Huhne turns it around

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It looked like it was all up for Chris Huhne’s leadership bid a few days ago when an erstwhile dinner party guest of his outrageously attempted to derail his campaign by coming out in support of him.

Fortunately though, our Chris is made of sterner stuff. Today’s attack on him by Nick Cohen has surely cemented his place in first place, if not the next General Election.

Well done Chris!

7 thoughts on “Huhne turns it around

  1. What is not so good for Chris Huhne is to win the endorsement of Lord Dick Newby.

    Dick Newby was National Secretary of the SDP for 6 years, and hardly starred in the role.

    While publicly pretendintg to back David Owen, Dick was actually plotting against Owen behind his back (as were quite a few others, it has to be said – and no wonder).

    I was intensely worried when I discovered that Dick was to take charge of CK’s private office, because I was convinced that he was planning to defect to Labour.

    His sister is married to Roger Liddle, after all. And a whole procession of one-time “Yes to Unity” people, some of them close to Dick, are now in the Labour Party and prospering, along with Liddle.

    Does Chris Huhne really wish to be associated with this camp? (He would have won Oxford West & Abingdon if he hadn’t had their people running his campaign.)

    Chris wouldn’t sell us out to the Labour Party, but many of Dick’s former colleagues would have done (and actually did do).

  2. I think it is wrong to suggest that Newby is or was likely to defect to Labour just because his brother in law did.

    Surely in the Lib Dems we judge individuals on their own merits, not those of their in laws!

  3. Newby has always seemed one of the more sound of the original ex-SDP lot still active in the Liberal Democrats. As Kennedy’s office organiser he presided over a well-run and somewhat more externally-focused set-up.

    What I was surprised at is his billing as part of CK’s inner circle. My understanding is that this has not been the case for some time.

  4. One of CK’s first acts as leader, with Newby in place as chief of staff, was to end the Joint Cabinet Committee. I find it bizarre in the extreme to hear him being smeared in this way, particularly from a Ming Campbell supporter (I distinctly remember Earl Russell at the time whispering darkly about M.O.O. – the cabal of Lib Dem MPs who had told Paddy they would defect if he pulled out of the Project in 1997. The “M” stood for Ming).

  5. Those of you who choose to disregard Dick Newby’s past, and in particular his very close association with people who defected to the Labour Party, are probably unaware of the atmosphere which prevailed in the charmed circles which these people occupied in the mid-1990s.

    You might think that people who betrayed the Party by defecting to Labour would be treated as pariahs by those who remained behind. Not a bit of it. Their actions were regarded as good career moves and they remained within the circle.

    At least Liddle had the decency to resign his council seat. Yes, I was there on polling-day (of the ensuing byelection, that is). Believe it or not, Liddle was standing there in the committee-room with a smug grin on his face, just days before his defection. Was he treated as an outcast by any of those present? Er, no. He was still “good old Roger”. Even though he was plotting with Mandelson to do down his former colleagues (and is believed to have had a part in Mandelson’s Littleborough & Saddleworth byelection campaign.)

    There is an old saying: “A man is known by the company he keeps.”

  6. I think you’re the one who is disregarding his past, Angus. Fair enough to dredge things up from 10 years ago, but you seem remarkably disinterested in everything that has happened since.

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