- 24 Jul 20
"The Programme For Government that has been agreed on is a terrible document," says the recent Hot Press interviewee. "The membership were told it contained certain things that it didn’t."
In another body blow to the Irish Greens, Saoirse McHugh, who polled well in both the 2019 European Election and February's General Election but failed to win a seat, has resigned from the party.
"I doubt that’s a surprise to most people," reflects the 30-year-old Achill-Islander. "The reasons I have left are obvious, I joined the Greens with the hope of furthering the cause of climate justice. The Programme For Government that has been agreed on is a terrible document. The membership were told it contained certain things that it didn’t. This government, I believe – and I hope I’m wrong – will do massive damage to the idea of environmentalism by linking it with socially regressive policies. Only by viscerally improving peoples lives will support for climate action be ensured. Our problems in housing, tax avoidance, healthcare, agriculture etc are inextricably linked with and reinforce environmental breakdown and because of this solutions must be mutual.
"The Just Transition Greens are an affiliate group that has been set up," McHugh continues. "While I am not involved with them anymore – I couldn’t stomach being affiliated with the Greens – I support and understand what they are doing. I hope they break off and form an actual eco socialist party. I don’t believe that our pathway to a just and free society lies in electoral politics. I have seen how brilliant and brave people are bullied and silenced within parties that profess to be grounded in equality and democracy. I’ve seen how much effort and energy gets taken up by elections and internal party struggles. Our only way forward is climate justice and that’s what I will continue to work towards but the Greens no longer provide a vehicle to do that. I do hope I’m mistaken and I hope this government exceeds all expectations. I’d happily be proven so wrong!"
McHugh made her anti-capitalist stance crystal clear in an in-depth Hot Press interview in February, which can be read here: https://www.hotpress.com/culture/rider-storm-interview-saoirse-mchugh-22803236
We can't help thinking re-reading it that she's a terrible loss to the Greens.