Is this what they meant by Green jobs?
It would appear that very few political commentators believe the Green Party’s spin that their secret deal with former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern for extra ministries is based on the noble principle of rotation.
Interesting to observe the Green Party’s silence on the story revealed by TV3’s Ursula Halligan that former Junior Minister Trevor Sargent, who resigned his Ministerial post last week, had struck a secret deal (shielded from public view and Green membership) with Bertie Ahern to ensure the Greens were accommodated in Government by allowing the rotation of one of its Ministers and in-mid term the allocation of a second Junior Ministry.
The deal, according to Senator Dan Boyle, who is a Taoiseach appointee as part of the said same deal, is merely to comply with the Green Party’s principle of rotation.
However Irish Times columnist Stephen Collins had this to say:
The problem is that most people outside the Greens would regard the concept of rotating a Cabinet Minister at this stage as political madness. There is also the important fact that this deal was kept secret until now. Both the voters and the Fianna Fáil party were entitled to know when the Greens entered government in 2007 that they had this rotation agreement.
The assumption is that the easier and less destabilising decision for Cowen to make at this stage would be to give the Greens their second junior with Cuffe and deputy party leader Mary White getting promotion. This, however, will do nothing for the Greens in the eyes of the public who are likely to regard it as a cynical jobs-for-the-boys exercise.
Noel Whelan dismisses the Green’s ‘rotation’ spin:
While the view that spending too long in ministerial office can be bad for any individual politician has some merit, using it to justify a changeover after only two and a half years is ridiculous. The fact that under the pact Eamon Ryan was scheduled to remain in Cabinet for a full five years doesn’t sit well with this supposed principle.
If implemented the pact would have meant that at some point over the life of the Government all six of the party’s TDs would have held office. This and the fact that the pact was kept secret suggest baser motives.