Kennedy in the Pink
Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 3rd July, 2007
Charles Kennedy was on good form last night at the Kensington and Chelsea LibDems’ annual garden party, the first half of which had to be held indoors because of the tropical downpour. As he told the assembled throng, British politics is in a state of fluidity at the moment — not just because of Gordon Brown’s attempt to erect a big tent, while keeping full control of what is happening, but also with the Tories’ disarray post Quentin Davies, and indeed the LibDems’ own blips in some opinion polls. Charles, ever the natural communicator, regaled the assembled throng with accounts of the sterling efforts and forthright views of a local activist up in the Highlands who recently celebrated his 100th birthday. The old man put down his longevity to a daily bowl of porridge in the morning and lashings of whiskey in the evening, but Charles joked he could not recommend either.
The gathering was buoyed by the news, hot off the press, of the defection of Brij Mohan Gupta, Deputy Chairman of Ealing Southall Conservatives, which effectively punctures one of David Cameron’s balloons. The by-election in that constituency is going to be a real litmus test of opinion in the current fluid political situation. Kensington and Chelsea LibDem Chair Robin Meltzer had prepared material to enthuse local activists to swing into action in Ealing as soon as possible, either in person on the ground or through telephone canvassing, envelope addressing and other activities: the nitty-gritties of winning elections.