Charles Kennedy’s team has put together a video of pictures from his 32 years as an MP. When I first watched it the other day, It actually made me cry when I watched it. That’s not just because it scares me to be old enough to remember things that happened three decades ago. It was quite something for me, growing up in Caithness, to have someone just 7 years older than me elected in the next constituency.
During the 1984 European election campaign, Charles Kennedy, Alan Beith and Bob Maclennan held a public meeting in Wick to support Russell Johnston’s campaign for the European Parliament. As the youngest member of the local SDP by some margin, I was invited to deliver the Vote of Thanks at the end of this meeting. It was one of my first ever public speeches and one which is probably not worth remembering. Before the meeting I was invited to High Tea at a local hotel with all the speakers. All my contemporaries at that time were mad on Wham, but I was completely starstruck by Russell and Charles.That was the same campaign I got into big trouble for inadvertently propping up a Russell leaflet on my windowsill. My parents were none too impressed when they discovered it after about a week of it being there. Funnily enough, my nephew tried the same trick (sadly for a different party) recently with similar results.