Saturday, January 07, 2006

Lib Dem Leadership

Many of you will know that I am not the biggest fan of the Liberal Democrats, and I don't think that Charles Kennedy would make a good PM. But you've got to give credit where it's due, and I respect his honesty in admitting his drink problem. It's also got to be noted that the party did get its best election result under his leadership.

My opinion of the party as a whole however has not budged an inch from rock bottom given the way that many of the members are handling the issue and not showing him any support. I think that some of the BBC Have Your Say comments have put it better than I could.

"The Lib Dems who have signed against Charles Kennedy have signed their own political death warrants. He led the party to win the most seats they had in years, yet when he admits to a problem, they all want him out. They have no idea about alcoholism if they cannot empathsise with what he has had to do yesterday. Alcoholics are usually the last to know they have a problem."

"This whole episode just goes to show how 'liberal' and 'tolerant' the Liberal Democrats really are."


Ian said...

Well I have to say, it's a good thing for the party he's gone anyway. I'm no lib dem, but it was obvious to see he was never going to be PM, you said it yourself. I think Mark Oaten or "Ming" Campbell have a much better chance. Charlie C was a good thing for the liberals (best post-war election results etc), but he's had his day. I don't know if you remember last summer when he missed several very important debates and good chances to have a go at Tony, but he was "unavailable" on several occasions, hmm...

The only bad thing I can see is that he did the honourable thing in owning up, and said he hadn't drunk for 2 months, which is pretty impressive for an ex-alcoholic and shows great willpower. Time will tell whether it was solely the ambition of his underlings that kicked him out.

I don't know. I've read several comment pieces about this, and most of the better ones have seen his demise as a good thing. I don't think it's "illiberal" for the party to get rid of him, and I *definitely* think it wasn't just because of his alcoholism; there were many other underlying reasons for getting a new leader; I reiterate, CK was never going to be PM was he...

Let's see if they can build on the new leader; the next general election will be interesting, three new leaders :)

Anonymous said...

It was hardly a pang of honesty that caused Kennedy to confess all - the papers were poised to reveal deails of his drinking problem, and he responded in the best and only way, by announcing it before it could be broadcast in the press. However, to laud his honesty because of this is ridiculous. He has lied many times in the past, on this and other issues, and I doubt he would have made the announcement he did if he hadn't been forced. I just hope that the infighting in the party will engulf and destroy it. It is also amusing to note that none of the other candidates for the leadership have even as much charisma as Kennedy!