The fact that Mary O’Rouke (who is normally taken to be a good indication of how backbenches are feeling) seems to be sticking with Brian Cowen, does not mean it remain that way until next Tuesday evening and the meeting of the Fianna Fail parliamentary party.
Fine Gaelers could be forgiven for gloating somewhat since this ‘phantom heave’ didn’t even come to anything near their own ‘dry heave’ last year (Miriam Lord’s account is here), which at least had the effect of settling matters around their leadership.
Fianna Fail’s would be assasins (widely reputed to be Micheal Martin and Mary Hanafin) failed to plunge the knife at the required moment.
Not bad value for the mere sighting of the Taoiseach in the company of the man Shanahan’s threw out in a posh golf club house, kept dry for the most opportune moment… Not nice, but good, mean and timely politics from Sinn Fein…
That effectively ‘harmless’ piece of information then up-ended Cowen long enough to up to freak his backbenchers, and in turn that crisis is now bringing more interesting stories into the public domain.
After the mess of the last two years, Mr Cowen has made a few powerful (or rather once powerful) enemies.