Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ken Just Can't Leave It Alone

Despite his age, and the fact that several of his natural backers have already declared for other candidates, it looks like Ken is really going to give it a go.

'The more I consider my options, the prospect of my becoming a candidate by the autumn becomes more attractive. I am listening to my parliamentary colleagues. Whatever I decide, I know this, that it would be a real privilege to be the person who could lead this party from Opposition to Government at the next election.'

That bit about 'a real privilege' is important, because of course his original musings suggested he'd only do it if the party begged him on bended knee. Like De Gaulle.

Presumably his latest intervention has been timed to coincide with today's vote of MPs on the leadership voting rules. He's saying 'change the rules and you can have me: you can stop those batty old members fouling up again.'

On Monday night we were able to compare Ken with Ted Heath. Ken was on C4 News discussing the Heath legacy, and it must be said he looked bouncier than for some time: Mrs Tyler wondered if he'd got himself a personal trainer. Or been at the monkey glands.

Ted appeared in Michael Cockerell's obituary profile, based round one of those interviews where you see the subject watching clips from old newsreels and others commenting on him. It was tragic. So much bitterness: a life unfulfilled.

So I guess if we were in Ken's shoes, we'd probably also give it another shot. Even though it's a very long shot indeed (14/1 when last sighted).


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