Thursday, December 15, 2005

Race Fixed For New Year


The whisky bottle was empty, but the pearl handled revolver hadn't been used. Presumably nobody really wanted to clear up the mess, so it seems that Charlie has been given Christmas to prepare for a dignified exit early in the New Year.

Ming, Hughes, and Oaten have all said they will not run against him, but Peter Riddell sums up the reality:

"Charles Kennedy has survived until after Christmas, but it is probably a stay of execution, not a reprieve.

"The public statements of loyalty by Liberal Democrat MPs after their meeting on Wednesday evening - and Mr Kennedy's public claims that nothing really has changed - should not be taken at face value.

"Several senior Lib Dem MPs in their Shadow Cabinet have lost confidence in Mr Kennedy because of what they believe has been his inadequate and, at times, erratic performance since the general election.

"They believe Mr Kennedy should resign before long. But they do not want to push him out immediately, and anyway they cannot. The critics do not want to humiliate him, but to give him time to think over the Christmas holidays, before a more dignified departure is arranged."

So the runners and riders now have a sensible period in which they can get down to some serious plotting and scheming. And early frontrunner Ming will be the man in everyone's crosshairs.

So it's a very Happy Christmas all round.

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