Monday, February 27, 2006

The Liberal Democrat Way

With only a couple of days left in the Liberal Democrat leadership campaign, bitter trench warfare has broken out as the candidates fight hand to hand for every last vote. The result will be announced Thursday at 3pm - don't miss it.

The week before last, we had Huhne painted as abusing his European Parliament expenses. Last week, he was exposed as owning nine properties and now it appears that an unnamed group was circulating a leaflet at the hustings detailing his 'dodgy dossier' of investments:
"Chris Huhne is campaigning for the Lib Dem leadership on a green, carbon neutral platform, and further advocates increasing tax for the wealthy, which would include himself," it reads."However, his registrable shareholdings include, or have included, mining companies, oil companies, and tax shelters."
The document lists three mining firms, one arms company, and seven tax avoidance schemes to which Huhne has subscribed. It also alleges the MP deleted a page from his internet site listing the interests. Huhne's camp last night stressed he's now disposed of holdings in all but one of the "unethical" firms, a mining outfit called Centamin Egypt.

Perhaps it is churlish to point out that he only disposed of the 'unethical' holdings once they were able to become a problem, but then that is becoming a trait of the leadership candidates. Even Ming has admitted that he will have to dispose of his beloved Jag. Ming was rather bitchy at the London hustings - declaring that he'd learnt from Simon Hughes how not to answer the question. Don't know why he's trying to alienate the Hughesites - they are going to be crucial in deciding the outcome.

I'm holding to my theory that this will be VERY close. The polling information seems to cast more shadows than light, but it does seem that Campbell might just edge out Huhne with a greater slice of the Hughes' second preference.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Labour party seem to be waking up to the LibDems, with the first minister demanding that
'We must hold the other parties to account. They are all at it - and I mean all. Promising one thing to one part of the country, and another thing to another part; promising to spend taxpayers' money like they don't need to raise it.'

Like the rest of us don't know.

No comments: