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Friday, May 12, 2006

Incoherent spinning

Good grief, does my party never learn? This article in today's Telegraph is yet another example of the behind-the-scenes briefing that undermines those of us who are fighting day-in, day-out for the Liberal Democrat principles and policies in our own community. It is precisely the sort of damaging tittle-tattle that led to the toppling of Charles Kennedy, except that this time the tittle-tattlers now appear to be running the party.

The paper reports:

Last week's local election results were a disappointment, with the party gaining two seats overall. One MP said the party was "hitting the panic button" over the threat from David Cameron, the new Tory leader.

The failures at Prime Minister's Questions, including another lacklustre performance this week against a weakened Tony Blair, have bemused friends and foes alike given his background as a barrister and QC.

But at Wednesday night's private weekly meeting of the Lib Dem parliamentary party, he surprised MPs by confessing that his court experience was no preparation for the cut-and-thrust of Prime Minister's Questions.

According to one person present, Sir Menzies lamented: "Juries don't normally answer back."
His aides responded yesterday by effectively announcing a Ming relaunch, promising a better performance, more staff and more bite at the leader's weekly jousts with the Prime Minister.
The relaunch included announcing - to Tory annoyance - that Sir Menzies is to have his first formal meeting with Mr Cameron as part of cross-party talks on the environment.

But some Lib Dems are now privately convinced that they will have new leader within a year, with Nick Clegg, 39, the so-called Lib Dem answer to David Cameron and the party's home affairs spokesman, as the frontrunner.

"Ming will be gone within a year," said one Lib Dem MP.

I was unhappy with the result of the leadership election and I have not been too impressed with what I have seen so far, but surely we can sort these things out without running to the media. The last thing that party activists want is people manoeuvring for position again so soon after the last leadership contest.

The first stage of Ming's relaunch must involve a directive to the MPs to shut up or put up, and if they are incapable of doing so then they should be relegated to whatever the Parliamentary Party's equivalent is of Siberia.
Under your party's rules how exactly do dissidents put up?
See section 10
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