A sniff of power and they all fall out

I’ve not been taking a huge interest in the Lib Dem conference this week but I have made a few observations:

1. Just what is going on with Simon Hughes and Menzies Campbell and what were they briefing at dinner on Sunday night?
2. Hughes went on the record to say that he will not challenge Charles Kennedy for the leadership. I don’t think Menzies Campbell did. Now, this really isn’t my business and I am not doing myself or my party any favours by saying this but I will. Do the Lib Dems seriously think that Menzies Campbell or Simon Hughes are serious challengers to Charles Kennedy? It is delusional to think that the most popular leader they have ever had can be usurped by those two. It reminds me of the time Michael Meacher ran for the leadership of the Labour Party.
3. Where does the party go now that nearly all the leadership resolutions were voted down? This is a party that is now clearly divided into two camps. In camp one we have those that will ditch any policy to improve their electoral position. In camp two we have those that will support every policy that makes them unelectable. In short, they’re in trouble.
4. When a party is in this position only a strong and resilient leader can get them out of it. That is why this will be the most challenging year yet for Charles Kennedy. He has to pull his senior MPs in line or hoof them out. I have no doubt he can do it, the question is will he?

The early bird

the early bird

Hello from Brighton. This morning an alarm went off at just before 6am. Every crisis has an opportunity and I used it to catch the sunrise on the beach. I met a lot of very cold police officers and the best litter pickers I have ever seen. I’m going to stick up a few pictures from around the conference on the flickr site. You just click on the photo to get access.