So Joan Burton gave a very good account of herself with Charlie Bird the other day. http://www.rte.ie/radio1/marianfinucane/She was dignified, articulate, passionate and there is little doubt but that she will be a great minister. So good was she that it – almost – made one feel better about her sidelining.
But not quite.
Although I don’t quite agree with Marian McKeone http://www.tv3.ie/shows.php?request=tonightwithvincentbrowne&tv3_preview=&video=33569 that affirmative action is not needed in Irish politics – I think at this point the blunt instrument of quotas is going to be necessary in order to crack this impenetrable nut – I do agree with her when she says that Joan Burton was clearly the best person for one of the two jobs in Finance.
It may not have suited – who, Fine Gael? – to have her there, but believe me, it would have suited the country. The fact that she didn’t get the job does a disservice, not only to Burton herself, but to us, the people. As a married woman with a child who is – almost but not quite – in her 40s, I am deeply concerned that few, if any of my interests (which are similar to the interests of many women my age) will not be represented by this new government. Burton in Finance would have been a good start.
Just a final point. The Finnish prime minister had a quick word with RTE news the other night. The prime minister was young, articulate – and a woman.
How long more until this becomes the norm here?