Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Three Cheers For Susan

Newsnight has just followed a naked piece of anti-Liberal Democrat spin – I’m sorry, I’ll read that again, a report of the Leadership race – with a studio piece in which Gavin Esler questioned Nick Clegg, Susan Kramer and Lembit Öpik. Nick and Lembit were perfectly competent, but Susan wiped the floor with Esler so comprehensively that Richard and I have yet to wipe the grins from our faces. Instead of following her brief to 'speak for Chris’ she did exactly what should be done at this stage and spoke for the united party, forcefully asserting support for whoever gets elected.

I’ve rarely seen one of our MPs on better form; assertive and assured enough to override a rattled interviewer without seeming aggressive, sticking up for everything that unites us and showing Newsnight up after a ridiculously partial scene-setting that thought minuscule ‘scandals’ are worth gloating over but Dunfermline isn’t worth mentioning, and that all Lib Dem activists hate people for being financially successful. Nope, wrong party (one alternative party listens only to them, while members of the other either hate or fetishise them. Liberals just don’t see it as the most important thing about someone). While no Leader should be obeyed without question, whoever wins will deserve everyone’s support. But whoever wins should also promote Susan Kramer.

Gavin also has a nasty new haircut, Richard notices. No wonder he looks glum.

On the subject of crap BBC reporting, did you notice how BBC Online summarised the BBC R4 WatO interviews with Simon, Ming and Chris - with denial of an accusation made by the BBC journalist:

* I won't scare off Tories - Hughes
* Age no problem, says Campbell
* Huhne says he is not too unknown

Saves time in writing articles - and avoids having to provide insight into, scrutiny of or understanding of what people have to say - I wonder if their 'default' headline is:

"I'm not what you just accused me of - interviewee"
That was, indeed, our worst lead-in since Sky News had us introduced that mute guy in the sandals... speaking of which, I'm only surprised that the Sun didn't follow it with "from sandals to scandals" - someone should let News International know that's the one that got away...

I think all three acquitted themselves marvellously - I was particularly heartened by Nick's vigorous responses to Esler's put-downs about us being a "protest vote", and Susan was quite right to bring Dunfermline to the fore.
yes. I though lembit looked a bit of a divvy by being the "simon" panelist and then refusing to say how he had voted. However Susan Krammer has come on enormously. I always liked her in her mayoral days but I do think shes top shadow cabinet material. While I would never, never advocate placing someone because of there gender if the Mingons win tommorrow we'll need a new deputy leader and we could do worse than susan. she'd make an excellent "minister for the today programme."
When contemplating the possible field before nominations came in I identified three stars as possible leaders; Susan Kramer, Lynn Featherstone and Chris Huhne. If Susan had stood my vote for Chris would have been in the ballance.
Thanks for that, Martin; I'd tutted at each headline individually, but hadn't put them together and noticed the pattern. D'oh!

And Joe, I don't know if it was original, but 'beards and scandals' was one of the many lines circulating around the Liberator Collective that aren't repeated outside.

It's possible Mark Smulian may turn up at my door with a cyanide pill for that.

There are quite a few MPs from the new intake I rate highly, with several given added clout by impressive pre-Westminster experience (Susan or David Howarth, for example). Without wanting to back any for leader immediately, there's one in particular I can see in the job a while down the line; perhaps she could be Leader after next ;-)
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