Friday, September 07, 2007
Yes, it Must be Time for Ming to Go
The driving force in British politics is the uselessness of Ming. What makes the gap between the big two parties go up and down is simply the identity of the party to which the Lib Dems and their hopeless leader are losing votes on any given day. Throughout the last Parliament the Lib Dems averaged more than 22 per cent and scored 22.7 per cent on election day. When David Cameron became Tory leader the Liberals fell to 18.3 per cent. And since Gordon Brown became Labour leader they have averaged 16 per cent. In other words, Ming Campbell now presides over a party that has lost 30 per cent of its support.
Why doesn't Ming cut the mustard? He looks and sounds clapped out and voters register it. I remember when Michael Foot was elected leader of Labour I indulged in wishful thinking along the lines of: 'well, maybe people will see this scholarly decent man, compare her with that mad harridan and know deep in their hearts how to vote.' Instead, they saw a feeble old geriatric; nice, maybe, bookish, maybe, but prime minister? You're 'avin a laugh. I begin to agree that the same might be true of poor old Sir Menzies.
Yesterday Mark Oaten replied by suggesting the Lib Dems would need Ming's calm cerebral mind in the wake of a hung parliament. But if their ratings sink much further under Ming, they will not even be able to take their place at that negotiating table. To win attention, it's possible a third party needs a young, dynamic and charismatic leader- someone like Nick Clegg maybe. I remember extolling the virtues of Ming during his campaign to become leader, while wiser heads, like Paul Linford, were rooting for Chris Huhne. How wrong I was. It will be messy to depose Ming, but maybe, as Finkelstein insists, there is no alternative.
Cameron's attempt to move the Tory party towards the centre ground was bound to attract some of their soft support and the big issue that drove many Labour voters their way - Iraq - is becoming less of an issue now that it's clear we're leaving soon.
It's still a mystery to me what the Lib Dems think they are for (it varies so much depending on which Lib Dem you speak to) - they seem mostly to tell us what they're against.
BTW one doesn't climb Catbells, one strolls up it after a spot of supper...
Agree re ageism- I worry more about this as I grow older! Good point re Iraq too.
I don't think I could EVER 'stroll' up Catbells Hughesey; crawl maybe after climbing has failed but it's too steep for me at my age.
Good grief. Our political opponents will attack whatever leader we have irrespective of their merits, that is what they do.
There is nothing in what you quote but personal abuse, presumably because he has nothing of substance to say against him.
that is patently not the case; the key items quoted were the poll ratings, which, after all, are the things which really count in the end.
A man of any age who performs so blandly in the chamber and comes across so wooden on TV would suffer to gain popularity.
During the Lib Dem leadership campaign his age was seen as an asset, a tonic to counter the young upstarts in charge of Labour and the Tories. Now I think its just the obvious stick to beat him with as he continues to flounder as leader.
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