Thursday, January 05, 2006

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.


Anonymous said...

In what does Lembit have more confidence - Kennedy's leadership or an asteroid hitting the earth?

funny how one odd obsession can lead to another

Anonymous said...

aww, i really do feel sorry for the bloke.
Yeah, he may have lied, but it's his private life. but obivously it would/could affect his performance as a political leader, so yeah...
That online petition is a bit nasty tho, poor charlie :-(

Anonymous said...

Well, that's it! 3.00pm today and it's over! Charles has gone, leaving the leadership wide-open for a contest. As Antony has quite rightly pointed out, this is not and never will be a 'Cameron moment' for the Lib Dems. If I was a Lib Dem supporter or MP right now, the most I would hope for would be an 'IDS/Howard moment'; that being a single candidate put forward quickly for the leadership, which the whole party rallies behind, to fight a single general election. Sir Menzies Campbell would appear to be that man for the Lib Dems. He is not however, a dynamic changing force for the Lib Dems and whilst he may consolidate on the gains made by Charles Kennedy (but we have to remember that there will be no 'anti-Iraq' votes for the Lib Dems come 2009), it may only be after the next election that the Lib Dems can fully move past this. Good news for us though. 1-0 Cameron. I would however like to state my praise for the way in which Charles conducted himself throught this witch-hunt and that it is a shame to see him brought down in this fashion. We have learnt from this, the Lib Dems obviously have not.

Anonymous said...

Oh noes!CK was so good to the LDs! He personified them so well, and represented their views well to the voting public. How long will it be before another boring spineless alcoholic crawls out from under a moist stone?

Seriously, having a bit of enthusiasim in the party and maybe even *gasp* real policies will alienate alot of LD voters. Grim days in the dead-bird camp indeed.