Brian Cowen

Hopefully that will be seen as a response, a leadership responding to an issue and therefore one’s authority, while it’s not as high if you didn’t have the problem, it does mean that people say ‘well he used his authority to come up with a solution in double-quick time that met with broader public acceptance.’

We’ve seen in terms of the reaction to some proposals in the Budget already how resistant that public opinion is to, first of all, a public comprehension of the new paradigm in which we have to operate; and secondly, to the rationale for the decisions that we’re taking and the reason for those decisions to be implemented and followed through.

I’ve come up through the ranks of this parliamentary party and let me tell you the principles that have guided me on that journey since my first election 25 years ago: Loyalty to the party, service to our country, and a determination to always do my best for the people. They are principles that still guide me.