Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Lib Dems don't get off the hook that easily!

Finally, after months of speculation, Charles Kennedy has resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats. That he decided to stand down is of no surprise, that he took as long as he did to do so is a scandal.

Charles Kennedy should be given credit where credit is due, he gave a better speech on his departure than during his entire career as leader, which begs the question, why did the Lib Dems let such a lacklustre figure run the show in the first place? Well, you only have to look at the 2005 election results to see why. With one of their best opportunities in decades, they weren't going to spoil the fun and dump their leader at such a crucial moment, but sooner or later, you have to face reality, and as the old saying goes, "you can fool some people some of the time but you can't fool all the people all the time".

Unfortunately, reality isn't something the Lib Dems excel at. Whilst lecturing us that the government lied about Iraq, they have spent the last six years lying about the competence of their leader to head a government. But their lack of reality doesn't stop there, it also extends to their policies. Whilst mainstream politics has long drifted towards the centre, the Liberal Dems have lurched to the left, with policies such as big government, higher taxation, exiting Iraq, and more power to the EU. As long as they were a protest party, the Lib Dems have been able to sweep their own policies under the carpet, whilst providing an outlet for voters to register their discontent with mainstream politics. Now the public have seen the state of their leader, the Lib Dems can no longer play at that game. It has given the electorate a long overdue opportunity to examine the merits of the Lib Dems and consider...what if they ever got elected?!