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?