"Et Tu, Brute?"

Poor Charles Kennedy must feel a bit like Julius Ceasar this week - except for the getting murdered part. Under his leadership the Liberal Democrat Party became a viable option for government and secured a record number of seats in Parliament, so I'm not alone in thinking he deserved a better ending than this.

What the linked story doesn't say is that Mr. Kennedy survived a vote of no confidence less than a year ago. If that process and that victory is supposed to mean anything at all, I'd expect him to have won the support of his party for another twelve months. Minimum.

My brother and his friends talk about "friendship in the bank". It means that once a loyalty has been proven, you should stop wasting time thinking about it because that's counter-productive. Your friend has your back and you've got theirs so take that support and go and achieve something spectacular with your life. Perhaps you want to relocate 3000 miles to be nearer the woman you love - or maybe you dream of one day running the country (he added hastily, trying to keep this more about politics and the workplace than any issues he may or may not have with an ex-girlfriend).

My point is that if it had given Charles Kennedy its support instead of bitching behind his back for weeks on end to a third party that can't actually do anything to improve the situation (the press) then the Liberal Democrat Party might not be in the mess it is today. Take a break, Charles. You've earned it and anyone that disagrees can answer to me.


Anonymous Shig said...

In the same week as the BBC showed the final episode of ROME, I mentally made the Caesar comparison too, as Kennedy's assassination had his colleagues lining up to stab him in the back, front and everywhere in between.

I like Kennedy - he's obviously a decent enough man - but, as someone who has voted Lib Dem, I feel severely let down by him and am glad he's gone. He should have resigned long ago, a) because of the alcoholism, and b) because of his inability to give a proper steer on the party's future direction, reflected by the fact that the Lib Dems, for all their good election showing this year, failed to capitalise on the chaos of the Tories under IDS. Had they had a different leader, I think they might have done so.

He should certainly have had the nouse (here we go again!) to resign the second the press made it clear they would reveal his alcoholism. Had he done so, he would have saved his colleagues from having to publicly wield their knives in the way they had to. I don't think that was easy for them personally or politically.

Cameron comes into it; the booze comes into it; but the storm was gathering because of the need for the party to work out where it should position itself to offer a genuine alternative at the 2009 election. Yes, he deserves a rest - he's done all right. He should disappear from the limelight for a while and sort himself out, for his sake, but perhaps more importantly for the sake of his wife and six-month-old kid.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Nice analysis, there - a companion piece to my emotional reaction! So, what's he like when he's pissed? Does he buy rounds? (Remember Dooce!)

Anonymous Shig said...

Never had a drink with him. But we all know what he's like pissed - he sweats a lot and can't remember complicated tax policies, and then says no, he's only had a couple...

Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

It almost looks as though the LibDems have run out of steam (or maybe drink) are conspiring to keep Labour in government.

Kennedy has pulled the out of the depths but clearly is a lame duck at this point and can't get them up to the next level. Sad, but that's politics. Just as the Labour Party in the 80s needed a couple of post-Foot leaders to get them to being electable again, so the LibDems will have to ride a different horse for a while. With Labour heading to post-Blair with feww effective domestic policies and the Iraq stain all over them, and the conservatives trying a new pony to pull them back to the centre - it's all to play for.

Much more interesting than US politics.


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