Cowen: back me or sack me

Brian Cowen. He likes a drink.

Yesterday at a news conference, Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowan was defiant. He was going nowhere. Issuing his back me or sack me challenge, he dismissed any talk of resignation

“I do not believe it to be in the country’s interests nor do I believe it to be the settled collective view of my colleagues in the parliamentary party,”

Cowen is hanging on by his fingernails. His Foreign Minister, Micheál Martin has offered to resign so that he may challenge Cowen for the leadership. RTE says,

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has insisted that his offer to resign from the Cabinet still stands, despite the Taoiseach’s refusal to accept it.

Fianna Fail meet tomorrow to vote on Cowen’s confidence motion. Under the party’s  rules, only the parliamentary party may vote. Senators and MEPs have been excluded.

According to Reuters, Martin doesn’t have any support. Chief Whip, John Curran said “I haven’t heard of any other minister backing Micheal Martin at this time”.  Of course this could all be bluster but one thing is for certain, should Cowen survive the confidence vote, the writing is on the wall: FF are deeply unpopular and any attempt to paper over the cracks will only make things worse. The party is clearly not helped by Cowen’s lack of personality, poor communication skills and his stubbornness.

Back in September of last year, Cowen appeared on a radio programme. His performance led to some accusing him of being drunk on air.

A poll conducted for RTE on 7 January had Fine Gael 34%, Labour 21%, Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein both 14%. Even if FF change leader, it is unlikely that they will win the General Election.

FG leader Enda Kenny has called for an immediate election. But then Kenny has also been accused of having no personality. a couple of weeks ago, he texted this message to his supporters

“When the people give us their trust, we will not let them down. Fine Gael will deliver for our people and the national interest,”

Should FG be elected to lead a coalition with Labour it will be business as usual. Plus ça change.

UPDATE: 1715

Corrected a sentence that didn’t make sense.

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