A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

Blog & web site of Ian Ridley

Ramm Must Go

There is always room for legitimate debate about any party’s leadership and direction. But the anonymous briefings against Charles Kennedy before Christmas have now been followed by an absurd and ill-conceived petition over the New Year.

The petition is run by an independent magazine called The Liberal but is being portrayed by the organisers as a groundswell movement of Lib Dem members and supporters.

Just a few of the things that are wrong about this campaign:

  • The petition website does not make it clear who is behind the petition. There are only obscure web and email links to the magazine in question;
  • No checks about who is signing the petition. There are already reports of people signing on behalf of someone else without seeking permission;
  • No checks whether signatories are in fact Lib Dem members. Tony Blair could sign and still be part of the total;
  • No verification of email addresses. Creativity is encouraged;
  • It won’t achieve the aims of the organisers. There are constitutional means for this;
  • Ben Ramm, the editor of the magazine behind the petition is happy to run to the media and claim the backing of MPs and councillors, yet he refuses to publish the signatories. Not exactly open and transparent;

Whatever the future of the Charles Kennedy’s leadership is, The Liberal and it’s backers do not come up smelling of roses. Rather like the anonymous anti-Kennedy briefers, the odour is more one of opportunism and desperation.

Fed up of this silliness, I decided to balance it out with some silliness of my own: Ramm Must Go

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