Friday, January 06, 2006

Calm down

Reflecting on the perilous position Charles Kennedy finds himself in, the following occurs to me:

Kennedy undoubtedly plays well with the public if not with his colleagues. The 'chat show Charlie' accusations are almost exclusively from the Westminster village. To the general public, I suspect he comes across as a reasonably clever, humane man with a 'life'.

Not one of these straight-from-Oxford automatons that dominate so many of the frontbenches (even though he did go into the House at a very young age).

There appears to be an insatiable demand on politicians (from their peers) to be constantly seen to be doing something. Kennedy's colleagues may have been frustrated at the lack of high-profile energy from his office. They may believe that there are opportunities to score points that are being missed.

Again, I think this may be Westminster preoccupation. I don't believe that the public believe that they need to be constantly hearing from politicians.

Alcoholism is no joke really, and I'm not sure that Charles Kennedy's problems are any of our business. If he has become incapacitated in his day-to-day dealings, I suppose that the issue has to be confronted in the brutal way that some of his colleagues want.

Either way, I hope he can deal with it. But if the Lib-Dems think that they need to ditch him purely because a lack of dynamic leadership, maybe they should think again.

(btw, I expect he will have resigned by the time most people read this)

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