Sunday, May 16, 2010

Did No One Notice Charles Kennedy?

The revelation, if you can call it that, that Charles Kennedy abstained on the vote on Tuesday night to ratify the coalition agreement, raises a concern about LibDem truthfulness. Spokesman after spokesmen went on live TV - including Nick Clegg -and told the nation that the vote among LibDem parliamentarians in favour of the coaltion agreement had been "unanimous". It clearly was not.

Why did Nick Clegg and his colleagues feel the need to lie? Or was it simply that no one noticed that Charles Kennedy had taken the coward's way out and abstained?

43 comments:

sinosimon said...

kennedy slumped in the corner, morose and unable to raise a coherent objection.....and ignored by the real decision-makers....thank god the lib dems haven't given up on all their traditions........

John said...

"Unanimous" is the new "vast majority"in politics.

That's how I took it anyway.

Could you imagine if Nick had announced that the "vast majority" had backed the coalition?

The headlines the following day:

"LIB DEMS REVOLT BUT CLEGG EDGES THOUGH"

The coalition would have got off to a very bad start.

Je ne regret rien.

Tom said...

If he abstained in absence, they probably all thought he'd gone off to the bar...

jennyblob said...

he was prob in the bar,or half cut like he was on DP a few weeks back.Sore looser.....

Gallimaufry said...

File this story under toilet habits of bears. Politicians don't tell the whole truth as the recent election showed, just those carefully selected bits of the truth that look best.

Moriarty said...

There's a derogation in place in the case of Kennedy. If the vote takes place after 11am it's assumed he doesn't know what's happening. It's called the "Father Jack" clause.

Windsor Tripehound said...

I'm pretty sure that if nobody votes either for or against a motion but there are abstentions, the result will be announced as "unanimous with X abstentions", so perhaps the LibDems are technically correct.

Mind you, the fact that no one thought Kennedy abstaining was worthy of comment is slightly odd, to put it mildly.

norman said...

More like our baby-faced Kennedy was slumped in a corner chair after tasting plentifully the amber liquid.
It is more like no one noticed him and took his slumber as abstention in the absence any brain function from him. He is hitting back after realising in a sober state that the coalition train did not sped away. His Ross Country was soundly beaten by Dundee United who became Scottish FA cup winners this year. He will be found again slumped in a club in London. My Scottish friends in his contituency grumble that he spends too much time in London. I will say to our baby-faced Kennedy: " Go back to your constituency and ger sober"!

Hawkeye said...

What did Kennedy ever do except moan and whinge? He took his party way out to somewhere left of Lenin so it is not surprising that he views the Con/Lib marriage as the ultimate betrayal.

Yesterday's man for yesterday's politics IMO.

norman said...

Sorry, I should have said" .. the coalition train sped away.."

tapestry said...

Ego trippers never want the world to move on. But it does. Tough.

Adam Wright said...

Unanimity can be defined as "Nobody voted against it", rather than "Everybody voted for it". E.g. Robert's Rules of Order uses this definition. It depends whether you consider a lack of objection as a tacit approval - i.e. if one really didn't approve, then they should say so.

I think most people would equate sitting quietly when you have ample opportunity to speak against something as a form of grudging approval; a "I don't really like it, but I know I have to lump it" approval.

Twig said...

Abstaining, is just another word for sitting on the fence.

Remember the Lisbon referendum?
...

Sam Radford said...

I'm pretty sure I heard right from the outset that 50 of 59 voted yes. So I think there were 9 abstains. That's still unanimous though. No one voted no. I don't think they're being untruthful.

DespairingLiberal said...

To be fair to CK, I think he's largely quit his drinking these days. He was very good on This Week during the last few programmes - I think some of you are just having a poke at him because he doesn't share your views and because he is also still quite popular.

I think Iain is right - the LibDems official spokespersons were fibbing when they said it was "unanimous".

Norfolk Blogger said...

I've just been texted by a friend of mine, not in Birmingham, who just saw Kennedy. He didn't look happy.

javelin said...

He was half cut. Somebody said "against" and he thought they said "again".

Pat said...

Surely, silence means consent.

SandraFacts said...

One from the Lib Dems songbook.

"Over the Sea to Skye
(Words: Stuart Callison)
Speed bonnie boat,
Like a hack on the make;
Back to his seat on Skye.
Carry the lad that was born to be King,
Back to the seat on Skye
Where is the man?
Down in the bar,
Loudly the Whips pro-clai-aim
Out on the town,
Out of his head,
Charlie is pissed again"

wild said...

Maybe they were thinking of Mrs Slocombe?

It is clear that when Liberal Democrats talked about being against a "two Party system" some meant that what they wanted was a One Party State.

Beware of labels.

The most radical are the (pro-market) Conservatives.

The most elitist are the (New) Labour Party.

The most totalitarian are ("Tory hating") Liberal Democrats.

STFC Executive said...

Scum - the lot of you

(the word verification is CONVAT - how appropriate. 20% anyone?)

zeno said...

Maybe they did notice but no-one cared. Kennedy is like Ashdown, Steele and Sir Ming - one of yesterday's men whose careers have been distinguished only by their failures.

Valleys Mam said...

I am not a lib dem, but Charles Kennedy despite everything was a good leader and is a good politician.
He doesn't deserve to be berated for his concerns

strapworld said...

Iain,

A abstention is taken as supporting the motion.

May I quote from The abc of chairmanship by Lord Citrine 200. Members abstaining from voting:-

"There is no compulsion on a member to vote, but even if a member does not vote he does not escape responsibility. Unless he definately indicates to the Chairman that he is remaining neutral and not voting, he is held to be in favour of the decision of the majority".

So Nick Clegg and his colleagues did not lie. Kennedy is proving, yet again, what an absolute skate he is.

I would have thought he would have been ideal as the Alcohol Czar?

Curmy said...

Well Stephen Nolan was going on about it last night as though it was world shattering news !

Alex said...

They probably thought he was pissed out of his tiny mind and missed the vote.

trevorsden said...

A good opportunity to slag off Kennedy - nad as I have arrived late I'll resist it. Except ...

Kennedy was always going to be grumpy as he sees his entire misguided life's work go down the toilet. Clegg, in defeat has given some purpose to the existence of the LDs.

If kenned was - ahem - elsewhere then maybe it was unanimous of those who were there. And no one did vote against, thats unanimous of those that voted as well.

Hamish said...

There is a difference between Unanimous and Lib Dem, sorry Dem Con, sorry Nem Con.
You might think that means nobody but the Conservatives (or the opposite).
It means nemine contradicente.
I am unanimous with Mrs Slocombe on this matter.

norman said...

The Libdems are noted for their fence-sitting and woolly viocabulary, and were indicating that a few sat on the fence and the the rest voted YES and hence there was unanimity! That is Libdems for you. I have seen this vocabulary used in my borough in the past when I had to deal with Libdem councillors ( Libdems are the ruling party in the Townhall) as a school governor.

norman said...

@Curmy said: "Well Stephen Nolan was going on about it last night as though it was world shattering news"
I do not like Nolan who reminds me of the Japanese soldier who was somehow got trapped in a jungle in 1943, and when discovered in 2000 was still thinking that Japan was still at war with America. The whole of BBC exhibits this syndrome and they are still talking about Labour Party, their preferred masters. Nolan indulges in sensationalism and demonstrates why this monolith called BBC needs pruning.

cyberboris said...

Iain, hooray, hooray, let joy be unconfined! No longer fettered by the evil curse of our Scots ex-PM, England charge to victory over Australia to take their first world title ever in 20/20 cricket. I know Simon Heffer doesn't like it, but who cares, the big girl.

http://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/england-rampant/

Peter said...

If the coalition falls apart and things go badly for the Lib Dems he will be untainted and able to lead the party back from the abyss.

Jabba the Cat said...

"Did No One Notice Charles Kennedy?"

ermm...No, didn't he drown in a bottle somewhere?

Unsworth said...

@ Pat

"Surely, silence means consent."


That's an extremely dangerous path.

Curmy said...

Norman , you're spot on about the Beeb !

Pete Wass said...

When Huhne and Baker were talking to the beeb just after the vote, they were careful to avoid the U word but kept saying that noone had voted against it. It was obvious from how slippery they were being that the antis had been leant on to abstain.

Richard said...

Reading the comments one does not have to wonder why the Tories are known as the Nasty Party. Abusing someone with an alcohol problem pretty much leaves everyone as fair game for attack. Who is next in line, cancer sufferers, the blind?

Cynic said...

"Did No One Notice Charles Kennedy?"

No

Alex said...

" Richard said...
Reading the comments one does not have to wonder why the Tories are known as the Nasty Party. Abusing someone with an alcohol problem pretty much leaves everyone as fair game for attack. Who is next in line, cancer sufferers, the blind?
May 16, 2010"

Well let's take this full on. I have every sympathy with every person who struggles with any form of disability or addiction, but I have little sympathy with those who try to hide an addiction that limits their capacity to act effectively whilst putting themselves forward for election to a high public office. It's a bit like lying on a CV, and no, we don't all do that.

Faceless Bureaucrat said...

"Or was it simply that no one noticed that Charles Kennedy had taken the coward's way out and abstained?"

No, simply a case that nobody cared that a washed-up, p*ssed up old has-been was unable to let go of the past and embrace the new reality.

Charles who?...

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Richard said...

"Abusing someone with an alcohol problem pretty much leaves everyone as fair game for attack. Who is next in line, cancer sufferers, the blind?"

Kennedy is a piss head with a yesterday man chip on his shoulder trying to shit stir the current situation. That makes him fair game.

greega111 said...

Lots of nasty people here: why are you re-playing the mantra of Labour back in 1970 when they went on and on about 'Yesterday's Men'? And yesterday's men - the phrase was relatively new, then, the hit song from Chris Andrews - came back and promptly bit them.

Sorry, but who would you rather listen to on the radio - Clegg or Kennedy? No contest: Kennedy is a human being, Clegg a mere accessory in a rose garden.

Moriarty said...

@greega

So to recap: calling Kennedy "yesterday's man" is nasty but calling Clegg a "mere accessory in a rose garden" is not?

Is your real name O'Brien by any chance?