Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
21 June 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:18am

Charles Kennedy: man of principle

Like him or loathe him, you can’t deny he sticks to his guns.

By James Macintyre

You have to admire Charles Kennedy.

Whether or not you agree with his decision to oppose the Liberal Democrats’ move to enter a coalition with the Conservatives, or his opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the former, highly successful Lib Dem leader — who, it should be remembered, won more seats than any other Lib Dem leader in history, including Nick Clegg — is never unwilling to take highly unfashionable positions because he believes they are right.

Now, it has emerged that he reportedly refused to shake David Cameron’s hand in the House of Commons and gave a colourful condemnation of the Lib-Con coalition to a Labour MP. Paul Waugh has the details.

Kennedy may well be proved right in the end, of course, as the coalition seems to some to be a no-win situation for the Lib Dems. If the Tories, for whom they are providing cover, implement a cuts programme that produces a recession, the party will be tainted. If the cuts work, the Libs may be seen as irrelevant, and, having served their purpose of getting David Cameron into Downing Street, cast aside by the Tories. Whether and how they can re-establish themselves as an independent political force remains to be seen.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
What are the green skills of the future?
A global hub for content producers, gaming and entertainment companies in Abu Dhabi
Insurance: finding sustainable growth in stormy markets