Clearly Kennedy can't survive now and it is a matter of someone twisting his arm strongly enough over the weekend to get him to resign with as much dignity as he can muster. It is a great shame. I didn't vote for him in 1999, but feel that the party made the right decision then and I the wrong one. It is hard to see how any of his rivals would have done as good a job in the last two elections.
Cymru Mark in response to my last post implies the Lib Dems would have done equally well under another leader. I think not. Kennedy, because he was the favoured insider candidate, was able to move the party away from links with Labour without a revolt. Likewise a leader from the traditional Liberal wing of the party would carried less credibility in opposing the war – Hughes's opposition to the war would have been predictable – Kennedy's was signficant.
It is hard for anyone outside the Westminster bubble to judge how bad the problem has been with Kenneday's behaviour and therefore whether the reaction has been reasonable. My last post seems to belong to a previous era - we are now at the stage where Charles's every faux pas is blamed on drink – even though everyone has off days.
I suspect the key to this lies at the last party conference – by avoiding taking a stance on the controversial motions on Europe and the post office, Charles failed to please either wing of the party enough to make them go the extra mile to support him. It has been telling how few of the party's big hitters have leapt to his defence. In a sense ditching Kennedy is a decision by default to get on with the ideological battles rather than have a leader who ignores and rises above them. I suppose only Ming can now steer us in the right direction without triggering a split.
It is a great shame, but Kennedy is now doomed. As Gladstone said of Parnell. 'It'll na dee'.