Wednesday, July 29, 2009

End this now

Despite his foppish, cowardly manner, The Board has flirted with trouble once or twice.

Back in primary school he tripped up Daniel Power, black-hearted bully and fastest man on the playground, in the 1996 St Bede's One Lap Wobble-Off. Only a madman would do such a thing, of course, but I just let the moment take me.

Likewise, this January he flirted with a small pickle when he seemingly encouraged people to assault Tanaiste Mary Coughlan with office supplies. It was all tongue in cheek, of course. If I really wanted to see her injured, I'd suggest some kind of sharpened shovel.

That same shovel logic came crashing back into our world this Wednesday morning when Dearest Mary, our deputy leader, made a holy show of herself explaining away the Government's commitment to the Mid West following the publication of the regional task force's interim report.

It's quite a hollow feeling, really, to know that had the Fianna Fail government been forced into growing a social conscience five years sooner, the money to invest in regeneration, create 7,000 jobs and completely re-make some of the most broken areas of our society would have been there.

Instead, here we are in 2009, bankrupt and ponderous and waiting for answers from the national disgrace that is Mary Coughlan.

Did you hear her interview on Live 95FM? It would be funny if it wasn't so enraging. This woman's propensity to answer meaningful questions about the fate of this region and her own competency with flippancy and candour is an affront to the idea of accountability among our politicians.

The Tanaiste, as one of Brian Cowen's chief allies in his coronation as Taoiseach last year, was awarded her position and portfolio, prizes that she has done little to justify.

If, as rumours suggest, the Opposition begin their push for a general election once the Lisbon referendum is over, Brian Cowen would be faced with a window of less than four months to shuffle his cabinet and provide one final indication that he wants to inject a new energy into the front bench.

He could provide no clearer declaration of positive intent than if he cut Mary Coughlan loose. She has no public credibility outside her home constituency, and has become the personification of the indecision and fluster of the Ahern years.

She is simply not up to the job.

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