Thursday, May 8, 2008

Biffo's Cabinet - Yawn!

All the radio stations were running live coverage from Dail Eireann of Brian Cowen introducing his new Cabinet. Fintan The Toole was sticking his oar in with the hapless Enda Kenny, and was baying for Mary Harney's blood on the Matt Cooper show.

I was tempted to switch channels. Fintan's whining voice was a bit much to take ; it resembled a violin being played off key. And Kenny's attempt to scupper Harney's reappointment was looking like a vain attempt to be noticed, and appear leaderlike. Enda Kenny is a student of the Steve Staunton school of management. Unfortunately, he has an knack of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, leaving everyone shaking their heads wondering "What is he on about?" Maybe one day, he will make one final attempt to assert his authority, and tell us "I am the gaffer. The buck stops with me".

Back in the Dail Chamber, no sooner had Cowen started proposing his Ministers, than Kenny and his sidekick Eamon Gilmore, were on their feet lodging objections. Not enough time was being allocated in the Dail to discuss the appointments, they claimed. Kenny pointed out that in previous administrations, it was common practice to debate Ministerial appointments for up to four days. Four days? Perish the thought. Bless me Father for I have sinned, what's my penance? Son, Three Hail Marys, and Four Days of Enda Kenny.

Eventually the news seeped through. But amidst all the shenanigans, PaddyThePig had lost interest. Michael Martin or Brian Lenihan? Mary Coughlan or Mary Hanafin? Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee?

Still, Michael Martin looked cock-a-hoop at being given Foreign Affairs. On Prime Time, Michael made his debut appearance in his new role. He was speaking from Belfast where he was hobnobbing at the American Investment Conference, dolled up in his new monkey suit and dickie-bow. The Star Spangled Banner limply flew behind him.

Brian Lenihan, a barrister by trade, was on morning radio, being touted as a 'safe pair of hands' in the tricky Finance role. He stoutly defended Brian Cowen's dithering on residential property stamp duty during his reign in Finance, and firmly stood up for his new boss. Moore McDowell, economic commentator, said that as a highly successful barrister, Lenihan would be able to 'get to the core of the matter', despite having no economic background.

So is Brian Lenihan the guy who will be able to say "No" to vested interests during difficult economic times? As a litmus test, he was asked 'Will you be introducing a property tax in Ireland?'. In a Freudian slip, Lenihan showed that, where he comes from, the wind clearly blows in opposite directions at the same time. 'No', he insisted, 'We have no plans to do this'. But then added, 'But if there a demand for such a measure from the public, we would consider it'.

Oink Oink!

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