Daily Archives: 6 February 2006

Big Yellow Taxi

Simon Hughes has grandly launched his online ehustings (although I note he still hasn’t answered the 5 questions put to him and the other candidates by Reflecting Britain), so I thought I’d submit this one:

Simon, you’ve made a big deal out of the environment and green issues in the campaign, yet you drive a diesel powered Taxi. Ming Campbell has said he will give up his Jag – are you prepared to put your money where your mouth is and give up your car?

Fair enough, Rob?

Ballot papers go out today

Be advised fellow bloggers: the ballot papers go out today, which means the first ones will start landing on people’s doormats tomorrow morning.

Given that each mailing will include campaign artwork for each candidate, that each campaign artwork will include the URL of the candidate’s website and that one website has a section of blogger supporters, you have a real chance of reaching out to people who don’t normally read this nonsense on a regular basis.

In short, today’s the day to write that killer post about why you support X or Y. That’s what I intend to do tonight, and I recommend you do the same.

New leadership contest to begin in March?

Is this “personal”? Or is it one of the single most important issues of the election? Far from making personal snipes, this question of Chris Huhne’s is probably the most pertinent of the campaign:

“Are we going to have an ongoing leadership campaign between these young turks, between the election in March and the next leadership election?”

It isn’t a question about age. Sir Menzies has deliberately made it an issue in the campaign with his slogan “a bridge to the future” and his repeated promotion of Nick Clegg. The calculation, it would appear, is that Ming himself felt vulnerable on this issue and has attempted to prebut it. It hasn’t worked. Unfortunately for Nick, it isn’t in Ming’s gift to give him the leadership and every time the suggestion is made, the chance that something or someone will come along to derail the whole project increases. What’s more, the very same people who are now telling us to meekly fall in line behind Ming and wait for someone better to come along were telling us that we could not do this under Charles Kennedy. The fact that both Ming and Nick have chosen to play this game causes one to seriously question their judgement. And if nothing else, judgement is the most important attribute of any leader.

But then, I’ve been banging on about this for weeks. Don’t take my word for it. But when one of the few bloggers who supports Ming says: “If Ming doesn’t immediately put people like Nick Clegg in a box, nail down the lid, and start playing the “the future of this country is too important to be left to schoolboys” card against David Cameron, he will lose the leadership to Chris Huhne,” it is time to sit up and take notice.