Monday, July 02, 2007

Ming Campbell: Leading LibDem Blogger Says 'Time for Ming to Go'

Nich Starling, who writes the Norfolk Blogger blog - the nearest thing you'll get to a LibDem version of this blog - has just posted a revealing post on Ming Campbell's future. Nich reckons he doesn't have one. Why is this important? Because Nich is very close to Norman Lamb, Ming's Health Spokesman (and the man who trounced me in North Norfolk). For all I know, Norman Lamb's views are very different, but I suspect not. Here are the highlights, but you can read the whole blogpost HERE...
We were told when Ming was standing to be party leader that Ming's greatest assets were his experience and his judgment. I now believe that these were lies. Ming has, for me, shown since his election that he lacks these.The party has drifted in a gentle downward direction in terms of councillors and MSP's. Party membership has not picked up and the press have got it in for Ming. Ah, the press. Is that any reason to doubt him ? Well yes, in my opinion it is. Not because everything the press says is correct, far from it. However, Ming does seem slow to react, he does not have his finger on the pulse of the next generation of voters and he lacks the human touch that Charles Kennedy and Paddy had before him...

...So where is the leadership ? Where is the consistency ? If I can't see it and I am a party member, an activist, a former councillor, a former constituency party vice-Chairman, why should I think for one moment that any member of the electorate should see him as being consistent and meaning what he says ? The fact that the other Lib Dem bloggers seem to be closing their eyes to this whilst the our opinion poll rating goes down the toilet (12% in one poll this week) should be deeply worrying... He does not seem to know how ridiculous his flip flopping makes him seem with the electorate and how how Labour and Gordon Brown are using him and the Lib Dems. No wonder Labour are up in the polls. People think you can vote Labour and get the bits of the Lib Dems they like thrown in for free!

So I admit it, I made a mistake in voting for Ming Campbell. The biggest mistake I could make now is keeping quiet whilst the party carries on in this awful slide to oblivion. Something must be done now. Some in the party no doubt believe success in the Ealing Southall by-election might give us a bounce. Certainly the Lib Dems are the clear challengers to Labour, but would a win just be papering over the cracks. It's time for people to stand up and be counted. We read about senior Lib Dem MP's and Peers being angry with Ming, yet all we get is rumour. We need someone to put their head above the parapet and be counted. I'm sure I will get plenty of flak for writing this, being disloyal is not in my nature. However, sometimes, you know you are just saying what others are muttering.

For all our sakes, it is time for Ming to go !

Brave words. It will be interesting to see how other LibDem blogs react to this, although if form is anything to go by they will ignore it.


Norfolk Blogger said...

Iain, I should stress I have not spoken to Norman Lamb about this. Norman is a friend of mine, but I am not his spokesman.

Liberal Neil said...

If we should assume that anything Nick says reflects Norman Lamb's views does that mean we should assume anything you say reflects David Davis' views?

Iain Dale said...

Liberal Neil, did you actually read what I wrote? Just to remind you...

"Why is this important? Because Nich is very close to Norman Lamb, Ming's Health Spokesman (and the man who trounced me in North Norfolk). For all I know, Norman Lamb's views are very different, but I suspect not."

Should be clear enough. I am sometimes very careful about what I write because I am very aware that some people (wrongly) think whatever I think must be what David Davis thinks. It is annoying, but there you are. This is particularly the case if I ever write anything critical of David Cameron.

Chris K said...

So actually the whole blog post is unimportant and not news at all?

Anonymous said...

and if they get rid of Ming the Liberal democrats fall into Gordon's cunning plan - which is the following:

The Libs have a major row - they oust Ming in a bitter battle and lose suport in labour areas - in particular in labour marginals

The libs elect a right(ish) winger - such as the very able Nick Clegg who will best challenge the Tories in their marginal seats.

All of which should help Gordon win the next election

The libs will then split after the next election - the majority of the social democrats (such as Ming) (re) join Labour and the right wing sit with Mr Cameron.

The Lib dems are finished with or without Ming!

David Anthony said...

So I assume that David Davis likes cheesy Pop music and Audis?

Anonymous said...

It needs some more Lib Dems to break ranks to see Ming go. This could be the first of many ?

Newmania said...

Not fair Chris K it is telling in itself that a dewy eyed little lib like Norfolk teacher is sinking into despair.

I think he is unfair on Ming as the Two real Parties get their act together they were bound to be squeezed out. There is nothing distinctive left for them to say .
I think Ming is great and they should stick with him.

Anon I think you are right and it has occurred to me that PR which they think is their saviour might actually be the end for the two faced Party.Libertarians would become Conservative and Socialists follow Gordon`s statist project.I think the Conservatives have to think about a broad anti Socilaist coalition including Liberals , perhaps even more than DC is already doing. Realism will be required from the right wing idealists but its no bad thing if the Conservative Party gets more pragmatic and less dogmatic.Also under PR the UKIP problem would disappear , they are fine people really and their core issue is shared by many across the spectrum.

That is probabaly why DK was tentatively suggesting PR was not all bad

Yozzer said...

If the LDs fare badly at Ealing I suspect Ming's time is up.Should we hope they do rather well thus ensuring Ming leads them to electoral disaster in 2009/10? A real puzzler for decent citizens everywhere...

Anonymous said...

I think the Lib's have their heads int he sand over Ming. They wanted to be seen as being decent and choosing a decent man aftet they got rid of Kennedy. Unfortunately for them, they chose a decent man, but a man with no charisma or passion who lacks judgment.

Anonymous said...

Even the Flat Earth Society deserves the best leader it can find.


Liberal Neil said...

I did read exactly what you wrote.

You introduced the idea that Nich's post was important because he was close to Norman Lamb.

I never assume that your views represent DD, and if I were to comment on anything you had written on my blog I wouldn't mention even that it 'might' reflect DD's views.

BTW has Grant Shapps come up with any evidence about BigLibDemDiamondPosterBribeGate yet?

Valleys Mam said...

So nowhere to go Mike German , Lib Dem leader in Wales; decides to reshuffle and reboot. any leaks on this yet I wonder.I think it will take more than tinkering at the edges for the Lib Dems Their major problem is succession - who replaces MG and MC. Where is their ground - there's only really far left or far right that's not be grabbed. Somehow I cannot see MG goose stepping or selling socialist worker.
What will be interesting is how he plans for himself and his party to be relevant
The Liberal Democrats must forge a distinctive role after being left out of the Assembly Government, their leader in Cardiff Bay said today.
Mike German said he was proposing a series of changes to the party in three policy papers for Welsh Lib Dem chiefs.
Party rules mean he must face re-election as leader of his Assembly group within 12 months of an election.
“There’s a whole raft of change I am proposing for the party,” he told his weekly press briefing.
“People who know me will know I have always got a plan for the future.”

Mr German said he would “reflect on the level of support I get for those ideas”.
He said it would be “unwise” to reveal his proposals before they are submitted.
“It’s not rocket science, but it’s a very distinctive role (for the Lib Dems),” he added.

Anonymous said...

Ming has blown it for the Libs big style.

He's been beguiled by Brown's offer of a cabinet place and failed to lead his paryy properly in the aftermath of the May elections.

If he had shown leadership he would have made them get into government with the SNP in Scotland and get through policies like local income tax. Instead they used the fig leaf of opposition to an independence referendum (which the SNP put out signals that they were prepared to negotiate on).

Now they look like Labour's poodles as all they indulge in is negative politics and voting with Labour. They were in government with Labour and now they are in opposition with Labour. The Tories are making great play of this as they wring policies out off the SNP executive and look like a party achieving things.

In short they have consigned themselves to a decreasing profile on the backbenches achieving sweet football association. An irrelevance

In Wales they scuppered the rainbow coalition. Again looking like they were doing Ming's bidding to keep his arm in with Gordon.

The upshot? Rhodri went in with Plaid and made the Tories the opposition. Again another example of the Libs marginalising themselves as Labour and Plaid do Government and the Tories get the official opposition mantle.

All in all squandered opportunities by a man who failed to lead and get hbis party's policies on the agenda.

Of course they think they can do a Dunfermline in Ealing. Trouble is they don't have Blair to kick and last week's council by-elections were disastrous for them.

They've lost focus and direction and the blame for that lies with the person meant to give it. The leader.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to their axe the tax campaign?

It used to be prominent on their .

That they've downgraded one of their most successful, long running and voter appealling campaigns shows a real lack of judgement has crept into their thinking.

Nothing on their websites front page grabs the attention.

Post Offices appeals to pensioners who are not exactly net savvy. And all parties campaign on "saving the local PO".

Home Office Watch and Iraq is hardly the theme to promote in current circumstances (even Salmond is studiously avoiding that one!).

Greener? Everyone party and its Aunt is doing that these days.

Save the NHS? From what? No-one believes Labour will intentionally get rid of it and even the Conservatives are in on that act and with a better slogan.

They've lost it. No unique selling point anymore.

Anonymous said...

What, no erudite comment from Chris Paul? I hope he's not been censored. That would be bad for his human rights. (Hee, hee!)

Peter John said...

Isn't the simple truth that the LibDems truly are a party of protest for most mainstream electors - only performing well in the polls when voters are fed up with Labour and the Tories and so deposit their votes with a party they perceive as fairly harmless? Ming Campbell is simply the victim of a slightly resurgent Tory Party and a leadership change and revival for us in Labour.

No change of leader for the LibDems is going to radically change their electoral fortunes at this point - they might as well hang on to Ming and then let him take all the blame when they do badly at the next General Election.

Anonymous said...

perhaps ming could finally take that fat twat rennard with him when he goes and give us all a break. a new leader would then be able to look at the big picture and there'd be an end to rennard spinning against leaders and senior party officials because they're coming too close to realising that in fact he is an illiberal, unprincipled, short-termist hasbeen, who is only capable of bullying and bribing people into going to byelections to protect his own self styled guru image.

that said ming knew exactly what was going on with CK. Anyone who thinks he was decent and distanced is very sadly mistaken.