State of Chassis
It’s going to be a long week. Presumably we all know by now that Brian Cowen has reversed his position of one week ago that the positions of Taoiseach and party leader should not be separated and has resigned as leader of Fianna Fail.
As earlier posts have noted, he has never had a good sense of separation between the two roles and as Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin pointed out, the critical sentence was delivered as Gaeilge — “a united organisation is the most important thing”. So much for the Country First tone of a week ago. Also to note at this stage, there is apparently a second bill that the government intends to pass before the election, there was a reference to the “NAMA amendment bill” which is the first I’d heard*. Finally (for now), the FF leadership battle will pit several of the 7 FF Cabinet members against each other — a Cabinet that is already perilously close to the constitutional limit 7 and challenged in its constitutional requirement to operate as a collective.
Historical footnote: Richard Mulcahy as leader of FG served as Minister for Education in the interparty governments of the late 1940s and 1950s.
A Green Party quote to keep in mind –
A Green Party spokesman said last night that a general election was now only weeks away and the party’s TDs and Senators would consider the Labour motion on Tuesday. But Green Party sources described the Labour motion as a “stunt” and said if Eamon Gilmore was serious about an immediate election, he would have put down a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach rather than the Government.
FG have now supplied the former.
*The NAMA amendment bill is in the announced legislative program with a possible typo in its description.