Friday, January 06, 2006

Charles, your colleagues are bastards!

All those miserable years of Tories selecting ridiculous party leaders, then watching those same Conservative MPs destroy their leaders, has been a joy to watch over the past decade.

But now that Liberal Democrat MPs are doing it to Charles Kennedy, I am feeling quite sickened.

In a personal statement at the party's London headquarters on Thursday night,
the Lib Dem leader insisted he wanted to carry on at the head of the party.

But after disclosing details of his drink problem, he said it was
only fair' to allow the party a chance to replace him.

In the early 1990’s I served my village as a Lib Dem councilor and then from 1999 to 2005 I worked for the party as a political advisor.

Through all this time I have found the leadership of Charles Kennedy inspiring, refreshing and regularly entertaining. But now it seems the parliamentary party is having a joyful time ripping the leader to shreds.

The actions of some parliamentarians have been reckless, shameless and aggressive. Some (25 MPs at the last count) say they will resign on Monday if Charles does not.

No longer are we the nice party it seems.

It’s all quite sickening and treacherous.

But that is politics. At least we can stop lying that we are not as bad as the Tories when they decide a Leader has to go. Our MPs have been more vociferous in their words and deeds than any Tory wanting to get rid of Major, Hague or that Duncan-Smith bloke.


Paul Leake said...

Too right! I never backed Charles Kennedy as leader in the first place, but I thought the Lib Dems were meant to be a democratic party. And as Lynne Featherstone one of the 25 said of CK "he may even win a leadership contest if it goes to the membership" so to pre-empt the democratic process seems no better than the Tories who want to deny their members the final say in leadership elections or the Labour ministers who ignore their own Party Conference. I ought to be a natural Lib Dem voter, but some of those 25 would now have as much chance of getting my vote as a Tory would.

Richard said...

We live in a parliamentary democracy. And that means the views of MPs matter. Ever complained about Tony Blair's disdain for parliament, of Labour's habit of making big announcements to the media, of his "presidential" style of government?

If not then fine. If so then above posts are hypocritical.

Joe Otten said...

Maximillion, if they were bastards, it would all have been done a lot sooner, without giving Charles half as many chances to shape up or go quietly.

Paul, that party members should decide became impossible when promises were extracted from colleagues that they wouldn't stand against him.

Leaders can do that, but the price of getting such promises is, that when the time comes, you should stand aside.

A contest without the main contenders would be a poor contest and a poor endorsement of the winner.

Matthew of Sunny Swindon said...

Thanks for comments.
Paul I am astonished that you would consider yourself a 'natural' Lib Dem supporter. I could not consider myself anything other than a Lib Dem supporter thru and thru!

Some of the outspoken comments from the Parliamentary team has distressed me, but its time to move on.

Have just watched Charles on BBC24 announce his resignation. He did it with dignity and I wish him and his wife Sarah well for their future.

Looking forward to seeing how the party conference - "Meeting the Challenge" next Saturday develops. Pleased that at least the "one-member-one-vote" system will help shape the future of this great political organisation, even if members have not been allowed to determine the fate of its former leader.

Susanne Lamido said...

I can see no justification in some of the public statements. Chris Hulme MEP was completely out of order.

Matthew of Sunny Swindon said...

Have just read that gifted Shadow Home Secretary Mark Oaten MP has pulled out of the race for Leadership.
The whole affair has been quite disgusting and very depressing... from the misserable way Charles had to leave to the leaked emails that have forced Oaten to stand aside.
I remember the joy of pounding the streets of Winchester in November of 1997 when Mark secured his parliamentary seat with a 21,500+ majority.

Oh well... the battle to keep fighting for truth and Liberalism continues!