Wednesday, September 5, 2007

'Ming you're useless. You've got to go'

That's the title of a Daniel Finkelstein piece in the Times today. He cares. He used to be in the SDP.

Does a Finkelstein piece in the Times today net out to zero against a positive piece from D. Lawson in the Indie yesterday?

The more the Finkelsteins of this world go on about Ming, the more I think they're daft.

"He sounds and looks feeble and past it."

I don't think he does. Lawson put it very well in the Indie yesterday:

(Menzies) has never knowingly uttered a "soundbite". He thinks that spin is something that should be left to cricketers. If interviewed, he tries to answer the question rather than deliver pre-cooked clich├ęs. When Sir Ming appears on public debating programmes such as Question Time or Any Questions – something the leaders of the two main parties regard as beneath them – he seldom fails to impress with the courtesy and thoughtfulness of his contributions. He is – right down to the dazzling shine on his lace-up shoes – a gent of the old school, something which once would have appealed to The Daily Telegraph (and may still do to its readers).

At least, I suppose that this sort of Finkelstein thing bodes well for the conference. The "Ming is on his last legs" story can then be nicely refuted by "Ming breathes and speaks - great success at conference" story.


  1. Fink's point was not that Ming is not a thoughtful, intelligent gent (he acknowledged exactly those qualities in his piece). It is that he comes across as feeble, inadequate (much as the ill fated IDS did for the Conservatives) and is haemmorhaging support (down to 16% in the polls), a disaster for the Lib Dems. He needs to go, and be replaced by either Chris Huhne or Nick Clegg, both are articulate, telegenic, and could land punches both on behalf of the Lib Dems, and against the main two parties.

  2. Your comparison with IDS simply does not hold water. I saw Ming's speech at the conference last year and it was electrifying.