Thursday, December 15, 2005

A plot by the extreme right against Charles Kennedy?

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(UPDATE 5 January 2006: Charles Kennedy admits he has struggled against alcohol)

There are two theories about why the anti-war leader of the UK Liberal-Democrats, Charles Kennedy, is being attacked by the media and by some of his own members of parliament.

Theory one is that Charles Kennedy is being attacked because he is seen as not being as effective as his rivals Blair and Cameron.

Theory two is that he is being attacked because he opposed the Iraq war. This theory suggests that agents of the security services within the media and within the Liberal-Democrat party may be gunning for Kennedy.

Among those who opposed the Iraq war were Germany's Schroeder, France's Chirac and the UK's Kennedy. Schroeder has now gone. Chirac has had to face riots which some people think were the work of neo-con agitators. Kennedy is under attack by the media.

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Possible successors to Charles Kennedy might include Mark Oaten and Menzies Campbell.

From The Times: Kennedy locked in battle to survive as allies desert

There was ... anger directed at Mark Oaten, who has defended Mr Kennedy but whom MPs accused of planning a series of regional tours and putting a campaign team together in case Mr Kennedy should stand down. He told The Times last night that his tours were visits to police stations and prisons.

Mr Oaten sent a two-page e-mail to Lib Dem activists on Tuesday, the day the crisis erupted, describing his achievements as home affairs spokesman and inviting them to contact him. One Lib Dem said: "He has clearly pushed a green button somewhere."


From The Telegraph : Kennedy fights back but Lib Dem crisis continues

Loose-tongued allies of Mark Oaten, the ambitious home affairs spokesman and arch-moderniser, have whispered against Mr Kennedy before and they got the brunt of the blame from Kennedy loyalists.

Speech by Mark Oaten, House of Commons, 8 February 2005: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2005-02-08.1408.0&m=1136

The Liberal Democrats in no way underestimate the seriousness of the threats facing this country. The fact that we differ from the Government on how to tackle those threats does not mean that we do not recognise that the world has changed since 9/11 and that we now face a different problem of international terrorism.

It is worth putting on the record our acknowledgement of the fact that we all owe our intelligence services a enormous debt of respect and gratitude for their achievements in the past three or four years.

Sir Walter Menzies Campbell received a scholarship to Stanford University.

Speech by Menzies Campbell to the Federal Liberal Democrat Conference, Blackpool 19th September 2005: Scottish Lib Dems: News

America, with its founding beliefs in freedom, justice and human rights, is our natural ally...

The Bush Administration denounces the abuse of human rights, but then casts them aside in the process called ‘extraordinary rendition’ in which suspects are removed to states where torture is known to be practised in the hope that they will provide information.

And all the while our government affects to have no interest in reports that aircraft engaged in such rendition regularly land and refuel in the United Kingdom.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

The pursuit of strategic interest, at the expense of freedom and human rights, carries a heavy price. Supports for repressive governments creates conditions in which extremism thrives. The manifest injustice of Guantanamo buttresses support for terrorism.

Prolonged detention without trial and without due process violates cardinal principles of justice. It is incumbent on Britain, and Europe, to speak out against these injustices.

The transatlantic alliance must be a relationship neither of rivalry, nor subservience, but a partnership of influence.

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