I’ll have a proper post tomorrow, but I’m just doing a quick linkblog tonight.
One brief not-a-full-post-worthy question though — why do political cliches keep getting repeated despite having no relation to reality?
Most recently, in the current political decapitation-mania, where if you believe the press it looks like the leaders of all three major parties are seconds from being ousted (and, frankly, that makes sense — it’s not like any of them are doing a spectacular job), the refrain has been “the Lib Dems are ruthkless at getting rid of their leaders.”
Is that really true, though — or at least, is it truer of the Lib Dems than of the other major parties? In the 24 years that the Lib Dems have existed, they’ve had (not counting caretaker leaders like Cable during elections) four leaders — Ashdown, Kennedy, Campbell and Clegg. In that same time period, Labour have had five non-caretaker leaders — Kinnock, Smith, Blair, Brown and Milliband — though admittedly John Smith was a special case because he died while leader. The Tories, in that same period, have had six — Thatcher, Major, Hague, Duncan-Smith, Howard and Cameron.
So where does this myth of Lib Dem ruthlessness come from? I suppose we’ll never know…