Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Ming in charge

I have spent the day following Sir Menzies Campbell around as he acts as acting Lib Dem leader. And boy is he acting.

He launches policies. He dispatches helicopters here and battlebuses there. Troops of canvassers are sent into marginal seats and then redirected when the next opinion poll arrives. He’s even commissioned a new song for the party: “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that Ming.”

During the afternoon Charles Kennedy phoned to see how things were going. “Everything is under control,” Ming assured him. “Please don’t feel under any pressure to rush back.”

“Did you get those books I sent you?” Ming went on. “That’s’ right: “Why Baby Needs Pop at Home. Don’t forget the toddler years either. Sarah will need help with the Terrible Twos. Then there’s middle childhood. Donald will want Dad to watch his shinty games, or whatever it is you find to do on Skye. And you must read The Teenage Boy and the Importance of Male Role Models. You don’t want him hanging round bus shelters in Fort William drinking White Lightning, do you?”

“No, Charles,” he concluded, “there’s really no need for you to hurry back at all.”

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