The Minister for Good News
Like a territorial rooster, there's nothing a government minister likes better than scratching out a whole heap of good news from his patch before hopping atop it to crow its benefits for the flock.
This week Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton (pictured) seems to have been confirmed as Ireland's 'Minister for Good News' on the back of two big jobs announcements from Kerry Group and Paddy Power, quickly followed by yesterday's announcement of record export growth.
With Mr Bruton's remit covering the IDA and Enterprise Ireland -- largely the country's only sources of upbeat doings of late -- other ministers from less happy-clappy patches (like Dr Reilly) can only pine enviously over Mr Bruton's departmental capacity for generating tales of decent doings.
But Mr Bruton demonstrates a rather peculiar verbal tic -- a constant pointed assertion in his speech openings which suggests he predicted it all -- if only we had been listening.
When ushering in the Kerry Group jobs, Mr Bruton's statement kicked off: "As I have said before, central to the Government's plans for jobs and growth is creating a powerful engine of indigenous enterprises. . ."
Then came yesterday's record Irish monthly goods export statistics from August. Up hopped Mr Bruton again, starting: "As I have said before, a strong export performance will be crucial. . ."
And when he announced fee reductions for co-ops earlier this month, he also started: "As I have said before, a key part of this Government's plan for jobs and growth is . . ."
In the summer, when he launched an employment forum in Waterford, he again reminded us of his resonance: "As I have said before, the structural challenges that the region faces . . ." Hindsight is a great thing.
And he's said it before, so he'll say it again.