Thursday, September 22, 2005

Monkey nuts

This bandwagon is gathering pace.

I say bandwagon, I suppose that it's more of a space-hopper really. So let's leap aboard the Hemming EgoExpress - it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Seems that a fellow (and far better) blogger Recess Monkey ran into 'Superstud' Hemming at Blackpool the other day and 'a little bird' told him that the next leadership challenge would be between Nick Clegg and John H himself. This follows on from John's website statement earlier in the week, which has been picked up by the Birmingham Post and taken seriously.

Now we've all stopped laughing, remember John's opposition to a straightforward little amendment to the constitution which requires any leadership candidate to gain the support of 10% of the parliamentary party. This doesn't strike me as unreasonable - any leader has to have the confidence of the parliamentary group and the previous rule only required that the nominee must 'be proposed and seconded by other such Members.' Such a term is fine for a party with a small number of MPs, but the LDs are looking to a time when they head into three figures, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to impose a proper cut-off. John feels that this change is a restriction on democracy, but it would still allow up to ten candidates to run for the top job, which is surely enough for anybody. John thinks that it may allow more, as the rules don't appear to prevent an MP from nominating more than one candidate.

Perhaps it is closer to the truth that John doesn't feel he can find 7 members of the parliamentary party to support him. This is hardly surprising - he's got next to no national profile and seems unlikely to be offered anything in the near future given his stance on the Royal Mail sell-off proposals, which earned him 'a bollocking' from someone senior in the party. I rather suspect that will be as nothing compared to his public discussion of his plans to succeed Chuckles - that just isn't done. Disagreeing with party policy is one thing. Disloyalty to your leader is something else.

He does come in for a thorough kicking by a fellow Liberal Democrat on the blog over John's 'revolt' earlier in the week on the Royal Mail.

However, given the effect he's had on the Liberal Democrat group in Birmingham, I'm delighted to be the first website to offer John unequivocal support in his bid for leadership of the Liberal Democrats nationally. He wants to be the new Charlie and I think he'll be a proper one.

If nothing else, it will be worth a laugh.

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