‘I stepped out and you stepped in again’

Taoiseach Brian Cowen wins confidence motion as Ministers resign

The so-called ‘putsch’  against Taoiseach Brian Cowen, as it has been laughably described by the Irish media,  has had a number of distinct advantages for Cowen and Fianna Fáil :  It portrays Cowen as a passionate battler for all things Fianna Fáil and will gain him sympathy and support. This ‘tribal passion’ acts as a tonic for the troops and will also have the effect of greatly increasing challenger, the now former Minister Michael Martin’s chances of re-election and anyone else who cares to position themselves as anti-Cowen, even those that didn’t (secret ballot).  It certainly has all the signs of a carefully orchestrated campaign.

Unfortunately Labour’s confidence motion will only add rather than detract from this strategy.

And now the resignations begin to flow in, insulting the electorate with the line that it ‘would be inappropriate to remain in office if not contesting the general election’.   Is not the job of Cabinet to run the country rather than use the position for re-election?  So this is all about electioneering, its all about Ministers delivering for their constituencies.

Meanwhile boards and quangos are being stuffed by Fianna Fáil supporters before the coalition leaves office while the Greens continue to look concerned, grimace (statemanslike into the distance), and feverishly tweet their version of ‘I stepped out and you stepped in again’.

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