Tuesday 17 July 2018

The 'brave' ministers who'll blame Howlin and Noonan

Brendan Howlin and Michael Noonan
Brendan Howlin and Michael Noonan

Alan Shatter

In an era of competitive 24/7 news reporting the excitement generated by Cabinet leaks and on or off the record briefings on politically sensitive domestic issues by Cabinet ministers or by a shadowy unidentified source "close to the minister" is readily understandable. It generates copy both for the print media and online and has the capacity to fill countless hours of broadcasting space.

Even more delightful and of even greater value is the minister who, through such direct or indirect communications, creates the perception that if something within their area of responsibility goes wrong it is not their fault but is, or will be, the fault of their Cabinet colleagues. This has the added value of generating controversy and may even result in the minister concerned being praised for his or her straight talking.

As we have emerged from the summer silly season into a sunny September start to the new political year, it struck me how easily some political commentators and some of those who practice politics forget that Cabinet Government is enshrined by our Constitution as being at the central core of our democratic parliamentary system.

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