Friday, July 28, 2006

Vultures Start to Circle over Ming

A few weeks ago Ming Campbell berated Simon Hughes for giving him until the Party's September conference to get his act together. Hughes's view is now repeated by none other than Welsh AM and blogger Peter Black. He headlines his piece TIME FOR MING TO SHAPE UP... but leaves out the words OR SHIP OUT. But that's the clear implication of his piece. Time for an interview without coffee by Ming's CoS Norman Lamb, methinks...

When Charles Kennedy was forced out by MPs against the wishes of the membership, they gave as their reason that the party was going nowhere. They were dissatisfied with Charles' leadership style and with the impact of his 'health' issues.Now we have the MPs' choice as leader and yet, despite successes in Dunfermline and Bromley, our opinion poll ratings are stagnating and slipping back. Ming has made little impact with the public at large. The Parliamentary Party has effectively taken charge of our policy direction and strategy, whilst the leadership has established a lock on the party organisation irrespective of the party's democratic structures.Ming is playing for very high stakes and in doing so has placed a great deal of his personal authority on the line.

If things go wrong then there is nobody else to blame, he has made sure of that by the way he has gathered all the threads around him.The next few months are going to be critical. In a week or two we will be publishing tax plans that have largely been drawn up by the Treasury Team. Worthy as they are, these proposals seem unfocussed and lack a clear narrative. It is my hope that once we see the full details that will change. However, it did not help that Ming felt it necessary to reveal details before the Commission had reported or the democratically-elected Policy Committee had decided whether to accept them or not.The debate will, of course be critical but so too will Ming's performance at the Conference. We need to get some bounce in the polls out of that week in Brighton.

When Simon Hughes said that Ming had until the end of the Conference season to prove himself he was absolutely right. So far the only people who appear to be totally content with the leader are the MPs. They have to realise that, important as they are, they are not the Party. Having experienced a coup de grace at the top, we are entitled to expect results. It is now time for Ming Campbell to start delivering on his promises and the expectations of success that are associated with him.

The blog entry is on Peter Black AM's blog HERE. It's from 27 July.

UPDATE: I see the BBC have picked up on this story HERE. Hope it was nothing I said...

UPDATE: I didn't hear Sir Ming on the Today Programme, but Stephen Pollard did. This is his take...

But what fair took my breath away was his reaction to the conviction of Michael Brown, the man who has given £2.4 million to the LibDems. Asked if he was embarrassed, Sir Menzies replied that "these are matters which are sub judice" and then huffed that they "are not matters which are anything to do with the LibDems". No, of course not. It's nothing at all to do with the Lib Dems that one of their main donors is a crook, and they have no intention of returning the money. As I have pointed out before, the LibDem's website says this: Unlike the other main parties, the Liberal Democrats do not receive funding from big business or trade unions. But fraudsters are just fine. I don't understand why people say Sir Menzies isn't fit to be LibDem leader. He's a hypocrite in charge of a hypocritical party. Seems like a perfect fit to me.

30 comments:

Rick said...

Who is the latterday Sir John Simon ready to lead National Liberals away from the mutinous crew ?

Cicero said...

What is this Iain- Lib Dem watch? You really must be a bit concerned about your boy being a bit crap on the Middle East to focus so much on the Lib Dems over the past few days. Most of us Lib Dems are pretty cheerful these days, and even if we paid back every penny, the Lib Dems would still be better off than the Tories...

Anonymous said...

Poor Petey Black. Hardly a vulture, more a hypertensive sparrowhawk.

So we have one leader going nowhere slowly, one going round and round in furious circles and one going (let's all hope!) down with his ship.

We live in interesting times.

bt said...

Ahem.
Talking of vultures circling...
Have you read the yougov poll in the Torygraph today?
Do the carrion-pickers sense a dead man walking?
Famous film quote message to Dave's pals:

"Watch the skies!"

Tory in the Wilderness said...

Lets hope Ming the Meaningless stays in position for a long time to come.

Indigo said...

Guido has broken his blog - please could someone tell him that it just displays style sheet stuff. Thanks. (Sorry, can't remember his e-mail address.)

Paul said...

Who would they replace him with? I'm not a Lib Dem but Ming is a serious guy trying to herd the cats of his party.

The reason they're falling in the polls is because their only appeal as a Party of protest is just old now. Sadly I just don't see the talent to present themselves as a Party of ideas - even if they do have some cracking ones.

Anonymous said...

Ming has been a disaster since day one and most activists realised that's how he would be and voted for Simon or Chris. Sadly the armchair membership saw him as "a safe pair of hands" (ie he'd do sweet fa) and the young ambitious MPs rallied round knowing they'd get their shot at the leadership before too long.

Either Simon or Chris would've been far better. They can connect with real people and would've done something - anything!

The policies of a leader shouldn't matter too much in the Lib Dems as policy is voted for by conference. Lib Dem leaders should be voted for based on their ability to connect with the electorate and drive the party forward - something Sir Ming of Colonial India is incapable of.

Peter Black said...

I have never met Norman Lamb nor do I expect to. Yours hypertensively....

Ross F said...

"Start to Circle"? They've been circling for months haven't they?

LA said...

Cicero

"If we paid back every penny, the Lib Dems would still be better off than the Tories"

You know that you are not just supposed to make things up don't you?

When an attack on any party leader is published of course it will be commented on - this is what blogs are for. Are you saying that no Lib Dems are talking about Tebbit??

Believe us - when it comes to how the tories feel about the lib dems, 'worried' is not the word at all that springs to mind.

Don't you have a "Winning here, two horse race" graph to fabricate?

Maggier Thatcher fan said...

I think Theo Spark reads your blog
Take a look at his latest offering.

http://theospark.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help noticing the resemblance between 'Cicero' and plummy-voiced art critic Brian Sewell. Are they, do you think, in any way related? I think we should be told

strapworld said...

Of course they contain talent. The problem is that they will never be the government and there only real ambition is to hold the balance of power. cicero is avoiding the issue and doing what the paty of protest always did..throw stones. But he is now in the glasshouse and the time has come for him to grow up.

Surely the time has come for the Lib Dems to be wound up. end. cease. Like the M.P. parrot they are dead. Those with affinities to the Labour Party should join that party and those that welcome the Cameron brand of Torylite should join the tories. Then we can get down to the real business and not be distracted by a party that can only operate at Bye Elections.

Ming would do well in New Labour, under Gordon Brown, as the Foreign Secretary...lets face it nobody can be as bad as Ms Beckett.

Stephen Glenn said...

Cicero you have a point there looks very much like Iain doing his best to churn out Lib-Dem watch stuff over and over and over.

I think possibly he is trying to cover over the tracks of his own guy's policy-lite, or is that policy missing, performances.

At least Ming is announcing the meat to the bones, Cameron appears to be even neglecting to throw out the occasional bone just the out soundbite that would appeal to anyone until they ask how is it going to be acheived.

Just who has been the leader of their party longest? Judging on performance and policy making the neutral would probably suspect Campbell.

Anonymous said...

Iain perhaps you would like to comment on the Yougov poll. Particularly the Telegraph's take on it. Tories going nowhere under DC. Yep their ahead, but not by much, and after Prescott/Levy etc. not by much at all. It isn't only the LIBdems who've got a crap leader. Prepare for 12 years of GB, Iain your political career is heading for the scrapheap before it's begun!!

i spy strangers said...

"Cracked", more like.

Can't remember when I last fell asleep reading your blog, Iain, but this story's about as interesting as ... zzzzz.

Anonymous said...

How on earth did this piece make BBC News Website.

My god, they really do print anything on that site.

Anonymous said...

Yes Paul, I do think the dimlebs are getting a bit like cats/ferrets in a sck.

Rick said...

Iain do you have a Dell laptop ?

http://tinyurl.com/m5dlg

Mark Senior said...

Strange this thread after a good set of local election results for the LibDems this week and a poor set for the Conservatives . Cameron approval rating may be hogher than the other leaders but it is falling rather quickly .

Geoff said...

Not sure what you mean about local election results Mark. Yesterday's results were 7 holds and one LibDum gain from Ind.

Seems pretty neutral to me. So give us a summary of the week to back your comment up or just go away please.

Paul Linford said...

I personally think Cicero looks more like Michael White with hair, but he can't be. Can he?

WmByrd said...

anon 1.15pm
"the resemblance between 'Cicero' and plummy-voiced art critic Brian Sewell. Are they, do you think, in any way related?"

Surely not. One is an author from a remote, now-forgotten culture, speaking an arcane language with ornate phraseology that no one can read or understand these days.
And the other is er, the latin writer Cicero.

Views from the UK 2006 said...

Bring back Mr Kennedy, he had the common touch, by the next election, we will have Gordon, David but will the Liberal Democrats really have Ming in Charge. Time for fresh ideas and leadership

Chris Palmer said...

That photo of Peter Black on the BBC website makes him look like a complete prat... which fits, because he is.

Andrew Kinsman said...

Fresh young leadership for the LibDems? Has anyone asked whether Jeremy Thorpe would be willing to return?

Iain Dale said...

Rick, 9.48 Charles Kennedy!

Cicero, Pretty cheerful? Living in your own little world too, it seems

bt, hysterical Telegraph interpretation. Compare it also with yesterdya's Guardian ICM poll

Peter, better not comment. LOL!

bt said...

Iain said:
"bt, hysterical Telegraph interpretation. Compare it also with yesterdya's Guardian ICM poll"

Does the G/ICM poll give ratings for the party leaders?
If it does then I can't find it on the ICM site.

What is probably significant is that Cam's personal ratings have dropped by 17% to a point where he is only 1% ahead of a PM mired in an unpopular war, with party backstabbing rife and plod parked on the doorstep wanting to ask some awkward questions.

1%.
Party figures stable, yes, though only a 4% lead after all the crap that's hit the government fan is not exactly impressive - or expected; it should be a much wider gap.
It's starting to look as if the tories could conceivably win the next election *but* for Dear Dave, that he's the one that's holding them back.
How long before the men in grey suits come a-calling?

Mark Senior said...

Geoff the detailed results are on Vote2006 and pb.com so have a look at them Conservatives falling to 4th in Oxford despite fielding an A List candidate and fighting a hard campaign , 4th in Norwich . 3rd in Kirklees with less than 7% of the vote . Holding Scarborough by just 10 votes , losing Rushmoor , vote well down in Dartford although that may be because of the previous councillor behaving in a way that makes Oaten's behaviour look mild . Guildford small swing to Lib Dems
So rather than go away I have given facys and suggest you go and post on Disneyblog Fantasy land thread as you have been unable to post anything remotely sensible on here .