Lembit: a question of mediocrity

Dear Lembit,

I wrote an article on Comment is Free last month asking four pointed questions regarding your bid to be Lib Dem President. Today I read you are claiming your opponents are running a “negative campaign” and a “conspiracy of mediocrity.”

I have to say that speaking personally, although I’ve been highly critical of your campaign, I’ve not been involved in any conspiracy. I’ve been quite open about my concerns about your putative Presidency and at each stage you have had every chance to rebut them. You haven’t. Moreover, you are the one who appears to have gone negative – I haven’t heard either of your opponents make such claims about you.

The main reason I’m voting for Ros Scott is because her campaign is the very opposite of mediocrity while your campaign… isn’t. Surely you would concede that actions speak louder than words? And surely you know the difference between criticism and negativity? Either way, to avoid any possibility of doubt that I do indeed want to hear your answers to my questions, here they are again for you to answer:

a) Since Lembit claims to have such great campaigning and communications skills, why have the Liberal Democrats in Wales stagnated in the last two assembly elections (sticking with six AMs in 1999, 2003 and 2007)?

b) Given the deep problems at the heart of the Kennedy leadership, wasn’t it an error of judgment to stand by him? Loyalty is easy – a nodding dog at the back of a car can do it. Don’t the “rebels” – including Nick Clegg and Vince Cable – deserve credit for taking a difficult decision that Lembit lacked the resolve to take?

c) Why didn’t Lembit stand against Simon Hughes in 2006? Hughes presided over a string of failures, most notoriously watching the party’s membership fall by 10,000 members despite having pledged to treble the membership in two years. Again, doesn’t that suggest a lack of resolve?

d) Why wasn’t Lembit’s campaign ready in Bournemouth? Frankly, it was a total mess. Ros Scott launched her campaign exactly 12 months before, so it isn’t as if Lembit didn’t know she was serious. Is this the level of professionalism we can expect from him? Don’t actions speak louder than words?



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