Friday, 17 September 2010

Just pretending?

On Wednesday the Guardian ran a leader under the above title, suggesting that Charles Kennedy may be playing a "long game." It is just possible, of course, that such articles appear without promptings from Kennedy and his supporters - or maybe not.

Charles Kennedy receives may plaudits from his supporters for leading the party to victory in 63 seats, its largest number for umpteen years and larger than at present. However, in the 2005 election Labour was in disarray, largely over the illegal Iraq war, the Conservatives were led from the far right by Michael Howard on a manifesto written by David Cameron and, in such circumstances, as one commentator unkindly but rather aptly put it: "If the Liberal Democrats had been led by a Telly-tubby they would have done well." Indeed, many of us found the election result profoundly disappointing, as we had expected to win over 100 seats.

Frankly, Kennedy has had his chance, fluffed it, and should now retire into the background. The course for the party in coalition is choppy enough as it is without a putative "king over the water" further rocking the boat, intentionally or not.

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