Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lazy Sunday Service

Never has the saying 'a week is a long time in politics' been more apt than the last seven days in Ireland. Under enormous pressure in the wake of revelations of socialising with leading bankers ahead of the bank guarantee that has bought the country to its knees, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Brian Cowen, last weekend announced that he would be holding a motion of confidence in himself on Tuesday evening as leader of his party (not as Taoiseach). He won this motion, but on Wednesday took the decision to undertake a cabinet reshuffle, asking those ministers retiring at the next general election to stand down to make way for new members. It was a badly judged move as the government's coalition partners - the Green Party - not only blocked the move but insisted on a date being set for a general election. Chaos broke out on Thursday as it became clear that ministers had resigned but were not going to be replaced, meaning that the remaining ministers had to double up offices. Then yesterday, Brian Cowen resigned as leader of his party, but not as the Taoiseach, which means that between now and the 11th March, we'll have a leader of the country who is not leader of his political party, and several ministeries with only part-time ministers. It's a farcical end to the probably the worst government in the history of the state - first they got us into the mess and then they managed to make things even worse by how they handled the crisis. I was in government buildings on Wednesday afternoon meeting the Housing Minister and the heads of a couple of government agencies. I thought that since Cowen had won his motion of confidence it was back to business as usual, unaware of the plot about to unfold - and I'm fairly certain nobody in the room knew either as some government business due to go through the Dail in the next few weeks was briefly discussed. It would have been interesting to have been there the next morning as all hell broke loose. It's looking increasingly likely the government will collapse in the next couple of days and the election will be sometime in February. Thank God.

My posts this week
What difference will voice recognition software make to writing fiction?
Should local authorities be temporarily be relieved of their decision making power?
Mapbacks
Draft guidance manual for managing and resolving unfinished housing developments
Review of Gun Monkeys by Victor Gischler
Review of The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
A bargain haul

3 comments:

Rob Kitchin said...

Things are moving apace. Since this morning the Greens have pulled out of coalition, meaning that the government no longer has a overall majority. The pressure now is to get the Finance Bill (needed for the IMF/EU bailout) through as fast as possible to bring forward an election.

seana said...

It sounds awful, but you are in an incredible position to watch it all unfold. Maybe after everything is done and dusted, you will be able to put it to use fictionally.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Little did we know that all our houses were built upon sand.