Monday, June 18, 2007

The Spikey Pinstriped Radical..........some thoughts from a fellow traveller

I always seem to be the one to say what everyone else is thinking but very few want to say, I think it started with my first attempts at collective bargaining in the army……….it didn’t go down well then and I guess it still doesn’t go down well now! Well, as ever, I will grit my teeth, prepare to suffer the slings and arrows of my fellow Lib Demmers – and say my piece.

Now, it may have something to do with the company I keep but I rarely come across a party member who thinks we are on to a winner with Ming. Most people keep shtum on the grounds of loyalty. However, I think it's difficult if your first loyalty is to your party. Now, some may well argue that the leader is the party, and there is an element of truth in that. If the leader is damaged the party is damaged – but there has to come a point (and some may argue that point was reached with Charles) when the leader him/herself is doing more damage to the party by being there. So where are we when it comes to Ming?

I have to admit I voted for Ming. He got my second preference mainly on the grounds that I was not a Huhne fan. I also had enormous respect for him given his outstanding performance over Iraq. However, now, he often seems to be out of his depth as party leader. He doesn't have a broad base of knowledge and I don’t get the impression he is the sort of person who can easily ask for help. I also get the impression that he may be one to bear grudges, which then makes it difficult for people to be completely candid. All that said, we are where we are. Regardless of Ming's standing in the party or the country, he is the leader we as a party elected and we as a party have a collective responsibility for. It would clearly be a disaster if we ended up with a premature leadership election, so let's deal with it and look at making the most of our "Spikey Pinstripe Radical"!

As someone who believes strongly that one of the few benefits we have as a third party is the luxury to take risks and be radical, a radical Ming would make enormous sense. He might start with a re-examination of our tax policy, that could do with a bit of radicalism if we are really to tackle poverty in this country! Oh, and what about being radical on Trident…………now there's a thought????! And how about being radical in the delivery of public services and bringing an end to the scandal which is PFI and the role of private sector companies (including the whole army of ridiculously expensive consultants) milking the public purse til the pips squeak (sorry I do like to mix my metaphors!). We already have a radical edge when it comes to the environment and civil liberties, but we need to do a lot more to ensure our voices are heard above the cacophony of Tory spin and Labour indifference. I could go on…………..but you get my drift!

Ming is who he is, any attempt to change that and try and be someone else (remember the Arctic Monkeys?) will damage him. It will weaken his integrity and his authority. So, let's see more of the gravitas for which he was once revered, that is his strength. A combination of that gravitas and radicalism could be lethal. And.....the more spikey and radical he becomes the more comfortable and content I will become!


Paul Walter said...

Totally agree with your conclusion Linda, but I think Ming should be given credit for some quite spikey announcements recently particularly on housing.

Laurence Boyce said...

I have to admit I voted for Ming.

What the hell did you do that for?

He often seems to be out of his depth as party leader.

Just a bit.

A combination of that gravitas and radicalism could be lethal.

Ming will never ever be lethal.

Linda Jack said...

laurence, I put him second because the thought of having chris Huhne at the time was just beyond contemplation for me. Re the lethal combination - I did say could be - thats me I'm afraid, ever the optimist.

Yes Paul, spikey on housing, though spikeyness needs to be runing through everything like a stick of rock........actually that has given me an idea. I will have a richter scale of spikeyness and radicalism each week, lets see where he comes, Colin Ross will have to help me set it up!

a radical writes said...

Laurence is certainly spikey, maybe he should be leader.