Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Charles Kennedy Begins The Long Walk Back

Charles Kennedy begins Project Rehabilitation on Question Time tomorrow night. He's known to still be furious at the way he was overthrown and to this day refuses to speak to those who he regards as the Guilty Men and Women. He's still very popular among LibDems who must be pulling their hair out at how they have fared since.

Look for coded clues from Kennedy about a possible comeback. Cue barage of comments from my LibDem readers. Just remember it was this blog which first broke the story in December last year that Kennedy was not only on the sauce but his leadership was on the skids. At the time I was ridiculed by Libdem readers of this Blog. Events proved me right.

I make no predictions of an imminent Kenndy comeback, and from what I hear of his health, it's not likely, but I do wonder why he has chosen this month to become rather more vocal than he has been for the last six months.

30 comments:

leon said...

"He's still very popular among LibDems who must be pulling their hair out at how they have fared since."

That's got to be the understatment of the year.

Gary Elsby said...

Charles Kennedy played the best trick in town and should be given full marks for it.

His plan was to take the LIbs to the left of the Labour Party and he did so. He picked up votes, seats and new members including Labour MP's and councillors.
Top Marks. I know some of these people well.

The Liberalising libs didn't like the trick at all and plotted his downfall.As well as their own.

Charlie likes a splash, so what?
A splash of whiskey with his whiskey, appeared to be the problem and so should be sorted.

At his worst, the Liberals were better than they are today. Ming is a good man but are relegating to the lower orders and fast becoming the forgotten party.

I thought Chris Hunne would get it(love the books chris)but he had to spoil his chances by opening his mouth over Iraq (illegal war, lies,etc...) big mistake Chris, you should have listened to your uncle Gary.Bring back Charlie!

Uncle Gary.

Kevin Davis said...

Trouble is if he is not talking to the MP's he blames for ousting him then that does not leave a lot left for him to lead.

I believe it is stunning how far their party has fallen so quickly. To think they are now led by two old balding men - totally out of tune with their grass roots. Sounds like the Conservative Party used to be until we realised that giving jobs as favours would not do and we needed to change.

Lib Dem reader said...

"but I do wonder why he has chosen this month to become rather more vocal than he has been for the last six months."

Maybe six months was a good period away from it for him. Good on him I say, he'll be a welcome addition back to the front line when/if he comes back.

Tabman said...

Iain - I can't tear my hair out, but even if I could I wouldn't. Leaving asside the question of how much Kennedy brought on himself and the party, behind the scenes a great deal has changed for the better.

Rick said...

LibDems had two assets - Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy...............

Anoneumouse said...

He had better stay clear of the 'green room' then.
.

Daniel Vince-Archer said...

He failed to show up for a scheduled campaign appearance in Bromley today. Hic!

Tom said...

Could it be that he has only just sobered up and realised he was no longer leader?

tyke said...

Never let the druken Scot, Charles Kennedy, forget his racist speech to a Scottish audience, when at the same time he was campaigning for Regional Assemblies in England -

The British Question

Lecture to the Scottish Council Foundation by Charles Kennedy MP, 30 June, 1999

There is, according to the old joke, no equivalent in Gaelic to the word maƱana - nothing, as the crofter is supposed to have said to the tourist, "expressing quite that degree of urgency". By the same token, there is as far as I am aware no equivalent in Gaelic, or for that matter in English, to the word schadenfreude, a useful German expression meaning to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others. But it is not an emotion exclusive to the Germans.

Do I detect a certain schadenfreude among Scots at the apparent current turmoil among the English over their sense of national identity? If so, it is given extra savour because that crisis of identity is provoked at least in part by the creation of the Parliament in Scotland and the Assembly in Wales. Suddenly it is Scotland which is forging ahead in a grand constitutional experiment, and England which is poring over its national navel and asking: who are we ... and why?

The only way he will ever see 10 Downing Street, is through the bottom of a whisky glass!

Political Teenager said...

Iain - from your blog header you seem like David Cameron was portrayed to be - a Chameleon - as it seems to change colour almost daily! Stick with the blue, that was the best one.

barry monk said...

Whatever kennedy's limitations, he made a valid contribution to British public life, espousing unpopular causes such as the illegality of the invasion of Iraq, the bogus claims of WMD, and the Guantanemo Bay situation; much of what he was saying proved to be right.
I hope that he is allowed to play a part in British politics- we will all be better off (whatevr our party affiliations) if he is.
I also hope that his health problems can be resolved; and I would say that of anyone suffering from the scourge of alcoholism

Cllr David Morton said...

I suppose if he is sitting at home last week watching oaten doing it then why not him? His a figure of considerably more substance and experience.

Don't agree about what has happened to the party since his departure. Polls are where there were under him and no loses at the locals means its hard to spin a melt down narritive.

I say good look to him and if he wants to set him self up as a king across the water then that can only help keep the current leadership on its toes.

After all look what resigning did for William Hagues Career?

Peter Hitchens said...

Ginger haired,pissed and in the wilderness?
scary to think that Charlie could be the next Winston Churchill.

Peter from Putney said...

"but I do wonder why he has chosen this month to become rather more vocal than he has been for the last six months"

Iain - it's called seeking sweet revenge!

Ross F said...

"He's still very popular among LibDems who must be pulling their hair out at how they have fared since."

Uh oh, we all know what Lib Dems get up to when their hair comes out.

Paul Walter said...

Gary Elsby:
"A splash of whiskey with his whiskey"

Charles Kennedy does not drink "whiskey". I can say that categorically. He's a Scot for goodness sake, what self-respecting Scot drinks the Irish stuff?!

Anonymous said...

Having seen a rumour or two floating around concerning the current state of his 'health', it wouldn't suprise me if he pulled a sickie on Question Time. BTW, my hope is that he makes a full recovery from his problem. He might be another lack-wit Lib Dem tosspot, but I wouldn't wish his illness on anyone.

Valerie said...

they are now led by two old balding men

Is that how you're going to want to be described in 25 years' time?

RedEye said...

I suppose Kennedy might be tempted to echo the words of Robert Conquest when asked by his publishers to suggest a new title for a 1991 revised edition of The Great Terror: 'How about "I Told You So, You F*cking Fools"?

As counter-factuals go, the idea of Kennedy standing (and winning) an 06 LD leadership contest, only then to have to deal with MPs who had no confidence in his leadership, is an intriguing one. Winning a leadership contest over the heads of his parliamentary colleagues didn't, after all, do IDS much good, and he wasn't known to be tired and emotional.

Gary Elsby said...

True, so very true.

Cardhu will never forgive me but they can bribe me to conform with the truth.

I could kick myself for such a faux pas.

I'm comforted in the fact that all self-respecting Scotsmen wish England good fortune in the World Cup though.

Gary
Laird of scotland.

Paul said...

Did anyone see the BBC 10 o'clock news coverage the other night of Campbell's speech about nuclear power? Rather than film the leader himself, they showed a library shot of a power station from the shore. Even pebbles on a beach have more going for them than poor old Ming.

Tim said...

For the record...he failed to show up as he couldn't get away from a family engagement earlier in the day.

I hate to be dull, but lets not go overboard on the alcohol stuff.

I predict he'll get a very good reception tonight on QT. As a LD, a think I will feel a tinge of regret and sadness at what has happened since January.

Anonymousette said...

tyke - It is not like you to fall for this lefty manipulation of the language.

A Scot who makes derogatory comments about the English cannot be a "racist" (another hard left deconstruction of science) as we are all the same race: Caucasian.

There are only six races in the world.

Anonymous said...

He's back on the fags

kingbongo said...

If he really wants to make a comeback to front line politics he coould put himself forward for the Conservative nomination for London Mayor!

Andrew said...

Given that tyke has been plenty racist about the Scots here in the past, it's not surprise to see him setting up another straw man and then bashing it down again in this thread, though the sentiments expressed by Kennedy seem far less racist than the xenophibic tosh tyke spouts. Pot kettle, kettle pot, eh.

Daniel Vince-Archer said...

I'm sure Minguselah (or should that be Minguseless?) will be thrilled to know that Chuckles has refused to rule out a return as leader.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Was I the only one who noticed that Kennedy didn't appear to refer to Ming or any other Lib Dems by name? And when Letwin countered that it was Campbell and Huhne who broke off joint talks about environmental policy, Kennedy didn't rush to their defence...

Neil Craig said...

The audience applause at the suggestion he should still be leader of the LDs was overwhelming. Their reaction to Greer's that Brown shouldn't be leader wasn't much quieter.

Question Time audiences have their biases but not, I think, along those particular questions.