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Eamon Keane: Dad's Army for Cabinet as women cast aside

Dad's Army, with the women making the tea and looking after the childer.

That's one way of looking at our new Coalition Cabinet .Do you remember the BBC series, which featured the well-intentioned lads fighting to defend their country during the Second World War? Most of them were in their twilight years. Just like Captain Enda and his men.

The average age of this new Coalition is 55. In Bertie's time it was 49. What the two cabinets have in common, though, is that they are dominated by the mature male.

Admittedly Leo the Lip Varadkar and Simon Le Bon Coveney are in there as well. This should keep the Tweenie Twitterati happy.

There are two women in the cabinet. Joan Burton and Francis Fitzgerald have been assigned to the 'caring' portfolios of Social Protection and Children respectively.

Fianna Fail did the same trick when they moved Mary Hanafin to Welfare. She had previously proved a very capable Education Minister.

So is this a case of jobs for the boys, or d'oul lads?

I could have sworn I'd seen some of the 'new' cabinet before.

Noonan, Quinn, Rabbitte and Co. Standing outside the Dail yesterday was like seeing the Bay City Rollers appear down at the 02.

And it had all begun so well. We felt it was the day men would discover their inner feminine side.

Certainly Independent builder Mick Wallace did his best with his multicultural transgender pink shirt.

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan spoke eloquently and with genuine sensitivity about the impact of emigration on his family. Things were looking good.

Maybe Enda was about to discover his inner Edna. And Eamo G his inner Joan. Indeed Enda made a flowery, heartfelt speech redolent of his hero JFK.

I know Joan Burton, having interviewed her on a number of occasions. These included some serious grillings. I don't go with the thread of Burton as a 'hysterical' politician.

Maybe Dad's Army are just reflecting a wider public view towards females in public life? Does Joan really understand her 'tough' portfolio?

She has lectured in accountancy. Go back to the time of the bank guarantee and check the Dail records. I did last night and read her speeches during the debate. She was alone in highlighting what everyone knows now.

If you think someone is good enough as a Finance spokesperson why not keep the same brief when you appoint them as a Minister ?

Dads Army have given Burton Welfare, or Social Protection as the new spinmeisters call it. The Coalition Government have sworn there will be no more cuts in that area. That will be a hard promise to keep. Burton will have to go out to bat on that. Smart move by FG.

There was one notable exception yesterday in the ranks of the Dad's Army platoon. Credit to Eamon Gilmore and Kenny with the appointment of the first female Attorney General in Marie Whelan.

Let's hope they eventually let the ladies in. They couldn't mess things up any worse than us men.