As a Liberal Democrat voter, I do despair of Charles at times. He does sometimes appear to be directionless and slightly uninterested. At the same time, if you were to ask me who I'd like to replace him, I'd struggle to suggest anyone who'd do a better job. Leading a party of liberals, where the main point of agreement is on the need to promote individual freedom, can't be an easy task.* What I'd like is for Charles to sort himself out and lead the party in the way that many people, including myself, know that he can.Pretty much sums it up. I like Charles, he can be an exceptional Commons performer, he knows his stuff, he's funny, he has personality. In addition, well, who else is there?
Hughes is to dull, Campbell too patrician, Lembit is, well, Lembit (I like him, but he's too open to media jibes and the space cadet nickname isn't exactly undeserved, this from an avowed sci-fi fan). The rest? Kramer is too new, as are a lot of others, Sanders rules himself out on medical grounds whenever asked and I have trouble naming most of the other MPs. A failing on my part in a way, a failing on the media's part in others, but mostly a failing on their part for getting the message out.
Seriously, we've got the most illiberal Government in years, it's authoritarian on virtually every ground that really matters, the Tories were shredding themselves with the drawn out process, and where were the LibDems? Great big wide open goal, and the "real opposition" didn't seem to be able to get any points in.
That, it appears, is partially as Kennedy, despite the denials, did have a drink problem. I wish him a good recovery, let's face it, leading a political party is a difficult job even without a new kid.
But, for the benefit of British politics, I hope there is a proper election, a real debate. If nothing else, we'll find out who the other MPs are, there must be someone with a personality to at least attempt to rival Charles? Just please don't let it be another identikit man in suit a lá CameronBlair.