Friday, January 06, 2006

 

Kennedy now appears desperate not brave

So, Charles has admitted all and said he'll stand in a leadership contest. Now the 'Men in Sandals'-I love that phrase- have been gathering, mumbling and a sending him a letter written before Christmas, telling him they no longer have any confidence in him. He insists he's going to carry on, stand in a contest and retuen in triumph. But none of those besandalled men wish to stand against him as yet. Some say Charlie has taken this step to avoid a motion of no confidence from his MPs. He still believes he his political banker lies in the membership which will bale him out in a vote.

But his apparent honesty and bravery are being questioned by those who say his hand was forced, in any case, regarding the statement as ITN had evidence from a former aide now working for them, that Charles had received professional help for alcoholism. This angle now makes his statement seem less like bravery and more like desperation. And can he really expect to be taken seriously about remaining as leader? OK, what if he wins membership votes and is 're-endorsed' as leader?

How can he function properly if his MPs feel deceived and still lack confidence in him? The Lib Dems are a democratic party but it is the Commons where political muscle in the form of voting strength has to be used and Kennedy's seem ready to shrivel away. He should go with as much dignity as he can muster. It's desperately sad for the man but he has lied about his condition and compromised his position as leader. One or two MPs remain loyal but he really is, as one of his colleagues said this morning a 'dead man walking'.

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