Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The LibDem leadership - on-the-job training scheme?

Andy has a great posting over on "And then he said" called "Mr Smug, Mr Smarm and my naked ballot paper". It really is superb.

I've been thinking about James Graham's comment yesterday:

Assuming (Clegg) does get elected however, I do hope he will spend the Christmas break working out where he went wrong over the campaign and getting some serious media training.

To what extent should the LibDem leadership be an on-the-job training scheme? This seems to have been one of the nexus of the debate over the leadership. "Oh it's OK", Cleggies say "He'll soon pick up this media and man-management thing".

Oh really?

It took me ten years to learn management properly and it took me about the same time (with reasonably regular appearances) to get really used to appearing on the radio, having been a broadcaster for a while.

Vince Cable (not compromising his complete independence) said on Monday that the new leader must hit the ground running. Lots of visibility. Front foot. Get a virtuous circle going with the media - just like Vince has - rather than sitting in a bunker and then having the media turn on the leader.

So have we got time for a training scheme?

Linda Jack [ceremonial release of fluffy bunnies] used to lay into Ming for having no track record of leadership.

Well what track record of leadership does Nick Clegg have?

I think we could be in for a bumpy ride if he is elected, but I promise I'll shut up on 15th December whoever wins.

Ahem....Getting my defence in first:

"We should now be leaving it to the membership" - no we shouldn't, as a party with a fine campaigning tradition we always campaign up to one minute to polls closing. That's still ten days away in this election.

"You never say anything positive about Nick Clegg" - yes I do.

"You are always being personal about Nick Clegg" - the above is personal to Clegg in that it relates to his personal ability to manage people and handle the media - key attributes for a leader. It is not personal in the sense that I am not hitting below the belt by accusing him of being a bad husband or having bad breath or a congenital psychological disorder.

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