Well the other day things went faster then what could be reported at the time, so lets do a Little re-cap..
The heave on Fianna Fail was comfortably beaten by Brian Cowen for reasons other than total faith in him -- the party just didn't really know which way to vote. Ideally they wanted him gone but they value the finance bill so hugely that they need to stay solid for five more weeks just to get it through.
Cowen git a bit cocky following it and I blame alot of the media for letting him, reporting that his radio performances were 'incredible' and 'top of his game' comments were thrown about for media performances. He wasn't, he merely pointed out why he should stay in charge and spoke quite loudly. By that logic a GAA minor manager is a better motivator than Tony Quinn, clearly not.
Cowen was all over the media during the days leading to the FF vote of confidence, even though he hadn't really been on since he was 'not' drunk, which was before the bail-out, yet some interviewers were willing to look beyond that. Not George Hook funnily enough, who wouldn't give him an inch.
Then Mary Harney stepped down from Health at around 3/4 on Wednesday with statements and that saying she had thought about it for weeks, yadda yadda, and told Cowen a couple of weeks back -- but interestingly she said anyone who is not re-running should step down from a ministerial position. (I totally disagree with that suggestion, incredibly opposite to my views)
Anyway I wasn't in work in a paper on that day, Wed I think, so I didn't get to throw my cautious warnings about that I thought more would follow. So, at 11.05pm 3/4 more ministers stepped down for the same reasons, saying they had made the decision weeks ago.
The key things there is a) they said it was ages ago when they decided it b) they announced it in unison c) the greens heard nothing about it until they woke up the next day d) and this is the key one... d) Alot of papers would have dominated the pages with Harney news, using the five or six hours to review her career....going to print around 11pm ish. First editions around ten or half anyway. The news broke at 11.05 on ''Coleman at large'' on newstalk, I was listening with a friend saying alot of papers would miss it.
Anyway, next day the Times and Indo had totally missed it i'm told, tonight with Vincent Browne had just missed it, by minutes I'd say, but the red tops got it. I still reckon that was a kick in the balls of the media because FF blame them, in unison, as the reason why Ireland is no longer the Real Madrid of economies, merely the Deportivo la Caruna who enjoyed a few good years in early naughties before having a shit attack on their bank manager's daughter's face.
Then it turned out, supposed by opposition parties and then followed extensively by the media outlets, that FF were pulling a lil scam by getting junior names into ministerial positions just to big up their profiles ahead of the general election.
Greens heard this, fully invested in it and may even have been first to mention it actually, maybe not, but they held a crisis meeting. Cowen approached them with a list of new ministers, they stopped him and said 'No Dice' showing the back-bone which surprised alot of people, myself included, as I didn't know jellyfish shaped lemmings had spinal-cords, and Cowen was left to divvy up the ministerial positions amongst the still-in-office ministers. A total farce, the biggest one I can think of...
My only issue with the whole thing is why Prez McAleese Okay'd the minister retirements, I understand she is just a figure-head but she was in as good a position as the Greens to make a stand as she was approached by Cowen first.
But, I was fully sure that FF would do OK in the election, that they would do enough to stay quite strong, thus dominating the next election in 4 years, but now they really look hilariously screwed. If Cowen stays they genuinely could come up short of about 10 seats, almost definitely smaller than Sinn Fein. If he gets the boot, dumb ass people, people who say things like 'turned the corner', will probably vote for them.