At sixty-two years of age, I am not the sort of teacher sought after by secondary schools making appointments. On a one year contract with my previous employer, I had to find a new post in September. I applied for forty-three posts in and around Dublin, without success. Eventually, I was offered a maternity leave post at a school which needed someone at short notice. The school is thirty-eight miles from my flat, it takes an hour to drive there.
Once, my diesel car would have been a boon in such a situation. Its economy would have saved me a considerable amount of money. Now, the shifts in fuel prices mean that diesel is frequently 20 cent a litre more expensive than petrol. The government could have taken measures to keep down the price of diesel, and thus assisted countless people who drive many miles through rural Ireland, but, of course, it was not going to do so.
The Green Party hate people like me.
They would tell me I should be using public transport, which I do all the time in Dublin, but have they ever tried to travel by public transport in rural Ireland? They would tell me I should have an electric car, which would indeed be an attractive option if I could afford one.
The Green Party would tell me that not only should I not drive, but also that I should not eat the food that I do.
Cows, they say, are the problem. Yet unless cows have suddenly developed severe bovine flatulence, the Greens do not explain their claim that cows are responsible for greater emissions than in the past. Nor do the Greens do explain who will be stewards of the Irish countryside when they have driven farmers from the land.
The Green Party would wish to deprive me of my car and of my food, and would wish me to live according to the dull puritanical strictures they seek to impose.
The news this week that the Green Party Lord Mayor led the council in the cancellation of the ‘live’ Christmas crib outside of the Mansion House was an embodiment of a Seventeenth Century puriatn spirit. Keeping the animals inside all day wasn’t fair, it was said. It was a measure of the extent to which there is an ignorance about farming that there didn’t seem a realisation that most of the the animals on farms were inside in December, anyway.
Visiting the live crib has been a special moment for children in Dublin for more than a generation. It has been one of the few things that was free. Parents hard-pressed for cash could bring their children to visit the crib as a treat.
The next General Election is not until the spring of 2025, but it is a moment to which I look forward. In return for the way in which the Green Party have treated me, I shall take delight in watching a repeat of the 2011 election when every last one of them lost their seats.