by Stephen Tall on February 12, 2006
Notwithstanding my reservations, below, I have today sent off my completed ballot paper:
Ming 1, Chris 2, Simon 3.
Each has considerable strengths, and some weaknesses; I can see any one of them serving this party with great distinction.
Leaders are, of course, important – for much of the public they embody the party. But liberals should not get so hung up about who is our primus inter pares. True liberals believe leaders should be team-builders: conductors not coxes. That was Charles’s great strength, at least until the dying embers of his leadership when he placed his ego ahead of the good of the party.
I hope whoever wins the party will unite behind them. In the main, this leadership contest has avoided too much personal enmity between the supporters from respective camps. But there has been some pettiness and sniping, and it ain’t pretty. It should never have started – but I know when it should end: March 2nd.
The Liberal Democrats should never be deferential; but I hope we can remain polite.