Christopher Huhne’s insurgent campaign to succeed Charles Kennedy looks increasingly powerful (he’s now at less than 2/1 according to PoliticalBetting.com.
Today’s Telegraph notes how Mr Huhne is making barely cloaked attacks on Ming Campbell’s 64 years of age (PoliticalBetting appear to be doing the same with its choice of images – right)…
"One of the things which clearly Menzies has to answer in this is what happens, for example, at the next election if, as people very widely expect, we have a balanced parliament. Are we going to lose a leader almost immediately? I hope Menzies makes it clear that he would be prepared to lead us into a second general election if that is the case because I think that is crucial."
The Guardian: "Sir Menzies dismissed speculation that he would resign after an initial contest, insisting that – as per Lib Dem rules – he would offer himself for re-election immediately after an expected 2009 poll."
The Times’ Tim Hames is unimpressed with the young pretender, however, and his recent repositionings:
"At the start of this year he was widely seen as one of the “Orange Book” brigade — a dedicated party moderniser. Since then he has had more flip-flops than Bournemouth beach at the height of summer. He has called for a fixed timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, a stance which is risky to the threshold of reckless, and implicitly criticised Sir Menzies for advising Charles Kennedy against speaking alongside Tariq Ali, Tony Benn and George Galloway at an anti-war rally. He was a supporter of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, but now that such notable pacific nations as Iran and North Korea are after the bomb he suggests it would be safe to downgrade to the military equivalent of a peashooter. He is a serious authority on economics, yet has suddenly obtained a passion for taxing numerous unenvironmental activities and today seems content to “soak the rich” with a new top rate of income tax. For some reason, many of his colleagues detect a whiff of opportunism about his repositioning. A person is, of course, entitled to a “road to Damascus” experience. It should not involve a bypass from political realism. It would not be hard for Tories and Labour to contend that he lacked credibility."