More Lembit news today, but none of it is very good.
First of all, the Western Mail reports that senior Welsh Lib Dem politicians are “snubbing” Lembit in favour of a “little-known candidate from England” (which is apparently a small place somewhere east of the Marches). Yet Lembit is apparently still standing, stating that:
â€œParty members can vote for whichever candidate they like. Itâ€™s called democracy and I support that. Ros Scott may have some supporters in Wales, but I have lots of people backing me in England.
â€œI believe I am the right person to become president. I am already the senior vice-president and chair meetings of the executive, of which I have been a member for 17 years.
â€œIf people want a president with experience and determination who is inspirational, I believe they should vote for me.
â€œI travel round Britain to see members of the party all the time, which is why my car has 380,000 miles on the clock.
â€œI am standing in this election not on what I say I will do in the future, but on the record of what I have been doing in the party and will continue to do.â€
But in a sign that he is a little irked about his lack of support, how’s this for a pout?
â€œI have done all the training for candidates within the party since 1990. I remember Kirsty Williams coming to a course I ran in the mid-1990s in the early stages of her career.
â€œIâ€™m sure she is grateful for the help I gave her.”
Ouch. I’m sure she feels suitably put in her place now. Bloody girls.
Meanwhile, it appears that it isn’t just the Welsh who are less than sympathetic to Lembit’s cause. For the second month in a row he has come bottom of Lib Dem Voice’s Members’ Poll on the Shadow Cabinet:
Sarah Teather -14.6%
Roger Williams -14.6%
Michael Moore -20.8%
Nick Harvey -23.9%
Lembit Opik -35.4%
Where’s Lemby? In the Independent diary column, that’s where. Confirming his intention to stand, he says:
“I’m back in business. I’m definitely going to stand for president of the Liberal Democrats. It’s the one job I’ve always wanted.”
A paragon of modesty, of his chances he says:
“I’ve got to be regarded as the odds-on favourite. I came runner-up last time.”
He lost, therefore he must win. No, I can’t fault that logic either. Pandora suggests that “There have, however, been rumblings that party officials are cool about the idea of Opik landing the role, owing to his ‘overly comic image.'” Party officials? Name them. Apart from Shadow Foreign Secretary and Chair of the Campaigns and Communications Committee Ed Davey who is chairing Ros Scott’s campaign. He doesn’t count. And Lembit has this to say about rumours that he might be bottling it:
“Who are these people saying I’m not going to stand? People used to say I was standing for Mayor of London when I wasn’t, and now they’re trying to say I’m not standing for the presidency when I definitely am.”
As a sign of how serious Lembit is about the job, he reveals two slogans he has come up with for the campaign: “Epik Opik” and “Take It… You’ll Lembit!” Winners both.
Meanwhile, the Times suggests that Lembit’s lack of activity on the Presidential campaign front may due to the fact that he is preparing to serve time in pokey. Yes, just as Nick Clegg has announced that he is prepared to go to prison rather than register for a compulsory identity card, Lembit has announced his intention to go to prison for an equally important issue: the right of segway owners to drive on the public highway. Yes, lawmakers must not be lawbreakers, but there are some issues too important to not take a stand over.
Still no sign of anything at lembit4president.co.uk. I did however get around to looking at the source code – it’s not just a 404 but actually a frame linking to an external site which is currently 404 – which points to a page on dilatedsky.co.uk. This also draws a blank, but it is registered to a Neil Noakes, whose entirely unenlightening LinkedIn profile can be found here.
James Graham – internet detective.
Meanwhile, new Lembit links on teh internets today include a characteristically surreal appearance in a Hooting Yard entry and, via Liberal England, the announcement that Lembit will be taking part in a protest against the banning of Segways on public highways. Exactly the sort of priority we are looking for in a President of the party!
In the interests of balance, a link to the competition.
Exactly 24 hours since Ros Scott launched her campaign and still no sign of the Lembit bandwagon. There is, however, a domain name which appears on google.
It has to be said that not only is Ros Scott’s website quite impressive in its own right, it is streets ahead of anything any of the leadership candidates have come up with in the last two elections (admittedly, given the time she’s had to prepare compared to them, that isn’t exactly surprising). It’s uncluttered and simple. My only comment is that the menu bar could do with looking a bit more like a menu bar.
Where is Lembit? Will he bottle it like last time (when I would have enthusiastically campaigned for him against the incumbant)?