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Cowen's job is no easy task

Sir -- I have been disgusted in recent times to see how quickly the media and the public have turned on Brian Cowen.

The newspapers have given Brian Cowen the nickname Biffo, and this is detrimental to his reputation and utterly childish. I am of the opinion that it is harder to be a great Taoiseach in the bad times than it was in the boom times. Bertie Ahern became the nation's sweetheart because his job was easy. It was very easy for him to make the popular decisions and become the Taoiseach that everyone adored. Would Bertie do a better job if he was Taoiseach now?

Brian Cowen has to make the difficult decisions, and whatever decision he makes will either be publicly unpopular or economically damaging. It seems he is in a lose-lose situation, and neither Enda Kenny nor Eamon Gilmore would do a better job. It is easy for Kenny and Gilmore to point out economic flaws and offer up the fairytale solution, but politics is no fairytale.

Cowen was never given the chance to succeed as Taoiseach, but it seems the media and public will not be happy until another incompetent leader is put in charge. Anyone could have been a successful Taoiseach in Celtic Tiger Ireland, but the job isn't as straightforward now. Is a change of face the ultimate solution to our downfall?

Justin Kelly,

Edenderry, Co Offaly

Sunday Independent