Saturday, 28 January 2006

Current thoughts on the leadership contest

On Friday I went to a meeting with Menzies Campbell to hear what he had to say. He spoke for a bit about his objectives as leader and about the current situation with Hughes and Oaten, then answered some questions. I've not met him before or seen him speak in person and he seems like a nice guy, and he said all the right things about the leadership. However, I don't think any questions came up that I feel I would disagree with him on (there was limited time before he had to dash off to another event).

I think he'd do a good job and is clearly an intelligent and knowledgeable man, but is he what the party needs? Floating voters might be (wrongly) put-off by his age, and we have to take that into account. I also don't know as much as I'd like to about his attitudes to things like privatisation of the Post Office, and from what I've heard he's a bit too keen in private sector involvement in healthcare. Don (our MP) likes him and is backing him as are the majority of the MPs, and in a sense they should 'know best' seeing as they work with all of the candidates. My own straw poll of activists also revealed people being pretty split between the candidates, so there is no obvious front-runner at a local level.

I think I'm still going to vote for Simon Hughes. I would have liked to see the hustings in Plymouth the other day, but the media coverage was appalling - funny how someone being gay receives so much more press than why you should vote for them. Still, if you're liberally inclined (even with a small 'l') the media generally doesn't want to know. Thank God for The Independent!