Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 24 August 2007

Kennedy speaks in language that is only distantly related to plain English

Charles Kennedy, former LibDem leader, spoke today at something called the "Scottish Parliament's Festival of Politics" on Friday, undoutbedly some new-fangled part of our 'devolution settlement' of which I have previously been unaware. What is a 'festival of politics', though? Am I paying for it?

Anyway, to get back to Charles Kennedy. In response to a question ("Are you going to be the comeback kid?") he responded:

"When you have been the leader of a national political party obviously you know what is involved, you are still of an age where you have got something to contribute, but you don't have the relentless and remorseless demands upon you in quite the same way."

Please let me know what that is supposed to mean. It doesn't seem like a straightforward response to a pretty simple question, to me.

When asked about his health, he responded:

"I'm happy and fulfilled in what I'm doing and it's up to me to keep it that way."

Delphic, or what? I suppose a translation into Englush might be that it is up to him, and no-one else, to ensure he stays off the booze; I can certainly sympathise with him and I hope that he succeeds, whatever his future is in political life.

On his decision to admit that he had a problem with alcohol:

"I think individuals have got a right to a degree of privacy, even if you are in the public eye, where medical situations are concerned.

"But if you find that degree of privacy is going to be eroded then you may just as well tell people about it.

"The issue for me wasn't so much that, it was obviously the political implications, which became clear fairly soon thereafter. But that's water under the bridge."

Can you make head or tail of this? Honestly?

Look, I don't 'dislike' Charles Kennedy, indeed I think he is basically a pretty decent fellow (for a politician). But I really don't see why anyone should have to put up with this complete nonsense. Surely even the LibDems, whatever their views on the competence and value as an asset/liability of their current Leader (Sir Menzies Campbell), can't be so foolish as to buy this snake-oil? Or is it only just another ephemeral part of the Edinburgh 'fringe'? Let's hope so! Not that it matters much, because who really cares what the LibDems do?

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