Following the normal Liberal Democrat chatter of discontent, Sir Menzies Campbell seems to have rallied the troops at the Lib Dem conference. For a week or two – or maybe a day – they are not trying to get rid of their leader.
It was quite a good speech for an ‘old man’. Oh, how I love that term. Don’t modernizers just love youth. Well, they would, wouldn’t they. They’re just too young to understand the maturity of age.
Yet Ming has silenced them – for a while.
He’s silenced them with an upbeat message, ending conference on a high note – as if he was a younger man. But this will soon wear off in the Lib Dems. It has to because, he’s an ‘old man’ you see.
But does it really matter whether the Lib Dems are led by an ‘old man’ or a kid? Does anyone, in the country, really care? Do the Lib Dems actually have a purpose, or is a third party simply a distraction for the odd UK protest vote?
It is always the way with the Lib Dems.
This is because they aren’t really a party at all. Rather, they are a congregation of the disaffected, who fit in neither a Labour or Tory camp. Yet the Lib Dems would say there are so many in Labour and the Tories who don’t fit now, anyway.
Which is quite true, what with a Tory leader who wants to be a nice, inclusive guy; and a Labour leader who wants be the ‘esteemed leader’ of a centralized dictatorship. But will the disaffected eventually flock to the Lib Dems?
Afraid not. The vast majority of politicians may be secret Lib Dems today. But they’re either Labour or Tory Lib Dems, just the same.
So lead on, Ming. It won’t make the slightest difference either way.
© Anthony North, September 2007
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