Monday, October 15, 2007

...As the burnished chariot of fate is wheel-clamped by the traffic warden of eternity....

(Humphrey Lyttelton, 26 Nov 1994 "I'm sorry I haven't a clue")

Today I have sent this open letter to Ming.

Dear Ming

Following my private note to you on Friday, I am writing this open letter to you, after much reflection and listening.

I believe it is time for you to stand down as Liberal Democrat leader and allow a calm handover to a new leader.

To explain this, it is best to borrow an athletic allegory with which you will be familiar. I remember seeing an old black and white film of you running in a relay race. The thing about relay races is that each runner has his or her own length to run, they are part of the team, they have to hand over the baton carefully to the next runner and all the runners get medals and share in the glory, if they win. Each runner is chosen to run each distance based on his or her particular abilities.

That’s where we are. We are at the time, I believe, where there needs to be a handover to the next leader. This is not, in my opinion, any reflection on how you have conducted yourself. I believe you have been superb leader. I am particularly appreciative of the way you have built up our policy platform. You have negotiated the development of our policies with remarkable skill. Today we have our best tax policies for several generations. It is just time for a change.

I make no criticism of your leadership. In fact, I have nothing but praise for you. Your two conference speeches have been electrifying. You have done very well on your public appearances. You have reminded us all of the importance of integrity, decency, dignity and honesty in British politics. For that I am most grateful to you.

With best wishes

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