Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Liberal Democrats make it into Wikileaks

We were important than we realised, even before we went into government. The Guardian has details of cables discussing the Liberal Democrats, obtained from Wikileaks, sent back to the US by its London embassy.

A lot of the material is a convoluted account of events early in Nick Clegg's leadership when the party abstained on the question of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, having in the past called for one. The (rather tenuous) grounds given were that we wanted a referendum on our membership of the EU as a whole.

It is all ancient history now, and a reminder that debates which stir the passions are generally soon forgotten. Still, I hope we have heard the last of that ludicrous "in or out" referendum as a policy.

There is also an account of a complaint by Lembit Opik (presumably in a loud voice at a party) about Nick Clegg's leadership style. Oh, and:
"Opik told us he plans to run for Lib Dem President (a leadership role, but subordinate to Clegg) at the end of the year to give the Lib Dems an alternate voice inside the party."
For some reason the Guardian has decided that the section dealing with Lembit is the most important and highlighted it for you.

Finally, and in a way most revealingly, there is a glimpse of Ming Campbell's leadership:
XXXXXXXXXXXX says that so far Clegg has been decisive and thoughtful. In contrast, XXXXXXXXXXXX said, former leader Sir Menzies "Ming" Campbell was more like a chairman of the board, a style not in keeping with the way the unruly party actually operates. For example, XXXXXXXXXXXX said, Campbell would give directives while not understanding that the organizational structure to impose his edicts did not exist.
But who was XXXXXXXXXX, I wonder?

1 comment:

Peter said...

Ming said as much to me, early in his leadership (at an interview session with bloggers). I decided not to write it down.