Voices of dissent on FF benches
BY their nature, reshuffles bring joy and sadness. They can earn respect, provide renewed momentum -- and create dissent. Taoiseach Brian Cowen's juggling of resources at his disposal for the latest reshuffle has, to judge by the rumblings within and without, generated more displeasure than normal. Or to put it another way, it has generated more publicly-voiced displeasure than usual.
There have undoubtedly been more severe culls and promotions over the years of various administrations. This was a mild shuffle by comparision. Yet it appears its very blandness, its uninspiring nature, are among the sources of greatest anger. The mere re-arrangement of names as opposed to an infusion of new, fresh individuals has prompted open criticism -- the sort heard on the airwaves from Marie Hoctor yesterday.
Mr Cowen and those within his Cabinet may well dismiss such comments and reports in this paper today of a so-called 'rump' of dissenters on the backbenches as the stuff of disappointment and frustration that so often accompanies the occupants of those seats.