The vigil is over. Lembit’s website has been launched. It, er, isn’t exactly Web 2.0.
From what I’ve seen of the site (and this may have changed by now), it features endorsements from those famous triplets “Ordinary Member,” “Ordinary Member” and their brother “Ordinary Member.”. Just to ensure that Lembit is taken seriously, he also claims to have endorsement from a senior politician. Boris Johnson.
Congratulations Lembit – it may have taken you two weeks but you finally got there. And I’m sure that, if you are elected president, your office will be the slick sort of operation we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks. At the very least we can expect all the Federal Executive to have gained their Segway Proficiency Badges by 2010.
Today is the day of the great Segway protest.
Risking his personal freedom to take a stand on this vital issue of civil liberties, Lembit and a couple of Tories drove a couple of hundred yards on a two wheeled scooter, which a typically understated Lembit described as “the biggest step forward in transportation since the Wright brothers.” He forgot to mention that none of the Wright brothers’ inventions have ever been allowed on Britain’s roads either.
The stunt has generated Lembit, and thus the party, a massive amount of publicity. Londonist states “We salute Mr. Opik for bringing this urgent issue to the attention of our government,” while Kerron Cross says of Lembit’s desire to get arrested: “I, for one, hope that Her Majesty’s finest don’t disappoint dear old Lemsip.” Yes, the level of support and goodwill this protest has generated is tangible.
Is there really nothing else to write about Lembit Opik other than bloody Segways? Sheesh! It even makes it in a leader in the Independent today!
Fortunately, Jeremy Hargreaves is on hand to provide some analysis:
Would electing Lembit as President â€œsplit the partyâ€? No, I think thatâ€™s going a bit far. But, given where people are now, I do think that the party in the country effectively imposing Lembit as President on people who actually have to work with the person in that role, would be highly divisive. And once settled into post, it wouldnâ€™t necessarily get easier – see for example how uncomfortable many Welsh party members were with having the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats having the celebrity profile that Lembit had.