Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Charles Kennedy - no, surely not?

With the news that the Lib Dems have started telecanvassing up Ross, Skye and Lochaber way, speculation has been rife that Charlie Kennedy might be winging his way to Europe next year when Mandelson's term as Commissioner comes to an end.

An interesting thought, very interesting.

It has been trumped, however, by a far juicier piece of speculation which goes like this:

Wise heads have clanged together at Demmery Towers and the collective chin-stroking has set many a-pondering what is to become of them all.
Polling indicates that nearly 90% of Lib Dem supporters want a referendum on independence and that almost three quarters of those supporters would vote "yes". Those who actually have some democratic principles within them wonder why the Lib Dems oppose a referendum and similarly wonder at the strange hostility shown by the party to the Scottish Government while appearing very comfortable sitting alongside Labour.

It's become clear to the grey bearded ones that there's little liberal and precious little democratic about the performance of the Lib Dem group in the Scottish Parliament and the performance of the three leadership contenders is so woeful that it's close to being painful.

Tavish Scott, the most talented of the three, is, it would seem, furious with Ross Finnie for having has the temerity to stand against him and has taken to using every opportunity to remind Lib Dem members of Mr Finnie's unfortunate resemblance to the comedy character Captain Mainwaring from Dad's Army. Since he all but ignores the Rumbling One and is not proposing any new policy ideas (perish the thought), Tavish's campaign is descending into a most unsavoury circle.

Ross Finnie, who sailed through his Ministerial career without ever touching the sides, is finding it difficult to convey his message about what his leadership would mean and has found himself left with just a few vague phrases that he hopes will chime. His candid comments about the Lib Dems just not being relevant to the Scottish people have ruffled a few feathers (truth is not always welcomed), and his admission that the Scottish Lib Dems under his leadership would merely ape the antics of their counterparts in London have irked the federalist tendency in his party.

Mike Rumbles, pet eejit of the Lib Dems is bouncing all over the place on nearly everything. Like Ross Finnie, he has pointed out to his party that they don't connect at all with the people of Scotland and that there seems to be little point in voting Lib Dem. He wants to move his party away from the impotent oppositionism that it's got used to over the past 15 months and has suggested the radical policy of voting for things that they believe in - even if those things are proposed by the SNP.
In addition to this eye-watering nonsense, the wise women and men of the Lib Dems are despairing of the clutching at straws and bizarre claims of their candidates (some have even been stupid enough to argue that losing their deposit in Glasgow East puts them in a strong position to win other seats) and are fed up with using untruthful claims in leaflets. In short, they have decided to realign their party with the Scottish people.

The way, they think, to do that is to bring someone with a bit of substance into the leadership of the Scottish Lib Dems - and who better than Charlie Kennedy?
So the plan is (whisper it) - parachute young Kennedy into the Scottish Parliament in John Farquhar Munro's seat, nudge aside whoever is standing in his way as leader, get down to some serious politics instead of the guff we've heard so far, and have a fantastic party to celebrate getting it right.

Just speculation at the moment, but is a better idea than carrying on as they are.
Mind how you go!


Jeff said...

You know, I've worried about Charlie Kennedy becoming Lib Dem leader in Holyrood; he'd hoover in the votes.

John Reid for Labour could arguably do the same.

Of course, the SNP could bring up their heavyweight from SNP; get Alex Sal... Oh, hmm, slight problem with that plan!

James said...

Citation please for the 90% and "almost 75%" figure. Sounds plausible, but nevertheless I'd like a source for that.

Also, I thought the Liberals were even more furious behind the scenes about the extent to which his alcoholism impacted on his ability to do the job.

I don't think it's plausible. But I love reading about it. Just the sort of speculation these blog things were meant for.

Anonymous said...

It won't happen. Charlie was a big hitter, but only through the distorting lens of the English media, which for some reason wants to present politicians as people of greater stature than the rest of us - quite commonly the opposite of the truth.

Place Charlie at Holyrood, away from that lens, and he'd be revealed as the wee, shrivelled, empty-headed thing he is. He knows that, so he'll stay out of the daylight.

His passion for the cratur was his only humanly appealing trait.

Calum Cashley said...


I'm surprised at you - I said speculation.