First thoughs on Kennedy, Opik, Oaten and the LibDem farce
Is Lembit Opik now officially the stupidest man in politics? His performance on the ITV news at 6.30 must suggest he is.
Charles Kennedy has been caught out by an ITV investigation into his drinking problem. That is awful and as somebody who has seen the problems of alcohol abuse close up I sympathise with him. But this rubber statement (he was bounced into it) and the inevitability of the leadership contest is the surest sign that he is politically dead, no matter what the result.
Lembit, of course, leaps to him aid suggesting this was the kind of masterful, brave leadership that demonstrates why CK is best for the job. Hmmm. Maybe not. Kennedy must be feeling gutted that he was forced into this and must be holding his breath about the leadership vote. Unlike the Tories – who got a yes or no in IDS before other challengers emerged – Kennedy has the buffer of waiting for an MP to stand up to the plate. Oaten has chickened out (quelle surprise), so will Campbell, Hughes or A.N.Other have more guts? Don’t believe it, the LibDems are the most gutless of all political parties.
Iain Dale believes that Kennedy remaining leader best serves the Tories. I am unsure, as I can see Hughes driving thousands of people our way.
So let’s recap…
Kennedy had a drink problem (so what?) but lied about it. Just under half his senior team wants him out plus thousands more in an online petition. Now’s the time to be tying yourself to his coat straps, Lembit.
If CK had any political antennae, he’d resign and allow a full field of candidates, instead of forcing the weak willed Oaten and Opik to back him. This is not a Cameron moment for the LibDems and it never will be.