Our MPs: an apology

by Stephen Tall on January 6, 2006

Three weeks ago, I posted an article, ‘If you’ve not got anything nice to say…, urging “those MPs indulging in reckless media briefing against CK [to] shut the fuck up, or else show some backbone, and say in public what you’re whispering in private.”

I feel I owe them at least a half-apology.

It’s now pretty clear that many of our MPs have witnessed at first-hand – in a way that members like me could not – Charles Kennedy too frequently under-performing in his job owing to his drinking problems. A group of 11 of them did the right thing to confront him about the issue in private, and ask him to step to one side. I’m not sure what else they could have done.

When this failed, some of them resorted to anonymous briefings – which were unhelpful and ill-advised, but at least in part understandable.

I have been a huge Charles fan. What he has gone through is a personal tragedy, and I wish him all the very best dealing with his demons. But, in the cool, clear light of day, it is evident he cannot continue as Leader.