Friday, December 16, 2005

Hemming doesn't know what's going on shocker

One the one hand, we hear about the love-in that was the Liberal Democrat parliamentary meeting this week, with (Lord) Tim Razzall assuring us of 'speech after speech' supporting Chuckles and reports that nobody raised a voice to challenge the leader (although a number of front bench spokespersons are reported to have told him to consider his position). Even 'The Merciless' surfaced today to deny that he has anything but love in his heart for Charles. Weellll - Menzies Campbell actually said that Charlie had his full support 'as long as he remains leader of the Liberal Democrats.' That wholehearted declaration of loyalty might see him into the New Year, then.

Actually, I'm not convinced that he's anything other than a stalking horse for some of the other candidates out there. Surely, Campbell has to know that despite his recent clean bill of health, he's into the twilight of his career and leading the party is a game for someone younger.

On the other hand, John H tells us that he has a different recollection of some of the meetings.
'I have actually been at some of the meetings reported in the media. I wonder if perhaps I was asleep during part of the meetings as the reports of the meetings do not accord with what I heard and saw during the meetings.'
(By the way, we had noticed that you are a graduate of the 'any publicity is good publicity' school of thought). Come on then, John - as someone committed to an open style of politics, let's hear your side of things. We've heard from everybody else, although they've chosen to hide behind journalists.

Hat tip to Niles for this quote from Charlie Kennedy:
I think people in British politics will be very pleased because they want a thirsting and thrusting Liberal Democrat party...
Charles clearly has the thirst, but who can we nominate for the thrusting? Perhaps the man who was recently described by a leading Liberal Democrat as
'A cross between Boris Johnson and Geoffrey Robinson, but without the talent.'
Rumours abound that his ever-eventful private life and ongoing legal action with Birmingham social services are both being used as ammunition by colleagues to prevent him being allowed anywhere near the Liberal Democrat front bench, let alone challenge for the leadership and that this has caused some high level discussion within the party nationally. Again.

Like a football manager who is assured that the club owner has complete faith in him, Kennedy's surely on the way out. He's going to stagger from crisis to crisis until the party finally runs out of patience. Even if those crises aren't genuinely serious, the poisonous briefings from his colleagues will blow minor disagreements out of all proportion until Charlie has nowhere left to go but through the door marked 'EXIT.' The endgame is well underway.

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