Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Menzies walks the plank

You've got to love the LibDems, but the resignation of their last two leaders says a lot more about how politics works than serious failings on the part of the party.
Charles Kennedy. A charismatic leader who actually looked electable, forced out after admitting a drink problem. Even if he'd got over the problem, he'd always be tarnished by the image and any time he got up to speak in the Commons would be subjected to childish jeering and, I imagine, lots of seemingly grown men making the drinky-drinky motion.
And, yesterday, Menzies Campbell. A hugely accomplished politician and parliamentarian, he's essentially been forced out because he looks old. He's the same age as Paul McCartney. The important bit should be the 'hugely accomplished politician and parliamentarian' bit rather than the 'he looks old' bit, but that's how it works, sadly.
The party is now after their third leader in the space of 18 months. Lembit Opik is seen as too much of a figure of fun, Mark Oaten and Simon Hughes won't get anywhere after the revelations that emerged after the last leadership race, which leaves Nick Clegg and Vince Cable. Either will do. Both are perfectly suitable for the role, although past history suggests that some skeleton or other will emerge from a closet somewhere and scupper the whole thing. Again.

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