Friday, March 03, 2006

All Hail Ming The Merciless

It's been with growing apathy over the last 5 weeks that I've watched the Lib Dem leadership election.

From those dizzying and unexpected revelations concerning Charlie 'Just the One!' Kennedy, Mark 'Shit Hit the Bedspread' Oaten and Simon 'Not Me Guv'!' Hughes, it all stumbled into a nice but boring campaign. Even when all 3 candidates were on Question Time, not one of them seemed to eke any charisma or aptitude for relating to anyone other than die-in-the-wool Lib Dems who have been in the past mistaken (or maybe not) as the Sandal & Sock brigade. It was all 'Yes, I agree whole-heartedly with so-and-so, blah! blah! blah!' Where was the questioning which was to mark the party's new direction from being portrayed as all things to all people, and finally mark our ground on the major policies, which have been swamped by New Labour and the compassionate conservatives (with a small c) in recent years.

With such lacking discussions and a failure of the new breed of young forward-thinking Lib Dems, who are engulfing the party at every other level to stand for election, it was no surprise that 'Ming' Campbell won, it was also no surprise that Chris Huhne came second, partly for Hughes denial of being gay, then admitting being bi-sexual, which is different, but in a lot of people's eyes, myself included, if he had kept quiet about it, regardless of direct questions, he would have been respected more. Members didn't like being lied to, he should have known better. The other reason is that despite being grey haired, Huhne is one of the new breed, which is moving the party from it's central left position to a more acceptable belief in maintaining public services, without moving from encouraging business growth. If one of his brethin like Ed Davey, David Laws or Andrew George had run, then with their similar policies as Huhne and also Campbell, mixed with their more apparent charisma, they surely would have taken the leadership.

Well what's done is done, although based on this most bruising of contests, the result will only become apparent, in the weeks and years till the next General Election. Will 'Ming' live up to his namesake and become merciless in his approach and policies, or will he be more becalming and dodery as many will now seek to betray him, either way, does anyone really care anymore, or even taking notice.