Saturday, January 21, 2006

Redefining home affairs

Would the next Liberal Democrat without scandals lurking in the closet please stand up. There's never a dull moment watching the LDs - I've not even had time recently to blog about some of the more serious political issues facing us at the moment.

We've had Kennedy biting the bullet over his alcoholism and then today, Lord McNally explained on R4 that he also had problems with the demon drink. John H's errors in judgement are as legion as they are well-reported, but now Mark Oaten, lately a candidate for the party's leadership and until moments ago their spokesman on Home Affairs, has stood down from this post. Paddy Pantsdown's problems were well-reported and Jeremy Thorpe also had 'issues' - I note also that he was the last Liberal leader assiduously courted by the Tories.

The issue for me is if it affects public trust in him or affects his ability to do his job. I don't think that personal failings of this sort are generally an issue with the electorate - although the homophobes amongst us may take a different view. As for doing his job, there are obvious legal issues around it, which may well have made his role as home affairs spokesman untenable.
However, I note that he has done the right thing - resigned and asked for time with his family to sort through his problems out of the media spotlight. I wouldn't give odds on him getting what he wants though.

Elsewhere, PoliticalBetting have caught on to the idea of this outsider possibly sneaking through on the rail while the big beasts lumber along.

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