Nick Barlow received his ballot papers and candidates’ manifestos in the post this morning for the upcoming Liberal Democrats leadership contest. He wasn’t very impressed with Sir Menzies Campbell’s:
It’s particularly evident in the candidate manifestos that came with the ballot paper today – while both Chris and Simon give over a lot of space to telling us what they’d do as leader of the party, Ming’s policy priorities get just a few lines. Even if you count the ‘neither right nor left’ homily as an actual statement of principle, it still takes up less space in his manifesto than the list of his supporters does, which doesn’t make me think that setting out an agenda for the party under his leadership then gaining a mandate for it from the membership is a priority for this campaign.
[…] There’s a peculiarly circular logic about most of the campaign, whose message appears to be ‘You need to vote for Ming because he’s a winner! but when anyone asks why he’s a winner the answer appears to be ‘He’s a winner because you’re going to vote for him!’
When this contest started, I thought that Hume and Hughes, or perhaps even the now disgraced Mark Oaten were the most likely to clone Tony Blair and David Cameron, by emphasising youth and style over substantive policy. But actually, it’s wrinkly old Ming who has actually turned out to be the candidate who shows more teeth than policies.
Oh well, just goes to show what I know.
The latest from the pollsters, by the way, is that Ming is set to sneak past Hume, although as it’s Hume’s star that is in the ascendent, this could all be different in a couple of weeks time.