Friday 21 July 2017

Mandy Johnston: Be warned, Enda – get the reshuffle wrong and there'll be no end of pain

An anti-pylon protest in Co Meath. The government has neatly parked the pylon programme for now.
An anti-pylon protest in Co Meath. The government has neatly parked the pylon programme for now.
Mandy Johnston

Mandy Johnston

Is Enda Kenny any good at doing jigsaws? I hope so, because over the coming months he will be examining the pieces of his Government to see if he can re-assemble the existing parts in an attempt to come up with a completely different picture. Not an easy task. The cabinet reshuffle is the political equivalent of Viagra, a one-step manoeuvre that aims to inject a bit of life into the old dog. But a reshuffle does have a more subtle value. And that is the now omnipresent promise of promotion for some, coupled with the threat of dreaded demotion for others.

This should help to deliver a renewed discipline within the cabinet ranks and by extension to the ambitious backbenchers from both parties. But ultimately if we are left with exactly the same pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, will the picture really change at all?

In political terms, the next five months will be extremely interesting with the prize of the local and European elections held out as the midterm political goal to play for in the life of this Government, followed by a potential mid-term re-shuffle. For political anoraks and journalists, the months ahead stretch out like the qualifying rounds of a major national sporting occasion as we await the big day and the final results. But it is the little matches and politically charged tussles between now and polling day that will form the match-day conditions for players on the pitch come election-day.

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