Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Strange Case of Menzies Campbell

A few days ago Andrew Neil announced to the nation that he had it on very good authority that Charles Kennedy would resign in March next year. Strange that this happened the night after Menzies Campbell was reportedly the only LibDem present at Andrew Neil's Christmas Party. Very strange. And no doubt purely coincidental.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Menzies' popular, but to be frank he's a little old now to be leader.

James Hellyer said...

Menzies Campbell for even more unelectable Lib Dim leader!

Anonymous said...

I think you are seriously underestimating Campbell, James. He undoubtedly has gravitas and would tend to highlight Cameron's inexperience - a drawback Iain may now deny but which he would have been only too keen to talk about when he was part of the Davis campaign. Campbell may have weaknesses, perhaps associated with driving policy forward, but you would be hard pressed to portray him personally as unelectable.

stalin's gran said...

The only problem for Charles Kennedy having won more seats at the election is it means there are more people in the party who think they should be leader.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, don't put words into my mouth. I'm quite capable of doing it myself!

hamishmac said...

Ming Campbell was extremely ill quite recently and I don't think he would take it. Also if I was a party strategist think of a new leader I would pick a non-Scot (or English as they are otherwise known) as voters may think a choice between two scots and one english isn't really a choice at all.

Anonymous said...

If anybody is considering Simon Hughes for the job it would a disaster for the party. He will be late for his own funeral - he is imfamous for being late for everything and totally disorganised.

Ed Davy is one of the up and coming MP's who has the charima and style of Cameron.

James Hellyer said...

"He undoubtedly has gravitas and would tend to highlight Cameron's inexperience"

This is true. He also tends to come over rather better in interviews than Cameron does (something to do with answering questions withour repeating exceprts of earlier speeches, I suspect).

"Campbell may have weaknesses, perhaps associated with driving policy forward, but you would be hard pressed to portray him personally as unelectable."

In his case I was thinking more of the policy angle. Campbell would see the Lib Dems move further to the anti-war, sandal wearing left.

This would be bad news for Labour, but may help us peel away some former Conservative voters from their number.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly I had heard that Campbell was privately slightly more hawkish on Iraq than his colleagues and Kennedy in particular. Campbell missed key shadow cabinet meetings around the time of the invasion due to his illness and the rumour is that he would have wanted a slightly less dovish position. I am not sure how true that is.