Friday, June 23, 2006

The lost leader returns

I watched Charles Kennedy on Question Time last night, his first appearance on national television since his resignation. And he was brilliant, just brilliant.

Given by the audience reaction to him, his rapport with the public remains as strong as ever and his answers were invariably both sensible and judicious, including one to a question from Dimbleby about whether he was now teetotal.

When he was asked about a possible return to the leadership in future, Charles made clear he was not ruling it out, bringing further cheers from an audience that clearly thought he should never have lost the job in the first place.

Bring it on, I say. Besides mumbling Ming and over-hyped political teenager Nick Clegg, Kennedy remains a class act.

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12 comments:

Richard said...

I wish I'd watched it, but I'm frequently put off Question Time by Dimbleby's intrusive, not to say increasingly supercilious, style. It's like watching an overbearing referee stop the flow of play. Let's have Adrian Chiles in the chair.

Iain Dale said...

Paul, spot on.

Anonymous said...

Question Time - was like a Liberal democrat Conference - The Charles Kennedy Appreciation Club. Lib Dems did quite well to pack out Question Time

skipper said...

Paul
Yes, he was good. But did you notice he did not specifically say he was tee-total? He muttered something about his 'health being good' in response to the direct question but did not answer it. If he's still even taking occsasional drinks, he's at risk.

skipper said...

Just a PS to 'Anoymous', didn't Dimbleby say the audience was complied to reflect party support?

Political Teenager said...

Kennedy was better than Ming, even if he was drunk some of the time. Shame there was no loyalty in his party, but thats politics, one persons misfortune is anothers gain.

Woffle said...

Kennedy may be better than Ming, but we're plumbing the depths. It used to be that the Lib Dems had a whole set of bright young things champing at the bit. What happened there?

Paul Linford said...

Skipper - I thought he was right not to answer the teetotalism question, for several reasons. 1. It was intrusive. 2. To have said "yes, I am teetotal" would have been a hostage to fortune. To have said "no" would have suggested he had not deal with his problems. The important thing is that his health is now good, and that was the reply he gave. 3. The question was predicated on the assumption that Kennedy is an alcoholic, and that teetotalism is therefore the only way of dealing with the problem effectively. I personally think his problem was not alcoholism, but binge drinking.

skipper said...

Oh boy... You need to talk to alcoholics or their counsellors to discover the infinite variations which are discerned among the drinking classes. There are binge drinking alkies, one every three month 'unmanageable' alkies and plain old fashioned pissed every day alkies.

jane said...

I don't care whether Charles Kenendy drinks or not, there are plenty of government ministers who do, and Charles will never be that. His party used what they could to knife him, and drink ws what they could use. All parties knife those they see as successful and/or popular because all parties are run by little men in the dark. The LibDems do it more savagely than the others do because they have no ideology to keep them in check.

stalin's gran said...

Do you mean lost leader in the sense that he had to hbe helped to find his way out of his office?

RedEye said...

The LDs have no ideology? They don't have an ideology, but that isn't the same as saying LDs aren't ideological. It's just that, rather as with the two main parties, the different wings have different ideologies.

One lot (the Orange Bookers) are on the same ideological wavelength as the Portillistas and Cameroons (except, just possibly, on Europe, when the much-trumpeted Euroscepticism of Cable and Clegg is sceptical only by LD standards), while the other lot (Willis, Harris et al) could easily join forces with Compass and the Campaign Group (ie a higher top rate of tax, public services need no reform, just chuck money at them and trust the relevant producer interests).