James Downey: Beginning of the end for uninspiring Taoiseach
SOMEONE has to govern our unhappy country, and this week must have shown, to anyone who previously harboured doubts, that it can't be Brian Cowen. Never before in the history of the State had we stood and observed such a botched government reshuffle. And seldom had such a failed exercise brought such immediate and ominous repercussions.
He has brought it on himself. No use blaming Mary Coughlan or his other advisers. When it comes to shuffling the pack, the Taoiseach has exceptional freedom of action. Yes, he has to take into account all sorts of considerations -- regional demands, square pegs in square holes and so forth -- but in the heel of the hunt it boils down to choices which only he can make.
And this week he faced a very simple choice.