Rumour, Speculation, hot air.
I’ve just finished a bit of punditing on one of the radio stations, in which I dispensed what knowledge I have (not very much) of what’s going on in Brian Cowen’s mind.
What we know for certain.
1. Two new senior ministers. Three new junior ministers.
2. Some reconfiguration of some departments.
What we kind of know or half-know.
1. Greens will get an extra junior ministry. Fianna Fail will then only get one unless Cowen appoints more than two new seniors, or sacks a junior.
2. Mary Harney to remain in place. Cowen likes her.
3. Minimal changes for the senior people. Lenihan, Martin, Ahern to stay in position. Coughlan too though she’ll lose some of her portfolio. Question marks over Dempsey and Hanafin. Both in line for some kind of preferment.
What we don’t know but can guess at…
1. Cowen is conservative and won’t make wholesale changes
2. Tony Killeen and Pat Carey the most likely to get the step-up. If he’s feeling very adventurous, Dara Calleary, but he’s considered a bit young.
3. John Curran a possible Chief Whip if Carey get the nod
4. Sean Connick and Margaret Conlon in the reckoning for junior minister. Maybe Thomas Byrne and Michael McGrath.
Cowen never shows his hand. He has tended to go conservative. (See the recent appointments of Seamus Kirk and Maire Geoghegan Quinn.)
What was it about old dogs and hard tricks?