The death of Charles Kennedy can be tied to the death of the Liberal Democrats. He will be a loss to common sense politics as he could speak in a way that the general public could understand. His personal tragedy started when he lost the Liberal Democrat leadership when the Liberal Democrats decided to ape the Conservatives by going posh.
The political coup was blamed on his heavy drinking, but, it was clear the Liberal Democrats thought the 2005 election signalled a new dawn and needed a archetypal establishment figure – such as Nick Clegg – to lead them in the future. Well we know how that worked out.
The legacy of the death of Charles Kennedy is that a politician with the common touch and a wise head can do many things. Charles Kennedy leaves a wife and a son.
Here is Charles Kennedy statement which clearly shows the deep loss he had in losing his seat on May 7th, 2015.
I am very fond of political history. Tonight, if nothing else, we can all reflect on and perhaps tell our grandchildren that we were there on “The night of long sgian dubhs!”
I would very much like to thank my home team. They have been so energetic, dedicated and selfless to the task. Indeed, with them, I would like to thank the very many over the years who have made possible the previous seven successful general election campaigns locally.
I spare a thought for, and this is true of so many constituencies, for members of staff. It is one thing for elected representatives to find themselves at the mercy of the electorate; it is quite something else for the other loyal and skilled people who, sadly, will in due course be searching for employment. I wish them well and stand ready to help. I am sure that their professionalism will stand them in good stead.
It has been the greatest privilege of my adult and public life to have served, for 32 years, as the Member of Parliament for our local Highlands and Islands communities. I would particularly like to thank the generation of voters, and then some, who have put their trust in me to carry out that role and its responsibilities.
Locally, I wish my successor the very best. The next House of Commons will have to finalise the Smith Commission package, giving effect to the referendum “Vow” over further powers. I am saddened not to be involved in that process.
However, from the perspective of the Highlands & Islands, the case for more powers being returned to us which have been lost to the Central Belt over the past five years, has to be heard as well.
On the national picture, I am indeed sorry to learn of Nick’s decision but respect entirely his characteristic sense of personal, political and party principle.
The eligible candidates must reflect with care and collectively before we rush into the best way forward – out of this political debris we must build with thought and care.
Nick, I do hope, will be able to contribute with gusto to the great European debate which is now looming.
It is one, as a Liberal Democrat, in which I wish to be actively engaged myself.
The next few years in politics will come down to a tale of two Unions – the UK and the EU. Despite all the difficult challenges ahead the Liberal Democrat voice must and will be heard.
We did so over Iraq; we can do so again. Let us relish the prospect.