Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hands off Charles Kennedy!

The Guardian, that supposed bastion of liberal Britain, has become the latest press organ to plunge the knife into Charles Kennedy with this editorial published on January 4.

Leaving aside the issue of what Mr Kennedy has or hasn’t done to merit such treachery, the Grauniad's criticism of him for giving “no indication of where he wants liberal democracy to go next” is disingenuous in view of its own failure to do so.

As a normally astute observer of the political scene, it knows as well as I do that removing Mr Kennedy would see him replaced either by someone such as Simon Hughes who would take the party to the left, or someone like Sir Menzies Campbell or Mark Oaten who would take it to the right.

What I would like to know is why those who seek a change in the leadership think that either strategy would serve the party’s electoral interests better than Mr Kennedy’s approach of seeking to appeal to both Tory and Labour floating voters alike. I enlarged on this point in this column orginally published in December.

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