Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The post-mortem starts

It seems that Chatshow Charlie's attempts to forestall the traditional, post-electoral blood-letting by a losing party with his policy review, have come to naught. The review at first seemed to hold hope for an early removal of the millstone-like local income tax hanging around the party's collective neck, but that hope disappeared early on as the briefers changed tack, probably to scare off Simon Hughes, who still circles the wounded Kennedy.

Public dissent has surfaced in The Liberator (which even includes a songbook, apparently), but also includes a couple of articles critical of the spin emanating from the Kennedy team which blames the membership and the conference structure for the wacky policies exploited by their opponents - votes for prisoners (defended by Kennedy, lest we forget) and alcohol and porn for 16-year-olds being a few examples. Kennedy had to fall back whimpering that the manifesto was what mattered and tried to ignore that these awkward little policies had been through the party policy system, rubber-stamped by himself and then presented to conference. Still, as the losing Liberal Democrat candidate in Hemel Hempstead said:
'There's a difference between policy and what you'll do in government'
With friends like this, you do wonder how long Charlie can hold onto his job.

Lines like
'For too long, the party has focused on the mechanics of campaigning to the detriment of political thinking'
and
'The Liberal Democrats can neither hope nor deserve to overcome popular cynicism about politics unless they make their values explicit.'
suggest that some in the party realise that opportunism and oppositionalism don't make for a party of government.

Simon's out there Charlie. And he sniffs blood in the water.

1 comment:

john said...

>(which even includes a songbook, apparently),
True, and guess who plays the piano for these songs ... be afraid, be very afraid ...