Friday, June 23, 2017
Is it to be Vince or Ed?
With the decision of Norman Lamb and Jo Swinson not to stand for the leadership of the Lib Dems, we now have one declared candidate (Vince Cable) and a possible candidate (Ed Davey). We await Ed's announcement. I hope he does stand though I am yet to decide how I will vote if the contest is between the two. I don't like political coronations. It was a disaster for Labour when Brown was appointed without opposition. The same mistake is now stalking the Conservatives with Theresa May now giving a completely new meaning to "strong and stable".
The party should have a contest and a relatively short debate over the summer about the future direction of the party and especially how we put the brakes on the return to two party politics. So I am hoping Ed will throw his hat in the ring.
Of the two, I know Ed better. I worked closely with him when I was in Cowley Street and he stayed a couple of times in my house in Sunniside, Gateshead, when he had engagements here in the North East. He was very appreciative of our home cooking!
Any contest should be over before conference. The interesting issue is: what happens if the Tories fail to get their slimline Queen's Speech through the Commons and there is an autumn election? The coronation route may be the only option though I think an autumn election is unlikely. Sadly, however, I cannot discount it completely.