Anorak News | Sitting Ducks

Sitting Ducks

by | 15th, December 2005

‘IT’S duck shooting season in the Telegraph. If avian flu won’t do for Charles Kennedy and Tony Blair, then a few well aimed blasts from David Cameron’s blunderbuss will.

I wandered lonely as a scone…

In reverse order, “LAME DUCK 2” is Tony Blair. His own backbenchers are tying to force the Prime Minister to rethink the Government’s education policy.

“LAME DUCK 1” is Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy. As the Guardian reminds its readers, Kennedy has increased both the Liberal Democrat share of the vote and its number of MPs at each of the two elections he has fought since taking over from Paddy Ashdown in 1999. (Kennedy inherited a mob of 46 LibDem MPs; he now leads 62.)

That’s some success. But it’s not enough. If the idea is to win, then the reality is that Kennedy is a failure. If you doubt that, consider for a moment the LibDem’s so-called shadow cabinet, and try to hold your eyebrow down or stifle a derisory snigger.

So, as the Guardian reports, around six of the party’s MPs have told Kennedy to his face that he should step down. “I told him that he had reached the end of the line,’ says an unnamed MP. ‘It was a desperately civilised conversation, as you would expect from Charles.

Oh, how very dull. While defenestration is too desperate, and a knife in the back too bloody, Kennedy’s removal looks like being too boring.

We like out politicians to have a bit of dash and vanity about them, not to confront their critics over sugary tea and scones.

Although Cameron did allude to something a little more extravagant when addressing the Commons yesterday on the matter of that aforementioned alternative plan for education. The Times heard him say: “I just wanted to confirm that his alternative White Paper was not produced by the Liberal Democrats, who have been concentrating on their decapitation strategy.”

But it does seem that Kennedy has already gone. He’s now running around like a headless chicken, or duck.

Which means a new LibDem leader has to be found. And that means a job for…. Well, who? The Telegraph produces a list of five candidates – the ageing Sir Menzies Campbell, unremarkable Mark Oaten, preternaturally fey Simon Hughes and Chris Huhne and Ed Davey, two men with profiles lower than the water on a duck’s back…’

Posted: 15th, December 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink