Thursday, January 05, 2006

Very Sad

It's a bad day.

Listened to Charles Kennedy on the car radio, parked on the driveway.

Sorry , but my first reaction is that I don't think he's a viable leader any longer.


Stephen Glenn said...

Sorry Chris I couldn't disagree more.

Like all people suffering from a disease with alcohol the first step is to acknowledge there is an issue. This is something Charles did in prevate some time ago, and now unlike many others has felt the need to admit in public, now that he has it under control.

It is a brave man who can admit to such a problem, Pitt, Asquith and Churchill certainly didn't but it did not prevent any of them leading a country through their problems. The fact that Charles has realised there is a problem and has taken action surely makes him more capable than any of these three plus others unnamed or undetected.

Not only is he a viable leader but I'm sure he will become stronger as a result.

Chris Black said...


Well, as I said , it's a first reaction.
It's not so much the alcoholism itself - it's that he's lost the confidence of so much of the shadow cabinet.

It was a brave speech. It would have been braver and more honest to have spoken months ago - but he didn't. If he had done so last June things might be very different now. Instead, he's understandably tried to avoid baring his soul to the world.

It appears that ITV were about to broadcast about his problem and he's only opened up today because of it.

I didn't know that Asquith had a drink problem but I know that in the end he was brought dowm, and replaced by Lloyd George (who wouldn't last long today for different reasons!)

Stephen Glenn said...

Asquith was known as Squiffy because he was often at the dispatch box the worse for drink.

As for losing confidence of the cabinet I think in recent days many were saying he should put it to a vote may not have been total lack of confidence just doing what he has done today and resiezing the agenda from the press.

Peter Pigeon said...


I´m afraid you're correct (I should sy taht I have been reading the smoke signals to this effect for a while).

Stephen, old chap, I hope you're not suggesting that Charles can carry on and do what Asquith did?

There are times for rallying around the leader - it's noble of you. But this is a time to rally around the party.

Stephen Glenn said...

Chris and Peter, following the events of the last 24 hours I know am of the opinion that Charles' position in untenable.

Sadly I have emailed him advising him of the reconsideration of my postion. he needs to lead the party not just on the streets and through the activists but also through the lobbies which now he is unable to do.

To carry on know he would emulate Lloyd George's legacy in sadly the wrong way.

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