Tuesday, 16 October 2007
The nasty party
Anybody confusing Liberal Democrats with nice people would have had their naivety cruelly dashed (yet again) yesterday. With an inhuman ruthlessness reserved for despatching their leaders, the LibDems saw off Ming Campbell without sensitivity or sentimentality. Unsurprisingly Ming left a broken man, avoiding even the usual farewell interviews. Doubtless they will have the good sense to elect Nick Clegg to replace him (which might at least give Ming some satisfaction if Chris Huhne really did play Brutus this time). Such ruthlessness has long been a feature of Liberal by-election campaigns, but one wonders how the average LibDem voter views it all. Even the party realised it had gone too far when Paddy Ashdown had to be lined up to soothe feelings on this morning's Today programme. The whole shoddy business leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, even for the most seasoned political observer.