Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ming wins Lib Dem contest

From the beeb:
"Sir Menzies, 64, who was Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman and acting leader, topped a ballot of party members after a five week campaign.

He beat economic affairs spokesman Chris Huhne in the final run off. Party President Simon Hughes came third.

Sir Menzies, who got 57% of the vote, said he was ready to take risks to "modernise" the party and lead it "back to government"."
The last remark would tend to confirm that Menzies Campbell will want to push the Libs in a more "Orange Book" direction - assuming as I tend to that "modernise" means embracing more marketization.

I wonder if going all Gladstone will hasten or delay the squeeze of the Lib Dems between NuLabour and Cameron's New Model Tories? We wait with bated breath. No we don't. Anyway, in as far as the Liberal Democrats can be considered capable of making a sensible decision, picking The Ming looks like one. Simon Hughes has the affection of the rank and file in the party, always a bad sign - and Chris Huhne, for reasons I can't work out, is just too damn creepy. I was relieved to discover I'm not the only one who thinks so; Matthew Parris described him as "mysteriously and indefinably ghastly".

The Ming's tenure as leader - not likely to be a long one, let's face it - will be judged a success (by me, if no-one else) if he manages to get the party to address that nagging but fundamental question that needs answered: what, as I've said before, are the Lib Dems for, exactly?

The Ming: It's also nice to see a Hillhead FP doing well for himself (yes, I know - a bit of concept-stretching needed with that one)

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