LISTEN: Ming Campbell on North Korea, an anti-Brexit party, gender equality and what he ate before a big race

When something goes awry in the world, I always want to hear what two people think of it – Paddy and Ming. I don’t always agree with them, but what they have to say is always worth hearing.

Last night Ming Campbell was on Any Questions. He had his own alliterative response to Trump’s “fire and fury” and “locked and loaded” – inexperienced, incompetent and incoherent. He said that the UK should work with the UN to sort this situation out and warned against any sort of military engagement. He said that the world was in a very dangerous situation.

Other issues raised included whether there should be a new centrist anti-Brexit party. Ming said, quite correctly, that there was one and there was no time to faff about creating another. The fallout from the Google memo was also discussed.

But you’ll have to listen to the end to find out what Ming used to eat before a big race in his running days when he held British records and stuff. It certainly wasn’t the sort of tailored, scientific approach we see with elite athletes today.

I was also surprised that he came out in favour of the sacking of James Damore from Google. He was pretty clear. What he’d said was wholly inappropriate and he had to go. I kind of agree with him – but on the other hand, I am very aware that Damore worked for a company in a country which has next to no employment rights. I suspect that firing him will make him a vast amount of money and will make him a bit of a celeb in alt-right circles. A disciplinary process that told him off might have been a better way of dealing with the situation.

Listen to the whole programme here.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Richard Easter 13th Aug '17 - 12:58pm

    A second anti-Brexit party would simply split the vote further, without winning any seats, and if anything might lead to the Tories gaining Labour and Liberal seats.

    Voters who may be minded to vote Liberal Democrat may think there is more chance of this new party getting somewhere and may vote for them instead of the Liberal Democrats, thus splitting the Liberal vote.

    The more globally minded (and probably more middle class) Labour supporters may back an anti-Brexit party, the working class traditional Labour supporters who backed Labour in 2017, would more likely stay with Corbyn. The Labour vote would be split.

    You may get a few Tory voters back the new party, but Tories seem to be pretty good at keeping together. UKIP did more damage to Labour in 2015, than the Tories after all.

    I also think that if this new party is unashamedly pro-globalisation – and is just seen as a vehicle for political elites, rather than as a liberal party with a genuine philosophy, it will struggle anywhere outside the more affluent parts of the South East.

  • Richard Easter 13th Aug '17 - 12:58pm

    Oh and might I add, Campbell is completely right on the North Korea situation. If only Sanders was president eh…

  • Christopher Curtis 13th Aug '17 - 2:59pm

    I don’t think there is any chance of a “new party” doing anything more than damaging sensible candidates in other parties, including ours. What I hope the discussion might achieve though, is pushing Conservative and Labour MPs to vote with their consciences and in the interests of their constituents instead of blindly following their leaderships as they have done to date.
    James Chapman’s directness and dismissal of those responsible for the current situation is right and is cutting through more effectively than some of the more nuanced and careful comments others who share his feelings have made. Today, watching Hammond and Fox busily carving up the future of the country through a cosy agreement that absolutely no-one wants or voted for made me want to shout and be very rude about the selfish disaster that is the Tory Party and the incompetent cult that Labour has become.

  • Look at the Womans Equality Party in the recent June GE. They have a very good policy to promote …. BUT womans equality is already being promoted. I met one WEP candidate during campaign. She was in a constituency with a labour MP anf the only other candidate with any realistic hope of success, a woman Liberal Democrat. I asked why stand against two candidates who both advocat womans equality?? the WEP candidate or supporters with her could not give me an answer??

  • Andrew Tampion 13th Aug '17 - 5:56pm

    Assuming you count the Greens it would actually be a third anti-Brexit party. Given that the anti-brexit vote appears to consist of about 10% of the electorate I don’t think it matters how many party’s it’s split between.
    Furthermore since all the anti-Brexit party’s lost vote share in the recent election and with the exception of UKIP the pro Brexit party’s including the Tories gained vote share it would be a brave sitting MP who would jump ship to found such a party

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