Titanics, Deckchairs and Zhou en-Lai
Deaglán de Bréadún
Another cliché of current political discourse (see also previous post) is that a cabinet reshuffle is like moving the deckchairs on the Titanic. I don’t believe I have used it myself but plead guilty that I was in the presence of people who did, and failed to protest.
The Titanic hit an iceberg and went down. The Government was confronted with an iceberg and has been trying desperately to defrost it. That’s a tough and painful proposition and a lot of peopel are going to lose fingers and toes (continuing this awful metaphor) in the process.
Curious that recent opinion polls suggest a certain stasis in the public mood. Curious also that the resignations did not affect the Government’s standing. Are we having a Gordon Brown moment here?
Like Zhou en-Lai’s response when asked for a verdict on the French Revolution (another cliche of political discourse!) it is too early to say. All now depends on the world economy turning around. If I were in government (and thank goodness I ain’t) I’d be trying desperately to hold on until next year, probably June 2011, before going to the country.
By that time the green shoots might be flourishing. Two worries for Cowen: the Greens and his own backbenchers. There seems to be some internal tension in the Green Party.
Deirdre de Búrca solidly proclaimed the party standpoint in public for some considerable time but has now turned into the leadership’s sharpest critic (in that context the forthcoming Green “convention” in Waterford on 2-28 March should be worth watching, assuming the former Senator is in attendance.
The Fianna Fail backbenchers up to now have been all hat and no cattle, as they say in George Bush country. But maybe, just maybe, they might take their courage in their hands at some stage.
Interesting to read an interview with Enda Kenny where he suggested the Greens might consider crossing the floor of the House. Green shoots indeed.