Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ming assassinated by the merciless

Cranmer is always saddened by the downfall of a politician of his vintage. The official story is that his departure was his own decision; the truth is that his ‘closest advisers’ told him the game was up, and it was time to return to his sarcophagus. His removal was surgical, swift, and savage.

In the nature of politics and consistent with the legacy of ‘here today gone tomorrow’ politicians, he will quickly fade into oblivion. The irony is that he would have been better remembered as an Olympian sprinter and a global ambassador for sport. Few doubt that the legacy of Sebastian Coe will outlast that of the four previous leaders of the Conservative Party.

And speaking of Mr Cameron, he ought not to misjudge the next leader of the Liberal Democrats in the same way he (and the Party) misjudged Prime Minister Brown. There are really only two contenders for the role – Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne – and this choice could be the sole determinant of the outcome of the next general election. Cranmer has been musing on the possibilities.

If the Lord wishes to be kind to the Liberal Democrats, and mean to the Conservatives, the succession will pass to Nick Clegg.

Mr Clegg looks, sounds, walks and quacks like a Cameroon. He is eloquent, young and charming; he appears warm and charismatic on camera, and is of an eminently approachable disposition. He is reportedly fluent in five languages, a Euro-realist, and is at ease in diverse companies and kindly-mannered toward both the high and mighty and to the poor and lowly. He is a man for all seasons, and no small gesture is too much trouble for him.

His appointment would oblige the Conservative Party to re-think their centre-ground strategy, and this might be no bad thing. Indeed, it is likely that the appointment of a Cameroon to the leadership of the Liberal Democrats would force the Cameroons in the Conservative Party to return to a Conservative agenda.

One can live in hope.

But if the Lord wishes to bless the Conservative Party, the succession will pass to Chris Huhne.

Mr Huhne may have come second to Menzies Campbell in the previous leadership election, but he was shown to possess more vaulting ambition than Macbeth (or his wife), and to possess a self-important, pompous arrogance against which Coriolanus appears to acquire an air of humility. He is a smug, conceited Europhile, and would contend with Michael Gove as the face in the Commons one would most like to punch (not that Cranmer has anything against Mr Gove; it is simply a matter of possessing a countenance one would like to slap).

Despite this undeniable reality, Cranmer would like to remind his communicants and readers that we are talking here about the Liberal Democrats. It is therefore most likely, when the clamours for the reinstatement of Charles Kennedy have abated, that they will elect Chris Huhne to be their leader.

Or there is a third possibility. For the Lord, unlike Allah, is shown to have a sense of humour, and is recorded in the Psalms as having the capacity to smile and laugh. On the biblical-principles premise that political parties, like nations, might get the leaders they deserve, the Lord may just appoint Lembit Opik to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

He would certainly raise their profile on Have I Got News For You, provide Boris with fierce competition for Commons buffoonery, and add a certain ‘cheeky’ sexual frisson to the bland political morass into which we are all sinking…

O please, Lord, please.


Anonymous Captain Striker said...

Your Grace,

Perhaps the recent resignation of the Honourable Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire as leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats was well timed and well intended... to pave way for his rise as their national leader. One cannot underestimate his 'cheeky' agendas...

His grace can be assured there will be many communicants at the pulpit praying with him today...

And if God really does have a sense of humour we could all be in for a very cheeky Christmas...


... or he could decide to give Miss Sarah Teather some divine inspiration to launch a leadership campaign :-). Perhaps his Grace could spare a prayer for this highly intelligent and inspirational young lady?


(having worked in Portculis, she gets through more Parliamentary staff than Charles Kennedy gets though bottles of premium Scotch)

16 October 2007 at 11:21  
Anonymous bergen said...

They will elect Clegg as both Huhne and Opik are on course to lose their seats at the next election.In the case of Opik,this is an achievement of some magnitude to enrage the good nonconformist people of rural Mid Wales who have returned a Liberal with only one exception in every election since before Gladstone.

16 October 2007 at 13:02  
Anonymous Ken Stevens said...

Your Grace

"...add a certain ‘cheeky’ sexual frisson.."
Gosh, is that an admissible aspiration for a pious eminence?

... or a Cardinal Sin perhaps ;-)

16 October 2007 at 13:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would "the appointment of a Cameroon to the leadership of the Liberal Democrats would force the Cameroons in the Conservative Party to return to a Conservative agenda"? What utter nonsense!!

Why does the Conservatiev Party have to take any notice of an irrelevent third force just ewhen they are at their weakest? The Tories have won votes because people are more inclined to support them - they are not the repository for dissenchanted Lib Dem protest votes.

Teh Conservatives should should stick to the formula that has got them to where they are now, and capitalise on it.

To do as you suggest is the equivalent of beating the Germans to the sun loungers, only to go off and sit in the shade when they subsequently sit too near you! Madness!

16 October 2007 at 14:22  
Anonymous Peter O said...

Your Grace,

On this auspicious day, have you neglected mention of the remembrance of a far more historically significant brutal political and religious hatchet job?

I remain (in all things lawful and honest)


16 October 2007 at 15:44  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Peter O,

Indeed, indeed. His Grace has not forgotten Nicholas and Hugh, but they are dead and in Glory, while Ming is alive (just) and enduring Purgatory. This is far more entertaining.

16 October 2007 at 16:15  
Blogger shergar said...


16 October 2007 at 19:12  

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