Mark Oaten: how could I be so right?

Share This

What. The. Hell?

Seriously, why are the wheels on the Oaten bus coming off so quickly? While I’ve never had that much regard for Oaten himself, I have some regard for Opik as someone who understands both campaigning and communication. And I never dreamt that we would reach this stage with Oaten unable to claim more than one actual supporter.

Indeed, his campaign is starting to sound distinctly Orwellian:

  • He claims to be the loyalty candidate, yet was the first to launch his campaign (in the Telegraph before Christmas);
  • He claims to be the unity candidate, yet only one MP actually supports him;
  • He claims to be the media-friendly candidate, yet his campaign has lunged from one PR disaster to the next;
  • He claims to be the 21st century candidate yet is the only one without a campaign website (oh, and I checked the other day and could find no evidence that anyone has been buying URLs along the lines of mark2win, mark4leader, oatentowin, oatenforleader or any other variations);
  • He claims to be the liberal candidate, yet admits to only having discovered liberalism four years ago (5 years after being elected as a Liberal Democrat MP) and more than any other candidate his actual commitment to liberalism is questioned, with serious examples cited.

Last week I said he had a moral duty to stand; he’s organised for it long enough. Now, it looks so bad that I would be inclined to release him from his moral obligation. But I genuinely don’t understand why it has gone so bad for him. Perhaps I bought the hype more than I thought I did. More to the point, perhaps he did too.

5 thoughts on “Mark Oaten: how could I be so right?

  1. I’m actualy suprisingly inspired by Oaten. I’m really loving his ambition for the party. He still isnt my first preference though

  2. He would have made a good candidate in the leadership race – The Tory one that is ! He had the advantage of being ‘talked up’ by the media too, at least the right wing elements of it. As I said in my blog, we have THREE excellent candidates to choose from !

  3. James – it is easy to sound ambitious. The question is whether you have the first clue about how to get there. To be honest I am pretty sure Huhne has some good ideas, based on his record. Ming has a team around him who do. Hughes proved pretty comprehensively in the Mayoral campaign that he doesn’t. And Mark …

  4. One can have some sympathy for Mark.

    As a non-lawyer, he took an incredible risk in accepting the home affairs brief. Any decent criminal or administrative lawyer could have eaten him for breakfast. But he has acquitted himself rather well, earning a fair amount of credit among the commentariat.

    But now he chooses to chuck it all away with this Quixotic leadership bid which is looking more and more of a joke by the day.

    What a silly man.

    He needs to take himself off to the New Forest for a couple of weeks and reinvent himself. Chuck the spin, buy a couple of decent suits, and learn the following mantra off by heart: “Every time I advocate a policy I must link it to a liberal democratic value.”

    So we oppose ID cards because we believe that people are autonomous beings, not the property of the state. The fact that they are expensive is a second-order consideration. Ear-tags are for cattle.

    And we oppose executive detention, not so much because it might alienate certain minority communities, but because locking people up without trial is wrong: it is the hallmark of totalitarianism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.