Kennedy resigns.. who’s next?

He may have bought Gonzo a pint once, but he’s not leader of the Lib Dems anymore.. Charles Kennedy bowed to the inevitable and resigned as the Lib Dem party leader today, despite his previous statement, after his colleagues, excepting Lembit Opik, took turns on just about every current affairs platform to urge him to do just that.. So that’s a new Conservative leader, a soon-to-be new Lib Dem leader [Simon Hughes or Menzies Campbell? – Ed].. and then there’s Tony Blair.. perhaps, even, one of our local parties might feel the need to change the hand on the tiller.. Update Charles Kennedy’s statement here

  • martin ingram

    At least he had the decency to go. NI politics is reminiscent of the Stalins of this world, the buck stop where? nowhere near me mate.

    Murder.?

    Robbery.?

    Spies.?

    All part of Sinn Fein life.

  • I wonder what this will do for Lembit’s popularity with the new broom?

  • esmereldavillalobos

    All a bit unseemly, wasn’t it? Have a dram for me tonight, Charlie.

  • Crataegus

    I am glad for Charles that he has at last decided on this course. He is a decent fellow and staying on would have been painful sceptical to watch. Never edifying when the pack turns, but when it is someone who is basically an OK guy it is sad. However Thatcher’s demise was memory to relish and I hope the same fate awaits Blair in the near future.

  • Henry94

    I don’t see any leadership changes in the north unless someone dies. The UUP have the worst leader but they have just changed so they aren’t gooing to do it again soon.

    Mark Durking is streets ahead of anyone else in the SDLP. Paisley is Paisley. And the only people who talk about a change in Sinn Fein are people who hate the party so that’s a sign of how well the current leader is doing.

  • Mickhall

    I agree Charles is a decent fellow and the Liberals will be the worse without him. I wonder if ‘martins’ former acquaintances in MI5 have not been at work here. It will be interesting to see if the LDs move to the right after Charles departure. He was the odd man out amongst the main UK Party leaders, in that he refused to support the war on Iraq and was forthright in his condemnation of the way the leadership of SIS allowed itself to be manipulated by the PM and his chums across the Atlantic and forgot it’s purpose is to serve the best interest of the British Nation..

    There is another issue here and it is how people who have problems with alcohol and drugs are treated by their employers and work colleagues. Anyone who sufferers from this illness should be given space and time to overcome it. Not have his enemies and colleagues use it as a stick with which to beat him. Is it any wonder people who suffer from drink and drug problems attempt to cover it up, for if they make it public they can wave goodbye to their careers. Shameful behavior by the majority of LD MPS, like a pack of jackals.

    Like all illnesses it helps to get treatment for alcoholism/drug addiction before the problem gets completely out of hand, hence the man should have been given a leave of absence for 6 to 12 months. I would bet my life no other MP will now come forward to admit they have human frailties for some time to come.

    Best wishes

  • Patrick Brown

    Been watching the fallout on News 24 and it’s amazing how unanimous everybody is – Lib Dem spokesmen, BBC reporters, pundits, everybody: “It’s a sad day, it’s Charles’s day, right decision, great dignity, reflect on his achievements, I’ll support Ming if he stands”. Not a dissenting voice to be heard. It’s a stitch-up.

  • Don’t worry – the Liberals have a new leader -“Dave” Cameron! I’m sure he drinks moderately and fashionably, don’t you

  • David

    ….and have you shecked out what he has on his Ipod. It makes me want to vote for him 😉

  • Brian Boru

    The fact that he had to rssign illustrates how in the UK, a person’s private life is considered adequate reason to bring someone down – unlike in the Republic. Issues like someone having a few drinks is irrelevant to their political competency and it is so stupid – not to mentioned hypocritical – to bring down a party leader over this. Especially one that got 24% of the vote for his party in Westminster.

  • Henry,

    “Mark Durking is streets ahead of anyone else in the SDLP. Paisley is Paisley. And the only people who talk about a change in Sinn Fein are people who hate the party so that’s a sign of how well the current leader is doing.”

    So Gerry is doing a good job? With his ex-head of admin, his ex-internal security unit man and more to come having been outed as spies?

    Who is next Henry??????

  • Mustapha Mond

    “The fact that he had to rssign illustrates how in the UK, a person’s private life is considered adequate reason to bring someone down – unlike in the Republic.”

    If a politician in the Republic came out and said he was gay or black, it would be doubtful if he could even reach the dizzy heights of cloakroom attendant at the Dail.

  • Bertie,

    Yes – I have checked out his IPOD list and even made a few suggestions for what he SHOULD have on it…check out the PEELED blog!

  • Brian Boru

    “If a politician in the Republic came out and said he was gay or black, it would be doubtful if he could even reach the dizzy heights of cloakroom attendant at the Dail. ”

    I doubt that Mustapha. In the early 90’s there was a story about a certain Labour TD who I will not name, who was found in a car with a male prostitute. The story got wide coverage at the time. He later went on to become a junior minister, so you are wrong. We have also had a Jewish Cabinet Minister (Mervyn Taylor in 94-7) and Protestants (Ernest Blythe, Ivan Yates etc.) so I reject your claim.

  • Mickhall

    Brian,

    Surly it depends on which constituency he/she represented. We cannot ignore the fact that a Jewish, muslim of publicly gay candidate would still get a rough ride[no pun intended] in many areas. Statistically a fair few members of the Dail must be gay, have any come out?

    Regards.

  • Mustapha Mond

    Quite funny.
    Hardly a defence as Mervyn Taylor got slabbered at for being a Jew.
    And why bring prods into it?, I said gay or black.

  • Crataegus

    There won’t be any change here until after the next election.

    Ford could loose his seat in South Antrim.

    Reg must be seen as a caretaker, but I don’t see any obvious young Turks. The UUP would benefit from a proper selection process around issues.

    I can’t see anyone in the SDLP to replace Durkin.

    Events in the DUP will not get interesting until after the colossus moves on, but expect all sorts of dirt to be leaked when that happens. It has amazed me that some of the rumours doing the rounds haven’t really surfaced yet.

    Post IP things will get very interesting across the Unionist sectors.

  • Henry94

    II

    So Gerry is doing a good job?

    I would say a great job.

    Who is next Henry??????

    Who cares? The interesting thing is that the touts are now so useless to their controllers that they get more value from exposing them than keeping them.

  • Henry,
    Maybe “their controlers” would agree with your first assessment and thats why Gerry and Martin are still at the top.

  • Kathy_C

    Hi all,

    I think Kennedy is rather a whimp to bow out of the head of his party because he admits he had a drinking problem….

    Does anyone remember how Laura Bush handled her husband, George’s drinking problem on TV and how George himself talked about it….he said that Laura had given him an ultimatium….it was Johnny Walker or her. If he didn’t pick her and give up drinking she would take the girls and leave him….and guess what…people voted for him for President…..it’s how you handle the bad press and turn it into a possitive that makes you an effective politican….and Kennedy proved he wasn’t an effective politican-not because he drank but because he quit his leadership role over it.

    Also, there was alot implied that George Bush used cocaine…but he handled that issue as well….so if you want to stay in politics you can….

    As for leaders in the north resigning…I think some in SF should think of it….under the current leadership as of late…they haven’t been toooo successful for the republican agenda…more for the brits….

    and for all of you who will say the leadership of SF has done wonderful things…that may be but the word is HAS…and politics is more about what have you done for me today…..and I donm’t see the leadership of SF doing much except whinning and complaining and defeinately they haven’t handled that spy mess well….yep…I think some should go.