Friday, December 30, 2005

Kennedy petition is nonsense

The BBC reports that Ben Ramm of The Liberal magazine ("more distributed than read") is claiming that 3300 party members, including two MPs and 386 local councillors, have signed his petition calling on Charles Kennedy to resign as Lib Dem leader.

If you look at the petition website it quickly becomes apparent that he cannot know any of this.

People signing the petition are not asked for their party membership numbers. Even if they were, there is no way the magazine could check the numbers they gave against the party's database.

In fact they are not asked if they are Liberal Democrat members at all. They only information requested is name, location and e-mail address. So Ramm's 3300 figure is meaningless.

And how does he know about all those councillors and MPs? Again, this information is not asked for and, in the case of councillors, would take a lot of checking if it were. I have a horrible feeling that these are just people who have signed the petition claiming to be councillors or MPs - a very different matter. So again the figure is meaningless.

The truth is that anyone can sign this petition. I signed it myself as Mickey Mouse from Cheeseborough - indeed Cheeseborough University, to judge by the e-mail address I gave.

I have a horrible feeling that Mr Mouse is one of the 3300. The only consolation is that The Liberal magazine has not so far claimed the backing of a number of distinguished academics.

The conclusion is clear. If you want to know what it really going on in the Liberal Democrats, subscribe to Liberator.


Richard Gadsden said...

You're not the only Mickey Mouse on that petition - of Disneyland, CA was me!

Anonymous said...

The survey might not be the most reliable thing in the world, but don't let that fool you into thinking that Kennedy should, in fact, stay ;-).

Whether you like it or not, he's so tainted now that it would be farcical to enter another general election with him as leader. "Why should the public have confidence in voting for the little ginger binger, when his own MPs do not?", I can imagine the other parties shouting.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed in the Times today it's been downgraded from 386 councillors to "over 100 councillors",,17129-1964292,00.html

Anonymous said...

I wonder if one of the MPs was Mr Tony Blair.
I mean its easy to confuse someone else of that name (or who signed the petition with that name) with a certain MP, who may wish for Kennedy to go...