And the Winner is .... Chris Huhne !
Well, not in terms of votes as yet ! But in terms of an enhanced policy and personal profile Huhne has been the clear winner. He has, much to the consternation of Simon Hughes no doubt, claimed the 'green mantle' despite Simon's much longer and consistent promotion of environmental concerns.
Simon has been, well, Simon ! I voted for him and his liberalism, explicit concern for the less well-off , his energy and campaigning style, plus the ability to 'connect' with the wider public got him my vote. Essentially though I think little new was learned about him (bar THAT not so surprising expose). The 100 seats promise and the handling of the issue of his sexuality were gaffes or errors of judgement in my book though. Nonetheless if voting opened up again tomorrow, it'd be Hughes 1 again.
Initially it was to be Ming 2. However, his patrician style, aloof demeanour, his lack-lustre campaign and attendant cliches ( gut liberal .. bridge to the future...car in the garage..iraq 'closure' position et al) put me off greatly. His knowledge on domestic policy seemed shaky and his Commons performances less sure than before. His web campaign apart, there was little 'fizz' from Ming. And, a surprising degree of tetchiness during the campaign illustrated how the contest was evolving.
However, going on past performances, his depth in comparison with Cameron, his lawyerly debating style will enable him to be once again a heavyweight political contender. Compare his consistency with David Cameron. So far the latter has been a 'liberal' conservative, the temporary 'green' who didn't support climate change levy and now the Built to Last 'vision' of this week....NuBlu Labour. Quite breathtaking !
I'm waiting for the 'I have A Dream' speech next !
This from Simon Mollan's blog is so apt - and funny ;
The Tories have adopted yet another meaningless slogan: Built to Last.
Despite sounding as if they imagine the Conservative Party to be a power-tool or a type of woodstain that does exactly what it says on the tin, it is in fact that title of a management book, which no doubt George Osborne discovered on his way to the economics and finance section of his local Borders.
Built to Destruct more like! I sense more coughing over the Corn Flakes from Tebbit and foaming at the mouth by Simon Heffer and Melanie Phillips....their faces must be a real mess now ! The former is not a pretty sight at the best of times !
Curiously these last couple of weeks both the fortunes of Nottingham Forest and the Lib Dems have picked up despite having no permanent leader...why bother with the beauty contest at all ?!
To conclude : expecting Simon to come third, with Ming edging out Chris. C'mon Ming raise you game should you win and to Chris you need to be more than a [policy] wonk-er...inject a bit more passion and personality into your politics !