Lib Dem latest

Well, the ballot papers arived today along with the candidates’ election literature. Pretty much as I expected, in fact: Campbell’s two pages full of achievements and endorsements, Hughes’ looking like a Focus leaflet including gruesome pics of supporters and opinion poll graphs of dubious validity, but Huhne’s relatively sparse, only two photos (both of him) and lots of actual policy content. It didn’t change either my view that I myself am voting for Huhne or my view that Campbell is likely to win. Tonight’s Question Time will probably be crucial, but it’s on too late for me to watch.

Three superb essays on the three candidates have appeared today on Alex Wilcock’s new blog. Those of you who don’t know Alex, author of the seminal article How Doctor Who Made Me A Liberal, ought to start reading him at . If you don’t have time or inclination for that, let me at least recommend his posts on Menȝies Campbell, Simon Hughes, and Chris Huhne, eloquent presentations of a deeply committed but also deeply perturbed activist who has jolly good reasons for not voting for any of the three candidates. I have to say that his qualms about Simon Hughes are much better argued than about either of the other two, and I leave it there.

His main argument about Campbell is that he may (there is no evidence) have been involved in a Machiavellian scheme to oust Charles Kennedy; since I’m in the clear minority of party members who think that getting rid of Charles was a Good Thing, this doesn’t bother me. More important is his report of Campbell’s attitude to internal party policy-making, and his telling invocation of Star Trek.

His main argument about Huhne is that he is too boringly interested in policy, though Alex disarmingly admits an obsession with precisely the same policy points. Huhne has reinvented himself a couple of times in the past, and I have some confidence that he is not too old a dog to be taught new tricks of self-presentation. He will make a good leader; though as I said above, I don’t think it will be this time round, despite my personal support.

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