Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ming Campbell for the Liberal Democrats

Since Charles Kennedy resigned I have been wondering who I will be voting for in the Leadership election and over the weekend I decided that I will be voting for Ming Campbell.

Ming Campbell is one of the most respected figures in British politics. Ming Campbell must be one of the few Liberal Democrat MPs who is respected by his parliamentary colleagues, the media and by his political opponents. As Shadow Foreign Secretary, Ming Campbell has been brilliant at explaining why the Liberal Democrats were against the war in Iraq and made the case against war in Iraq very difficult to argue against even by the best supporters of the war in Iraq.

The five key themes of Ming Campbell's campaign will be fighting poverty, civil liberties, the environment, internationalism and reviving local democracy. These are issues on which UK still has a great deal to do and I'm sure that under Ming Campbell's leadership these issues will be what the Liberal Democrats will challenge the Conservatives and Labour party on.

As Liberal Democrats if we wish to see our party survive and build its support then we need to be looking to develop policies on how we can eradicate poverty not just at home but also abroad. As Liberal Democrats we need to find ways of making sure that those on the lowest income can maximise their incomes and we also need to find ways of getting those on basic incomes out of paying income tax. This isn’t about lurching to the left or to the right this is about doing what is right and what is liberal. As Liberal Democrats we say we exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty now we must put poverty which can restrict the opportunities of so many at the heart of our agenda and ensure that we have the policies that our MPs, MEPs, Peers, MSPs, AMs and Councillors across the country are campaigning for or putting into practise to end poverty at home. However as Liberal Democrats we must not ease at that but we must be looking at how we can make poverty a thing of the past across the world and so we must put pressure on the government to ensure that they keep to the promises that they made on aid and debt relief in 2005 to ensure that we get to that point where we stop saying “make poverty history” and with pleasure say “made poverty history”.

While I think that both Chris Huhne and Simon Hughes are good politicians and great Liberal Democrats I don’t think they have the respect of the media and their political opponents the way Ming Campbell has. From time to time I doubt that Simon Hughes even has the respect of all of his parliamentary colleagues and I know for sure that there are a number of Liberal Democrat members who don’t have very much respect for Simon Hughes. From what I have seen of Chris Huhne (must admit its not much) and Simon Hughes I don’t think they have the presence that Ming Campbell brings to a speech, debate or interview and I fear that this is where they may fail as leaders.

So I will be voting Ming Campbell for Leader of the Liberal Democrats.


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