Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tale of Two Cabinets

Peter over at the Apollo Project stole my thunder when he blogged about this article by Fraser Nelson from this morning’s Scotsman.

It refers to an occasion when John Major, under severe pressure, attempted to persuade a prominent Liberal Democrat to defect by offering a guaranteed cabinet post: the Member for Fife North East declined.

Some time later of possibly around the same time discussions were going on with Tony Blair about the possibility of a coalition with new Labour after the 1997 elections. Two Lib Dems looked set for Cabinet posts Paddy Ashdown and Menzies Campbell. So one of our leadership candidates has been viewed as having cabinet potential by both the last two Prime Minsters.

Mr Nelson ends his article by musing:

Two wild cards may prevent Sir Menzies taking the throne [of Lib Dem Leadership]. One is his role in the Kennedy coup de grace: did he initiate the whispering campaign that had such a spectacular denouement last week? This would go down badly with party members. The next is whether the Lib Dem members will, lake the Major government, see a Tory lurking behind Sir Menzie’s statesmanlike demeanour.

Well Mr Nelson the first is a serious question to pose. The second is taken out of context as both Labour and Conservatives have seen Sir Menzies capable of working with them, something that Lib Dems experience up and down the country in coalition administrations with all parties.


Peter Pigeon said...

Sorry Stephen - I promise not to quote from a Scottish newspaper again (nor from a Thompson comic for that matter).

I agree that turning down an ivitation to defect is to Ming's credit.

Stephen Glenn said...

Peter, don't worry it only made me think longer that's all. Feel free to quote the Scotsman, Herald, Aberdeen Argus whatever to your hearts content. ;-)


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