Thursday, September 21, 2006

Paddy is right about Charles

One of the highlights of an excellent Brighton conference was seeing Jane and Paddy Ashdown amongst us. What Paddy said after Charles' speech was quite controversial, but right:

You never quite say never in politics. There are always exceptions and one of those exceptions is when you leave the stage, you leave the stage.

Hearing this finally made me realise that Charles Kennedy will never be leader of the Liberal Democrats again. When Ming decides to retire in the distant future, we'll have a new generation on offer. We won't want to go back to the past. But that doesn't mean that Charles can't play a very full role in public life, just as Paddy has done after his retirement as leader.


  1. Well, Jo Grimmond was leader twice, although the 2nd time was reluctantly in rather extreme circumstances...

    Gladstone was twice leader (in the Commons) but that was a different era and an extraordinary man.

    Today I doubt we'd have the same leader twice. Its a different world, and Charles is no Gladstone.

  2. Have to disagree with you Paul.

    I do not expect any change in leader before a General Election. I think it unlikely that Charles will be Ming's successor if it happens in the next Parliament. But he is young enough to be the leader after that. It may well not happen butit is not a never scenario.


  3. Erlend

    It is an absolute honour to have a comment from you!

  4. I don´t like to be pedantic, but it is "Grimond".