Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Red Card and Red Faces.

Did you see the look of guilt-fuelled panic on the face of Simon Hughes, President of the Lib Dems on Newsnight last night. At least the impressive Vince Cable managed to look innocent - even if he wasn't. Both were desperately trying to persuade us that it was all Ming's own decision to resign. How stupid they must think we are. Kirsty Wark has a job keeping a straight face as she read our their own quotes back to them.

Politics has its own language. When a political party's President says on the BBC (as Simon Hughes did on Sunday) that the Leader 'must do better', it is a yellow card, verging on the red. When a political party's Deputy Leader says on the BBC (as Vince Cable did yesterday) that the Leader's position is 'under discussion', its a red card, verging on an invitation for a buyer to come in. These two men made Ming's position completely untenable. There is nothing wrong with this of course. Their job is to do what is right for their party. But let's not pretend that they did not systematically and deliberately push out the honourable and respected (by me anyway) Ming Campbell.

Ming's problem was that he is not a beautiful man. He has a great intellect, capacity for reason and is hugely impressive in calm debate. But he looks gaunt, old and old fashioned. Today's politics insists that the Lib Dems new leader will have to be pretty. So even though the best candidate by a mile is Vince the Vicious, he has no chance. Clegg or Huhne it must be.


Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats said...

"Francis Urquhart applies"

But the forces of darkness have not inflicted more than a glancing wound. I trust you will enjoy a long and happy tenure at the CPRW.

- Frank Little

Mountjoy said...

I thought Simon Hughes always had that shifty look on his face!

Che Grav-ara said...

Considering your own leader is based on style over substance its a bit rich that glyn. Although you are correct. The liberals can spin it like they wish but certainly Ming was pushed and has been hanging on the edge for some time!

Glyn Davies said...

Frank - some glance! I do not know whether I could continue if I were to be erlected!

Mountjoy - yesterday he just looked ridiculous, denying what we could all see was blatantly obvious.

Che - I do think that the 'style over substance' charge was put to bed at our recent Blackpool conference. Just nobody believes that Ming wasn't pushed. It is ridiculous for them to pretend otherwise.

Republicanos said...

Have to agree with Che - the DC conference speech was the ultimate in style-over substance, IMO. But you're right on Hughes and co. - as I mentioned in HtC, perhaps Ming was just too nice a bloke for the LibDems.

Dr. Christopher Wood (avatar: "Farscape") said...

Liberal Democrats are not Liberal when they practice age discrimination. Sir Menzies Campbell put it this way: 'I was irritated and frustrated by ageist criticism' (Daily Mail Oct. 16, 2007)

Glyn Davies said...

republicanos and Christopher - Ming was old fashioned rather than old. I am dissappointed that it has become accepted that he is thought as unsuitable because of his age. Vince Cable ruling himself out because of age has not helped. Try telling Ian Paisley that he's too old.