Euro crisis is a boost for Cowen
Published 16/05/2010 | 05:00
RTE's political correspondent David Davin Power called it right last week when he remarked that Brian Cowen had a new spring in his step. The Taoiseach was certainly in combative mood on the airwaves, showing glimpses of the style that helped reverse Fianna Fail's fortunes in the last general election campaign.
There was not, however, much substance to go with the new style. Mr Cowen has been advised to "communicate" more with the people, but he also needs to find something to say. His admissions of responsibility for some part of Ireland's economics woes were, at best, parsimonious. He could have ended tax incentives on property, he told us, but that was about it. He takes full responsibility for his actions, but he does not say what taking responsibility actually means.
He has clearly decided to abandon the grumpy defensiveness that has characterised much of his first two years as Taoiseach and has reverted to attack politics. Mr Cowen is at his most comfortable when championing his party and savaging his opponents, but he needs to do far more than that if he is to win back some of the voters who have deserted him and his party. The spring in his step may, in part, come from the latest economic statistics, which show encouraging signs of recovery in some parts of the economy.