place. FF was okay back then, but alas not now. You see like George Lee, I've changed.Well ok, I had changed earlier this year when I decided to run for Europe. Lets face it, it's time people who look good got to run the country. xx Bill
Jen said…
I hope this letter doesn't fall on deaf ears, though I expect it will. Delighted to see that someone is willing to stick their neck out and be counted, we need more like that.
Andra said…
A very gutsy Lady, well done on sticking to your principles Deirdre and not tow the party line. Pity there are not more like you!
Anonymous said…
OK but seriously guys. Like George Lee, there is nothing admirable about politicians who work the political system who work the system to get so far and then turn on it when things dont go their way. Thats called QUITTING. Bending to FF principles from their high and mighty green position is not something unique to Gormless et al. Deirdre got her senate seat the same way. Like George Lee she has gone for her leaders jugular in quitting. Last week she was kissing his ass. Then her and GL get the public ovation as principled politicians, blah,blah. Peter Garrett in Australia was a shaved head rock and roller with ultra peace, green principles who moved career to politics. Now as Envoironment minister he sees the limitations of real politics. Ironically he is now being witch hunted over four deaths which occurred as result of hastily passed green type legislation. Bill D xx
Make Do Style said…
Great to know people will stand up and tell it like it is - politics has to stop being an end in itself and get real again.
Nan P. said…
My cynical side tells me it fears that both resignations, George’s and Deirdre’s, will pass like a storm in a tea cup. Because everybody’s job is threatened at the moment, one way or the other. The only difference with TD’s and senators: the date to be written on their P45 is in their hands. So they all continue the charade to keep paying the mortgage until the five years are up, not a day sooner.

And others pay the costs.
Got to love a politician with chutzpah.
And, I love you for keeping my hope safe for me. Thank you!xoxo

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