“He did the bare minimum, with all the imagination and flair of a goldfish.”

I get the impression that Miriam Lord was less than impressed by Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s reshuffle “nervous nudging of chairs around the Cabinet table”. From the Irish Times sketch

The upshot? Three middle-aged men in navy suits replacing three middle-aged men in navy suits and an extra half car for the Greens. Nobody axed and just three hopefuls plucked from the back benches and given a start in the junior ranks. Biffo’s night of the rubber knives won’t go down in Dáil history and nor will his soft hand in the velvet glove reshuffle. The FF backbenchers are not happy.

Neither was former minister for social affairs Mary Hanafin, who held on to her ministerial job but was handed the “trapdoor” post of Tourism, Culture and Sport. The department was “reconfigured” from its previous incarnation of “Arts, Sport and Tourism”. Radical.


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  • Nobody could give realy give a flying FF feck and the sooner the Plain People of Ireland take to the streets to let them know that the better.


    Have you withdrawn your insulting remarks you made on the other thread yet?

    Protocol warning: Please adjust your mindset
    For those of a particulalry tribal and/or sensitive disposition and those unable to judge an arguement on it’s merits please be aware that the term Unionist in my name is not an accurate reflection of my political views though it should also be noted that my paternal grandfather was a keen supporter of the Union and I am invoking the FIFA grandparent rule and am opting to call myself so. (I’m sure he would have approved.)

  • joeCanuck

    Don’t know anything about goldfish’s imaginations but I have seen some with flair. She should have picked some other creature. Millipede or something like that.

  • Greenflag


    ‘Don’t know anything about goldfish’s imaginations’

    Whatever about their imaginations they are as are many fish reputed to have the shortest of short term memories so for you swanning about in the same bowl for years would be mind numbing apparently for the goldfish every time it makes a right or left turn it’s a whole new world 😉

    Not that I’m suggesting Brian Cowen is’nt a goldfish in a bowl . Entire governments from the USA to the UK to Ireland etc are now little more than goldfish in a bowl . Everyway they turn the see the banking and finance cats outside the glass threatening to upend the bowl and the pols as well .

    I’d warm a little towards Richard Bruton if the man would but insert the political dagger where it’s most needed 😉

    Pat Carey is a dacent man from the Northside and should bring some common sense to the table 😉

  • That was a “re-shuffle”? Phoo-ey!

    Greenflag @ 03:39 PM rightly acknowledges Pat Carey. I gather Tony Killeen is from a similar mould. Both seem competent.

    Why was Hanafin given the yellow card? I thought she had some of the makings. Was she deemed a long-term threat to the inner circle? And that inner circle seems even tighter: Coughlan (who has had a deserved rough ride lately) kept on board; an amenable Chief Whip … it begins to look like the old pals act. Is Cowen under threat?

    And the arrival of Cuffe as a additional Minister of State (whom I thought were an endangered species)! Wasn’t he going to rotate/gyrate into Gormley’s place at Environment? Not only a small slap down for ambitious FF backbenchers, but evidence that the Greens are there to be bought, and cheaply.

    Now, can someone give me a credible answer to the Big One? Why, for heaven’s sake, is Mary Harney cemented into Health?

  • A reshuffle carried out with all the panache of a man with two broken wrists.

  • Greenflag

    malcolm redfellow,

    ‘Why, for heaven’s sake, is Mary Harney cemented into Health?’

    It’s ahem for the good of the health (political and probably biological) of the rest of the cabinet 😉

    ‘Is Cowen under threat?’

    Until he leads FF to a general election win as leader he’ll be under severe pressure -present economic circumstances being what they are . While the seeming lack of a credible opposition alternative should be a plus he knows that any FF leader who leads the party to defeat in a general election faces will receive the ‘thanks’ of the party as they hastily assemble to throw him on his own sword 😉

    Et tu Brutus/Michael etc .

  • I am not sure, if I were a F/F member I would want to be too closely associated with the cabinet. It will be hard enough to hold on to the seat without the extra baggage of complicity at cabinet level. It may explain the poverty of ideas for the reshuffle??

  • DerTer

    I know I’m becoming a bore on this, but there was a perfectly good thread already going on this topic. (Incidentally, to see that sticking to one thread is a successful thing, look back at the 3 or 4 day one on the Pope’s letter to Irish Catholics – despite the usual diversions and digressions.) Now that I’m here I might as well add that my own analysis of the reshuffle on the previous thread has stood the test of time – well one day of it anyway!