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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Live blogging

Kennedy at the press conference where he announces that he has a
drink problem.

Well it is not really live but close enough. I have spent today in Westminster with the rest of the Liberal Democrats Assembly Group and our Welsh MPs. Most of the meeting was spent discussing the Government of Wales Bill and other issues but when we heard that Charles Kennedy was to make a personal statement at 5.45pm we all decided to go and see it in person.

There is nothing like seeing history being made no matter how minor. In terms of the party this was fairly significant history.

Charles' statement was brave and well-judged. He was open about his problem with alcohol and that he believes that he has it under control. His decision to call a leadership election and to stand himself was also the best way to bring to an end all the speculation about his leadership. We will now have to see if any of those briefing against him have the guts to put their head above the parapet and stand as well. As this is live blogging I will add a photo to this entry when I get my act together, most probably next week.
'His decision to call a leadership election and to stand himself was also the best way to bring to an end all the speculation about his leadership'

I remember how well it worked for John Major
Of course the Tories had far more fundamental divisions to overcome. That is not the case with the Liberal Democrats.
Oh get real. No difference between the Orange bookers and Simon Hughes? When you're ready to join the real world, do let us know.
The orange bookers as you describe them are a small minority as was demonstrated by voting at the Autumn Conference. However, I will blog tomorrow in more detail on the whole leadership thing when I have had time to reflect.
Kennedy's courage seems to have been stirred by ITN. Ironic that the people who claimed he would be such a great leader and that there was no drink problem are the ones who have plunged the dagger.

Its apparent that he has missed party functions and key events due to his problem the Mps were right to force the issue...
Kennedy`s admission about alcohol was forced out of him by the media, after persistent denials. When Mr Kennedy accused the prime minister of having an issue with "trust", it struck home,now he has his own trust issue.

No party leader can be secretly addicted to drink. The Guardian says the Lib Dem leader should be "saluted, at the personal level, for the action and the example he has offered".

However, it said his failure to quit shows a lack of understanding about his colleagues' recent defiance. By lying about his drink problem over many years, he had lost the trust of his senior colleagues, so how could he secure the trust of voters ?
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