The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

The Return Of Charlie K

Posted by The Futility Monster on August 10, 2010 @ 09:48

Superb. What is there not to like about this kind of photo?

OK, maybe Mr Kennedy has other things on his mind right now, but I can’t be the only Lib Dem thinking and hoping that we haven’t seen the last of Our Charles.

As anyone who’s met him knows, he’s a genuinely warm and friendly guy with a wicked sense of humour. His ease of communication was what made him such an asset to the party, and I was very sad when he was pushed out of office by the parliamentary party.

My long lasting hope, though, was that this wouldn’t be the last of him in a prominent position.

However, four years have now passed, and still Mr Kennedy is languishing on the backbenches, with no prospect of any level of promotion now the party is in power. The torch has passed to Clegg’s allies, and this puts Charles very much out in the cold.

What can be done, then, to bring him back in? At this moment, the Liberal Democrats need all the proxies we can get, working the media, selling our side of the story, reminding the public that we still are a separate, distinctive party, and if only we had a majority (in our dreams, but never mind) then the current policy of X would in fact be X+1, or X-1, or maybe even Y. Gently highlighting our differences, in other words.

Only a backbencher can take that role. Simon Hughes tries to do it, but the fact is he is in too high a position, and every time he speaks he embarrasses Nick Clegg and the Coalition.

Someone else is needed. Someone with charisma, and someone the media will listen to if they speak up, but at the same time the Coalition can clearly say, “That is a personal opinion” – while Lib Dem ministers can give a nudge-nudge and a wink-wink.

Charles Kennedy would be the perfect man for this kind of job. But is his health still in it? I hope so, and Guido is not always the most reliable source.

Is his heart still in it? Surely it must be, considering he just won re-election with another thumping majority?

Maybe he’d be better waiting for the Scottish Parliament election next year. Because if the Scottish Lib Dems take a tumble, there could be a rather interesting parachuting opportunity available. Charles Kennedy, leading a Scottish Lib Dem Party that had the authority to be a distinctive voice against the London Coalition. Party federalism in action.

One thing’s for sure, we need to be using all the talent we’ve got while we still have it…

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2 Responses to “The Return Of Charlie K”

  1. Greenfield said

    My view of his Leadership was that he was lazy & timid – and didnt help fully exploit our once in a generation opportunity – the Illegal War!! I await to be shot down……..

    • You won’t get shot down round here. No one reads the bloody thing!

      I actually agree with you. But then again, Nick Clegg also seemed to waste our once in a generation opportunity: the very first TV debates. So maybe these chances aren’t quite so once in a generation after all!

      Charles could indeed have done better with the hand he was dealt in 2005. There was no doubt we ran a rather lacklustre campaign, hindered in no small part by the way Charles ran the show, and his illness.

      Seems the stars will never truly align for us.

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