Even if he only did it because the BBC was about to expose his visits to an alcoholism treatment centre, I applaud Charles Kennedy for having the guts to announce his ‘little problem’ at a press conference. What he SHOULD have done, though, was something theatrical – bringing in a bottle of whisky and smashing it on the floor, for example. It’d get the public on his side, and play to this personable Scot’s strengths.
In my view, the Lib Dems will now get shot of Kennedy; everyone loves a public hanging, even if senior Liberals have said they’ll support him. My preference as his successor would be Simon Hughes – maverick eccentric, fond of bow ties and driving yellow taxicabs. (No idea of his policies, but since he’s a Lib Dem it doesn’t matter.)
Dream team for the next British election: lugubrious PM Gordon Brown presiding over low growth and high taxes, fresh-faced David Cameron establishing New Conservatism, and Simon Hughes providing comic relief with a conscience. That’d be just great.