Ming’s behind-the-scenes account of CK’s downfall

Ming Campbell’s autobiography is due out shortly – you can pre-order it from Amazon here, and earn the Lib Dems some commission – and is currently being serialised by the Daily Mail. No surprise that the first instalment should focus on Charles Kennedy’s battle with alcoholism and his forced resignation as leader in January 2006.

Much of the account is familiar – the growing awareness of Charles’s problems within the Westminster village, and the protectiveness of Charles’s inner team. But Ming also describes his first realisation of how Charles’s drinking was beginning to impede his ability to do his job – when they were both due to meet Palastinian leader, Yasser Arafat in October 2001, Ming relates how Charles was late, shaking badly, and able only to ask one question in between dashes to the toilet.

And, in case all of that isn’t sufficient to pique your interest, you can also read about (unfounded) newspaper allegations of Lady Elspeth’s “affair” with David Steel…

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  • Why the !!!! is Ming’s book being serialised in the Daily Mail.

  • Because hundreds of thousands of Liberal Democrat voters read it.

  • Hywel Morgan 24th Feb '08 - 11:28am

    “Because hundreds of thousands of Liberal Democrat voters read it.”

    And I’m sure they’ll be impressed by the non-sensationalist and supportive way in which the Mail will serialise this book. In any case surely the market would be people who might vote for us rather than current supporters.

    This feels like the liberal equivalent of Graeme Souness’ interview in the Sun.

  • Terry Gilbert 24th Feb '08 - 12:41pm

    As a Liverpool supporter for 33 years, and a Lib Dem for 24 years, I think Souness was the bigger villain!
    But seriously, it does seem a strange place to serialise, unless it was about the size of the cheque.
    I was disturbed to hear one Lib Dem MP of my acquaintance explaining an apparantly particularly right wing speech by a collegue could be explained by the need to ‘throw a bit of red meat to the Mail’.

  • Read it in the Mail and donate the cost of the book to the Lib Dems.

  • Isnt it true that the Mail is the most read paper amongst Lib Dems (voters I guess that is)

  • Hywel Morgan 25th Feb '08 - 11:20am

    “better have it in the Mail than merely having them quote choice attack extracts all the time.”

    You reckon they won’t do that anyway? I await the Mail’s serialisation of the chpater entitled “why I was right to stand up for basic human rights for Asylum Seekers.

    We want less Lib Dem voters to be reading the Mail – not getting more of them to pick it up because Ming is on the masthead.

  • Hywel Morgan 26th Feb '08 - 8:47pm

    “but we have to reach out to all media organisations, even ones whose editorial lines we often vehemently oppose.”

    But there’s a difference between sending press releases and accrediting journalists for conference and selling them exclusive rights to a book.

    On the theory that more Lib Dems read the Mail than any other paper, the second most read paper by Lib Dems is the Sun – does that mean a section of our vote is 99% in favour of restoring the death penalty.

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