Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ming the Totally Bored?

I was reliably informed today that Sir Menzies Campbell has failed to turn up for several of the Lib Dem leadership hustings currently taking place across the country. Surely this should show him to be totally unsuited for the party leadership?

His excuse has been that he's been busy campaigning for the by-election in Dunfermline. That's all well and good, but it hardly augurs well for his likely activity should he be elected leader. There'll be a number of situations where by-election campaigning may seem a pressing priority in one regard, but national politics demands that the leader of the third party should be responding to events in London.

One of the vital aspects of a good leader is that on contentious issues, you put your own opinion forward to guide the party in your direction. Sending out minions to do the groundwork can only take you so far. In something as important as deciding on a new leader at a time of severe difficulty for the party, it's vital people know what the prospective leader thinks, not what his mates say on his behalf. An unwillingness to be challenged is not a desirable quality.