Monday, May 15, 2006

The Ides of Lembit Opik

(BBC Online)
I am in somewhat in two minds about the Liberal Democrat spokesman for Wales and Northern Ireland, Lembit Opik. On one hand if you had to arrange a social event of MP's and Peers and you wanted someone there to give the lowdown on asteroid collision, then Lembit's your man!
If on the other hand you are a famous politician and in a crisis, and Lembit Opik publicly defends you, then you should start to worry.
I mean, after his support of Charles Kennedy, followed by Mark Oaten, you would think that once Sir Menzies Campbell was in trouble, that he would keep his mouth shut!
Unless it's a double bluff!
And just what is it with the Lib Dems, that there is all this in-fighting like ferrets in a sack, Menzies Campbell makes a few dud speeches and performances and people start plotting! I didn't think I would ever say this, but they make Tory leadership contests look like acts of virtue in comparison!
Hat tip to Tim Roll-Pickering for pointing this story out.


Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Öpik seems to have gone even further - during the leadership contest a reporter from The Times was interviewing Huhne in his campaign office when a phonecall from Öpik came through. Huhne stressed that Öpik wasn't publicly backing him but offering logistical advice - "we might get hit by an asteroid."

More recently on Have I Got News For You Öpik said he'd backed Hughes. So not only did he not stick to one candidate, he managed to damn them both!

Öpik said in January that he'll stand in the next leadership contest - I'm not sure if he was expecting one so soon but it does at least mean no other poor sod will have his support.

As for the Lib Dems, I think my comments on another blog say it best:

It seems the Lib Dems have fallen into the trap the Conservatives were in for years. Once you get into the habit of senior frontbenchers briefing against the leadership, of key individuals becoming "dial a quote"s for the media, of precise benchmarks for the leader's performance being set, of having to spin away election results going against your predictions and hopes and so forth, and when you depose one leader for not being able to "raise their game" you get stuck in a cycle.

Paul Burgin said...

I doubt he will get much support if he ever does stand!