Pissed Scotsman

In response to the news that Charles Kennedy was going to be making a “personal statement” at 1745 today, one inspired commentator at politicalbetting.com wondered, “Wasnt that when his hero Bonnie Prince Charlie got his comeuppence too!” No, that was 1746. But it’s a good joke, and the next few weeks should be tremendous fun.

We were hoping that he was going to announce that he was resigning from the leadership of the Lib Dems in order to seek to lead the Kadima party in the Israeli elections, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Paddy Ashdown in an attempt to bring peace to a troubled part of the world.

And, oddly enough, if we discount interim arrangements (Jo Grimond in 1976, MacLennan as co-leader in 1988), if Kennedy were to be purged now, by whatever means, he’d be the shortest-serving Liberal leader since Herbert Samuel (1931-5), despite having led the Liberals during a period which has seen four Tory leaders come and go (or just one or the other). With remarkable consistency, the Liberal leaders since 1935 have served about ten years in post, and Kennedy may only manage six-and-a-bit:

Archibald Sinclair 1935-1945
Clement Davies 1945-1956
Jo Grimond 1956-1967
Jeremy Thorpe 1967-1976
David Steel 1976-1988
Paddy Ashdown 1988-1999
Charles Kennedy, 1999-2006?

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