Anorak News | The End Of His Teather

The End Of His Teather

by | 21st, September 2005

‘IT’S party political conference season, that time of year when a seaside town experiences an influx of vanity cases, worthies, nerds and retirees with nothing better to do.

A standing member of Parliament and her seated leader

First up are the LibDems, who have descended on Blackpool and begun to talk about how much better life would be under them.

And do not doubt that it could happen. The LibDems may yet form a government. They already have the Labour party worried.

The Independent hears that at the Labour Party conference in Brighton next week, Tony Blair will urge old, new and blue Labour not to lurch to the left in bid to win back the voters who switched to the Liberal Democrats at General Election.

That the ruling party is worried is surely good news for the LibDems, who in past years wouldn’t have known how to worry a sheep on Prozac.

And so we move to the conference, the Times’s coverage of which takes in a splendid shot of Sarah Teather, MP for Brent East. She’s wearing a pair of red suede heels. Which may or may not be a statement of intent.

Sarah, who must surely be the shortest person in Westminster, claiming to be 4ft 10in, is pictured standing back from the lectern so that people can see her.

As the Times writes, had Teather stood close to the lectern, delegates would have only seen he parting in her hair, “bobbing away like a brunette buoy in a stormy sea”.

Perhaps before next year’s meeting, the great and good of her party should debate how high the official lectern should be. Or give the 31-year-old Teather, Charles Kennedy to stand on.

You see, finding a use for Kennedy, the party’s leader, is not all that easy. It’s clear that as the big boss, the man who would be prime minister, Kennedy’s role should be clear – he criticises everything the other parties do and champions his own.

But the man himself is a little confused, and, as the Telegraph says on its cover page, he’s admitted that he’s failing to lead the party.

The trick with leaders is to never admit any flaws of personality, whatever the voices say. The critics can say what they will, but you will never alter. The leader is inviolable.

Not so Kennedy, who seems to have heard the gossip that he’s the LibDems very own quiet man.

And Kennedy’s heard what Richard Grayson, his former speechwriter, has to say about his style of leadership. Writing in the Indy, Grayson urges Kennedy to take the review of policy “by the scruff of the neck”.

Later, Grayson told the BBC that “the party wants to be led rather than necessarily being chaired”.

Kennedy’s response to that, which leads to the Telegraph’s front-page headline “Kennedy admits failing to lead party”, is telling: “I quite accept what he says. It’s a good reflection of what I feel myself.”

Though Kennedy’s aides claim their man’s comments are no admittance of failure, it’s easy to see how the Telegraph can construe them as such.

Kennedy is reviewing his own position. But if he quits as party leader, who could take over at its head? Why, Sara Teather of course, a prominent MP whose head and parting are visible to one and all…’

Posted: 21st, September 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink