New Times,
New Thinking.

16 May 2010

Charles Kennedy outs himself as anti the Lib-Con coalition

Questions remain over why, when and how the Lib Dems went for the Tories.

By James Macintyre

Last week, I asked of the proposed coalition between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories: “What would Charles Kennedy do?”

Well, now we have the answer, in the form of an article in the Observer, in which he makes it clear that, apparently like Paddy Ashdown, he did not back the deal. Kennedy writes:

With uncharacteristic understatement Paddy Ashdown described last week’s events as “a rather unexpected moment”.

Certainly, they drive a strategic coach and horses through the long-nurtured “realignment of the centre left” to which leaders in the Liberal tradition, this one included, have all subscribed since the Jo Grimond era.

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It is hardly surprising that, for some of us at least, our political compass currently feels confused.

He is right, of course. Still unclear are the questions of why, when and how the Lib Dems abandoned that “realignment” and opted for the Tories. I’ve spent the weekend speaking to some major players in the coalition talks who provided some interesting answers. Watch this space.

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