Monday, December 19, 2005

Nicking the LibDem Leadership?

Nick Clegg seems a bit too good to be true. But if the LibDems have any sense, he is the one they'll pick to take over from the bealeagured Charles Kennedy. I suspect that they'll actually go for Ming Campbell, but this would be an error.

The LibDems needs their own Cameron and Nick Clegg is the one that fits the bill. He looks the part, he's got the experience (despite only being elected in 2005 he has gained good experience as an MEP - if that's not an oxymoron) and he's got the charisma and sense of humour. Hughes would be the choice of every Conservative I know of. Oaten doesn't frighten us and Ming Campbell would just be a stop-gap. People say he gives the LibDems much needed gravitas, and to an extent that's true, but he is totally disinterested in domestic politics and the economy and that would become clear very quickly. Nick Clegg is the only one who, as a Conservative, I would not look forward to fighting.

UPDATE 1: Just seen Ming Campbell and Nick Clegg in deep conversation over a coffee in Portcullis House. Can't imagine what they are discussing.

UPDATE 2: Ran into Mark Oaten at lunchtime who was yawning his head off. Question: why is he so tired? Is it a) because he was up all night preparing for today's police debate, or is it b) because he was putting together his leadership campaign team?

UPDATE 3: The Daily Telegraph said this morning that a LibDem Shadow Cabinet member was on the brink of resignation but he was waiting to see if CK went of his own volition. I've been tipped the wink as to who this person is. I'm just waiting for the second source before naming him.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

An interesting post. I am a Lib Dem but for once you actually are thinking more or less what I am thinking! If Kennedy goes I would expect it to boil down to Campbell versus a younger option, most likely Clegg or Davey (people like your old adversary would also be good although those are the ones who would want it). Oaten is widely touted not least by himself but I would not expect him to figure. Hughes is a busted flush. I very much like Laws and think his radical thinking and work rate are excellent (he easily outshone Rifkind in the months he was at work and pensions) but doubt his leadership credentials as sadly he is not Mr Charisma - a Willetts figure.

Aidan Brack said...

I think the big issue comes down to which direction would the Lib Dems rather be seen to move in. If they move left then they probably would have to pick Hughes, if they fancy a move right I'd say they *should* pick Laws (probably the best intellectual the party has) but Oaten would probably be higher-profile.

I'd ideally like to see someone who's not been mentioned (and hasn't really be in the Commons long enough to get a strong reputation yet), John Thurso. He's always considered, balanced and an excellent speaker. Yet I doubt he'd ever stand whilst Kennedy's in the race (and even then he doesn't strike me as the ambitious kind - shame).

Anonymous said...

Clegg is oddly popular in the Lib Dems actually. I'd expect him to be the Leader after Menzies.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Mr Clegg gets my vote for being very, very good looking indeed. Woof.

Anonymous said...

Thurso can't possibly stand as there would be the inevitable vexed questions over whether he has ever waxed his moustache. He could say, "we have all made mistakes as young peers of the realm but I can only reiterate that I have never waxed since becoming an MP". But the issue will always be there to haunt him.

hamishmac said...

(possibly) True Story: during his maiden speech John Thurso said, "It is very rare for a member to have the same name as his constituency, but then I suppose it is also quite rare for a member to own most of their constituency".
A funny warm guy, but not a vote winner methinks.

Toots said...

Disinterested? Uninterested? Always such a tricky one to get right.

Shoots panda.

micky blue eyes said...

I think you need to look up the word 'tautology' in a dictionary, Iain.

Jus' sayin.

Iain Dale said...

micky, you're absolutely right. I should have typed oxymoron. I shall correct it now!

Anonymous said...

Nick Clegg would be good, if only to put a stop to John Hemming's takeover plans!

Bridgford said...

Iain - any update on the possible resignation?

Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Oaten is tired and yawning because he's been baby-sitting for the Kennedy's... or maybe not.

Iain Dale said...

Bridgford, well, yes and no. Yes in the sense that I know who it is, but no in that I'm not prepared to put it on here for fear of being sued. Been there, done that once before!