What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

January 19, 2006

It's Ming for Me: the debate rages...

Lawks! Within four hours of me posting my eight reasons for voting for Ming Campbell as leader, Pete Simpson posted 15 reasons in my comments box suggesting why I should think again. Rather than attempt to address them all by direct reply, let me canter through his list in a fresh posting:

1. Was nervous at PMQs and made a noticable mistake in his speech.

Yes, he was nervous: it would be unnatural if he were not. (I bet Cameron’s hands still shake; but he can grip hold of the despatch box.) But I decline to judge leaders on the basis of the farcical pantomime that is PMQs. I didn’t notice the mistake in his speech: but I’ve read it and I liked it.

2. Has been losing support since his campaign launch.

Has he been losing support, or have others gained support? Whichever, he has at least picked up my one vote during the campaign.

3. Assumed to have played a major part in Charles’ downfall.

I’ve no idea what happened behind-the-scenes. What I do know is that Charles’s alcoholism, and the way it impacted on his leadership, placed everyone in the party in an incredibly difficult situation. Could it have been handled better? Possibly. Am I going to single out any one individual for blame? Absolutely not.

4. Will be seen as too old by many.

And will be seen by others as credible, authoritative and experienced. Which is the correct call will be decided by the quality of his leadership.

5. Is an intermediate solution, not a long-term solution.

Who isn’t?

I do not believe that any one individual is the long-term solution for the Liberal Democrats. What I do believe is this: we need a leader who can unite the party, understands the need for a credible, costed programme of liberal policies, and can assemble a top-quality team of MPs to articulate this vision. I believe Ming can do this.

6. Still talks about left and right far too much when talking about the party.

A fair point. Like you, I deprecate the terms, and think they’re best avoided – to be fair, so does Ming on his website: “[Ming] has no time for the media-driven view that we must either lurch to the left or lunge to the right. Given the progressive liberal agenda that Liberal Democrats represent, he sees these terms as meaningless.” (He does seem sometimes to forget this in interviews, though.)

7. Owns a (or two, if you believe some reports) petrol guzzling Jaguar.

Unless we’re proposing banning Jags I see no problem with this. I just happen to think he should be taxed accordingly for the privilege – that’s how to solve negative externalities.

8. Is in favour of Tuition Fees

So far as I’m aware he’s signed up to the Party’s opposition to ‘top-up’ tuition fees. Unlike me.

9. Has held a shotgun certificate.

And…? So’s my brother. And a few other people, I dare say.

10. Fails to understand the issue surrounding passive smoke

I’m sure he doesn’t. But he may disagree with governments legislating to ban smoking in private businesses (or ‘public places’, as pubs and restaurants appear now to be classed). I know I do.

11. Is failing to lead the way in the by-election in his nearby constituency.

Come off it, that really is unfair! The by-election was called after Ming had declared his candidacy for the leadership. What should he have done? Stood down?

And, anyway, I imagine he’s earning a reasonable amount of publicity for the party up there just now.

12. Would continue ‘Celtic Fringe’ leader tradition that we started to avoid.

I’m not sure how we “started to avoid” it under Charles Kennedy…?

13. Was worryingly keen on merging with New Labour in the long run.

I’m not sure ‘The Project’ was ever about merger, but, yes, he has a Grimond-inspired passion for a realignment of the left in British politics. Do I agree with him? No. Do I think we’re going to wake up one day to discover Gordon Brown is our new leader? Again, no.

14. Was once described by Ken Clarke as "as much a Tory as I am".

Make up your mind… Is he about to merge the Lib Dems with Labour, or jump ship to the Tories?

As it happens, I think Ken is wrong. But, then, I also think Ken’s a liberal.

15. Could we realistically have a leadership election during hung parliament talks? …No!

Let’s get to the next election. Hung Parliaments are far more often forecast than realised. Even if it does happen, why should Ming not conduct the negotiations? If we’re saying there must never be a leadership contest during a Hung Parliament, we might be in some difficulties if and when PR is introduced.


Valerie said...

Question Time tonight was interesting on the age question. 100% agreement that it didn't matter. Admittedly, dissenters would have looked a little rude, but the general gist was that people either didn't give a toss, thought experience was a good thing, or were generally fed up with youthful PR.

Barrie Wood said...


Sad to say I cannot read the comments on your blog as they don't display properly - that is using both Firefox, Safari and Shiira browsers and Mac OS X. Thought you might like to know.

Anonymous said...

A片,A片,A片,A片,A片,A片情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品.情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,視訊聊天室,情趣,情趣用品,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣麻將,台灣彩卷,六合彩開獎號碼,運動彩卷,六合彩,遊戲,線上遊戲,cs online,搓麻將,矽谷麻將,明星三缺一, 橘子町,麻將大悶鍋,台客麻將,公博,game,,中華職棒,麗的線上小遊戲,國士無雙麻將,麻將館,賭博遊戲,威力彩,威力彩開獎號碼,龍龍運動網,史萊姆,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆第一個家,史萊姆好玩遊戲區,樂透彩開獎號碼,遊戲天堂,天堂,好玩遊戲,遊戲基地,無料遊戲王,好玩遊戲區,麻將遊戲,好玩遊戲區,小遊戲,電玩快打情趣用品,情趣,A片,AIO,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,寄情竹園小遊戲,色情遊戲,AIO交友愛情館,色情影片,情趣內衣,情趣睡衣,性感睡衣,情趣商品,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室 ,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080苗栗人聊天室,080聊天室,視訊交友網,視訊借錢,黃金,黃金回收,黃金價格,黃金買賣,當舖A片,A片,成人網站,成人影片,色情,情色網,情色,AV,AV女優,成人影城,成人,色情A片,日本AV,免費成人影片,成人影片,SEX,免費A片,A片下載,免費A片下載,做愛,情色A片,色情影片,H漫,A漫,18成人a片,色情影片,情色電影,a片,色情,情色網,情色,av,av女優,成人影城,成人,色情a片,日本av,免費成人影片,成人影片,情色a片,sex,免費a片,a片下載,免費a片下載,成人網站,做愛,自拍