Thank God it’s Thursday
Deaglán de Bréadún
Having written a piece in Tuesday’s paper that the cabinet “reshuffle” would not take place that day and probably not the next, I feel a certain sense of relief at being proved right. Thank God it’s Thursday!
Brian Cowen has shown himself eminently capable of springing surprises so I wouldn’t put money on any particular day, but it does look like Wednesday March 23rd, just a few days before the Green Party convention/annual conference in Waterford that weekend.
It can’t really be next week, according to conventional thinking, because ministers will already be heading off to distant destinations for the St Patrick’s Day events, many of which take place before March 17th.
It would be quite a coup for the Greens to get a second junior minister, although FF backbenchers will go mad – though they are still very unlikely to vote against the Government. Seems unlikely, but you never know. I’m putting “reshuffle” in quotation marks because there is no evidence at this stage that it is going to be a sweeping change.
Despite all the internal turmoil in the Greens, it is difficult to see them walking out of government. Better wait for the economy to pick up and then pack your bags.
Interesting result in last night’s election for chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party. Tom Hayes was ousted by Galway veteran Padraig McCormack with the young Joe McHugh from Donegal in third place. The voting was: First Count, McCormack 26; Hayes 19; McHugh 15. Ten of McHugh’s votes went to McCormack and four to Hayes (I’ve got them mixed up: it was actually the other way round, as Barbera points out below) with one non-transferable, making it 30 for McCormack and 29 to Hayes. Close or what!?