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Showing posts from June, 2015

The Liberal Democrats can now have only one single purpose

As time has gone by, the message of the 2015 general election becomes even more bleak for the Liberal Democrats. Amid much talk of #LibDemfightback I see a party struggling to cope with the magnitude of the catastrophe that has befallen it. Frankly the policy discussions that are being put together as part of the leadership election campaign are a exercise in self delusion and denial. 
There is only one discussion and only one policy that can offer the Liberal Democrats any relevance or viability at all: It is the constitutional crisis that threatens to destroy the very fabric of the country. 

2015 was one of the most blatantly unfair elections in British history - certainly since the passage of the Great Reform bill in 1832. Less than 25% of the electorate have supported the Conservatives, and yet they have 100% of the power. That is an absolute scandal. In Scotland a party that gained the support of 36% of the electorate has all but three of the Parliamentary seats. This is terrifying…

To speak of a friend

A man who smoked, who famously refused to exercise, who even more famously drank way too much, who was middle aged, male and Scottish has died only 55. In a way, therefore, Charles Kennedy was a young death foretold. Yet, still it has been a heartbreaking day for those who admired him, or liked him or who knew him.

I know that there have been a hundred "the Charles Kennedy I knew" pieces in every media outlet today. It is hard to offer anything more than cliche or stereotype.

I have known Charles since I was 19, and he was 25. I -like so many others- was caught in his charm: his all too human charm. His death was not necessarily a surprise, but my God it has been a shock. A bitter reminder of how near mortality really is. 

What has made this day so painful has been to understand that Charles, as brilliant, warm, clever and charming as he was, never did escape the doom that was pronounced upon him when he was elected aged only 23 as the MP for the West Highlands. It was the best…