Saturday, February 11, 2006

Take That!

Right, that title's got me millions of hits. This SEO stuff's a breeze, eh? It's current and it concerns a revival, although the one I mean isn't the one concerning the 90s popsters. Although again, like said band, this lot have discarded the member who is still the major talking point among the populace at large and still holds a huge affection among the fans.

For the last few months the UK's Liberal Democrats have been in a particularly self-destructive mode. The leader, Charlie Kennedy, who had steered them to their biggest election gains in 80 odd years finally succumbed to the rumours about his liking for the odd snifter or six while the sun was still well below the yard arm and quit. Then began a leadership campaign that bore more resemblance to a treatment for a 70s sit com than a political process. One member, Mark Oaten, declared his intention to stand then immediately remembered that the bit of a romp he had with a rent boy a few years back would be better off in the public domain, even though nobody had had a clue he was carting that particular skeleton around with him, and he promptly er... pulled out. Then another leadership contender, Simon Hughes, thought he ought to confirm what everyone has been saying about him for years, that he too has had a confirmed batchelor phase (although I would imagine not quite so confirmed as Mark Oaten's). A third contender, Chris Huhne has only been an MP for less than a year. Sir Menzies Campbell, is way too old at 64 and is widely believed to have been part of the machinery that shafted, sorry ousted, Charles Kennedy.

So what happened in the Dunfirmline and West Fife by-election on Thursday? This is the seat where due to a boundary change, Labour Party leader in waiting, Gordon Brown, lives so all the requisite big guns were wheeled out. The late incumbent Labour MP had had a majority in excess of 11,500 and it should have been a shoe-in for the new candidate as well as a pretty hefty boot in the groin of the Lib Dems for even having the temerity to bother turning up. Well, either the electorate stuck two huge fingers up at Murdoch and his fellow toilet bowl lickers saying "enough is enough, we don't give a toss as long as they're not child murderers" or that they finally went with their core beliefs, spurred on by the Spanish practices and shabby treatment surrounding Charlie. Either way, it wasn't a sympathy vote. The Lib Dem candidate, Willie Rennie, overturned the labour majority and added a thousand or so on top of it. It was as unexpected as the Asian tsunami and potentially as devastating to Labour. It should prove to the Tone that when the country feels like it, it really can make a point. Expect sales of the Independent, don't, that's too far-fetched.

The Lib Dems do have a habit of taking by-elections in spectacular fashion because usually only their hard-core supporters can be bothered to turn up. No-one though, after the two weeks prior to this one, would have given them a hope in hell of finishing second let alone winning. Maybe the electorate is beginning to see some sense at last - faced with two parties that are rapidly becoming identical, they opted for the alternative. It certainly proves there's no such thing as bad publicity. Although it has to be said, times have changed hugely; the old Liberal party never survived the "Jeremy Thorpe shagged me and shot my dog" accusations made by Norman Scott that brightened up my paper round in the late 70s.

So, expect Gordon Brown to start blowing kisses at John Prescott and David Cameron finally admitting he ran a crack house at Eaton about a month before the next general election. You have been warned.

3 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Tennessee Jed said...

Sound as if your public servants are as screwed up as ours are. The Blair-Bush Culture of Corruption Cooperative where the Atlantic Ocean is not near big enough.

9:24 pm  
Blogger Richard Seamon said...

I think you've got to have something missing before you even think about going into politics so maybe they're more prone to it. At least we've not yet had a leader (in my living memory, anyway) who didn't win an election. You can get less votes than the others and still win but that's a different story.

12:32 am  
Blogger Steve Middleton said...

Of course the irony could be that Chris Huhne gets to be leader and then gets defeated in Eastleigh at the next election.

9:44 pm  

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