Anorak News | The Battered Scone

The Battered Scone

by | 6th, January 2006

‘LIKE a Scottish Mars bar, The Scone has been battered. Charles Kennedy, leader of the LibDems, has admitted that he is being treated for alcoholism.

Politicians love empathising with the great British public, and it’s hard not to think that given the nation’s love of booze, Kennedy is striking a chord of kinship with the electorate.

While other politicos kiss babies to look like family men, Kennedy dips his lips into a vat of the hard stuff. You can trust a man who likes a drink. Kennedy’s one of us.

As such, he and his liver might yet survive, but not without a fight. As the Times says on its front page (“A desperate Kennedy confronts his demons”), Kennedy has asked party managers to trigger a leadership election. Kennedy wants to take on those LibDem MPs who would see him quit.

“It’s open, of course, to any colleague who believes they can better represent the longer-term interests of the party to stand against me in a leadership contest,” says Kennedy.

Fair enough. But who is there? And which of them would want to take on a man who has suffered? In these times when even the Tories want to be compassionate, which Liberal wants to be the man to take on poor Charles?

As the Telegraph says, there are signs that Kennedy’s survival tactics are paying off. Sir Menzies Campbell, often thought of as a leadership contender, praises the leader’s “brave and dignified” statement as he ruled himself out.

Mark Oaten, the party’s home affairs spokesman, says he will not mount a challenge – “I think the way in which he has gone about tackling this personal issue has been brave and commendable.”

Hang the fact that Kennedy has admitted to having had a drink problem for 18 months – he now says he’s “capable and in good health”.

Hang the fact that if enough of us had bought his political line, we’d have had a prime minister with alcohol problems.

Hang the fact that just last month he told Jonathan Dimbleby on TV that he was “an extremely moderate and infrequent consumer of alcohol”.

Just know that Kennedy has confessed all, and is now in the pink of health.

Perhaps we should pay less heed to the men with reputations to protect and ambitions to nurture and listen instead to the “senior unnamed” Liberal Democrat who tells the Times: “The man has gone bonkers.”

And hear another unnamed LibDem MP (why these LibDem MPs want to remain unnamed is ridiculous – we’ve no idea who any of them are) tell the paper: “It is unimaginable that he will stand. He is not fit state.”

Problem is, neither is his party…’

Posted: 6th, January 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink