Thursday, October 18, 2007

Shorten the timetable!

My friend, the geo-mutualist, makes a good argument for something more awe-inspiring than a two horse race for the leadership of our great party, and he calls on Cowley St to extend the timetable. Of course, what we want is an opportunity to showcase the talent and the intellectual vitality within the LibDems while the camera falls, briefly, on us. But if it does turn out that what we have on our hands is single combat between two former MEPs of, shall we say, similar pedigree, can't we just shorten the timetable for the whole thing and get it out of the way?

OK, I realise it's not possible. Constitution and all that. But there is a danger that a head-to-head for the leadership won't look as much like a titanic struggle as arm-wrestling on the Titanic. In all honesty, won't some of those who've counted themselves out think again? Let's have a debate worthy of our party.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

If it goes on like this...

So, all credit to the silver-haired lethargo for having an organised campaign. Chris Huhne declared this afternoon and is already sending me an e-mail. Impressive, considering he couldn't have known this eventuality would arise before Monday.

And it's not even as if it was a foregone conclusion that he'd stand: after all, as he tells me (and every other LibDem whose address is available), he talked about it with 'family and friends'. Groan. First misjudged cliche' of the e-mail.

And what's this? 'It's disgusting that we live in a country where a child born into poverty has a life sentence.' That's a new take on ASBOs. But 'disgusting'? Sounds like he's eaten something highly unsavoury. He could have tried: 'we should hang our heads in shame that we live etc etc' And 'has a life sentence'? It may come as a surprise but being poor doesn't necessarily mean you're a natural born killer. We know what you mean, Chris, just about -- but it's unlikely most people would untwine your opaque phrasing.

It sounds to me as if he needs to get some good speechwriters around him. He's quick of the mark, but has he tied his shoelaces?