Monday, October 15, 2007

Shirley Williams then and now

Over the next few weeks you will receive e-mails and letters from all sorts of Important People telling you to vote for one candidate or another. Take my advice: ignore them and make up your own mind.

Here, for instance, is Shirley Williams commenting on Ming's resignation today:

The original expectation was that there was going to be an election probably last month.

Gordon Brown had indicated that, Ming was prepared and ready to lead into that fray, but I think now that the election is not likely to be before 2009 or maybe even 2010, Ming feels that he ought not to be leading at that point and I think that's right.

I think he would find it quite hard to manage an election two years off and to maintain the kind of dreadful pace of elections nowadays.

But what did she say when she was urging us to vote for him to be the next Lib Dem leader? Here she is writing in February 2006:

Dear Jonathan

I am writing to you to let you know why I am supporting Ming Campbell to become leader of our Party.

Liberal Democrats can celebrate the commitment, talent and hard work of our MPs and peers. These qualities will take us much further given time and experience. Ming Campbell is the leader we need to guide us through the challenging years ahead.

As I say, make up your own mind.


Paul Linford said...

I have highlighted precisely the same contradiction on my blog, Jonathan. The MPs who deposed Kennedy knew perfectly well that they would get Ming, and they also knew that the next election was likely to be in 2009 by which time Ming would be 68. The age issue wasn't a problem for them then; yet suddenly now that Gordon Brown has decided not to hold an election until 2009, it is. It really does make the Lib Dems look like the nasty party.

Anonymous said...

Paul Lindford, like it was the Lib Dems and not the media and other parties who weilded the dagger... Well, maybe Simon Hughes and his friends, like Linda Jack, had their part on it.

Anonymous said...

Noticed that Sarah Teather, who couldn't get off the airways when she laid into Charles Kennedy, is keeping a low profile. When asked if Ming would be a caretaker Leader because of his age, she told us all that he had everyone's full support.
Hope she's not even thinking of standing.