Brian Cowen can’t even rely on the weather these days.

Since the talks with unions and employers broke down this morning, it was clear he would have to go it alone, announcing cutbacks without the protective cover of the social partners.

At 4pm, he stood to address the Dáil, announcing two billion in cutbacks, including a tax on civil service pensions, cutbacks in foreign aid, childcare, and defence.

Less concrete proposals include savings in ‘professional fees’ and ‘general administrative expenses’.

And the thought occurred to me, that’s a good time to get it over with before the commuters hit the roads.

Except of course, yesterday the roads were clogged because of snow, and when it fell again today, everyone decided to go home early.

As a result, an awful lot of voters who otherwise would only have heard an edited soundbite during the hourly news headlines got to hear his full statement.

And of course, they heard the responses by opposition leaders.

And, traffic having slowed to a crawl, the captive audience listened as the talking heads debated what was wrong with the government that spreads FUD with every move.

Or rather, what was wrong with the taoiseach.

Them’s the breaks.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.