A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

Blog & web site of Ian Ridley

January, 2006Archive for

Complaints about a G2V star

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Is The Sun making a “pejorative reference to an individual’s …. sexual orientation” today?

Do bears……?

“Second limp-dem confesses”: looks pretty pejorative to me, as does the Caldwell “cartoon”.

An email to The Scum’s “Editor” is en-route. Followed by a complaint to the PCC.

1, 2, 3 ?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

I’m still undecided on who will get my first and second preferences. It won’t be Simon Hughes though. He has a clear style of presentation but was our candidate in a poorly run London Mayoral campaign and has made some odd pronouncements during his term as party President. If he wins he will need to ensure that his leadership of the party is both organised and focussed. A trite point, but I don’t approve of the Flash on his campaign web site. Awful for search engine optimisation and basic browsing.

So Ming or Chris? Menzies Campbell has the experience and steady hand that the party needs at this time. We are beginning to see glimpses of the authority that he brought to his role as Shadow Foreign Secretary but this is not yet consistent enough in the leadership context. Today’s PMQ was worthy but rather safe and disappointing.

Chris Huhne has a more distinctive policy line and performs well in a question and answer/ panel style environment. I need to be convinced of his speech making and just need see more of him as until 2 weeks ago I knew very little about him. Any worries about his majority in Eastleigh are alleviated by the committment to his constituency that he has demonstrated since his election last May.

I think I will make my decision based on the hustings that I am off to and media performances over the coming weeks.

Are we heading for Ming’s Coronation?

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

So Charles Kennedy has gone, although he may well be back on the front bench in the future.

Meanwhile the Lib Dems need a new Leader (we are not leaderless at the moment as Menzies Campbell is Acting Leader)

As I write potential candidates Mark Oaten & Nick Clegg are both backing Ming, who has already declared his intention to stand.

We could be heading for a coronation but if someone else throws their hat into the ring, it will interesting to see what Oaten & Clegg do. The only reasons for MPs allying themselves with a candidate is:

  1. They want a quick move to a new leader and think the candidate will be unopposed – a leadership election can take up to 10 weeks so would end sometime in March 2006;
  2. They don’t have enough MPs to get themselves nominated;
  3. The don’t want to be Leader anyway.

In my opinion Oaten & Clegg fall into Category 1. If the election is contested then that becomes irrelevant. And they won’t have to worry about splitting the vote. The AV voting system used (a single-winner version of STV) means that if they don’t get enough votes to be among the leading contenders, then the other preferences of their voters will be counted (this is not a very good way of putting it but for more detail see the Wikipedia article) . It’s a far more elegant and quicker method than the repeated ballots the Tories use to allow their MPs to whittle down their leadership contenders

Personally I hope for either a coronation of Ming or a completely open contest in which all the major players are on the ballot paper. I think Ming vs. a couple of outsiders will just distract from the normal campaigning activities of the Lib Dems.