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Left, Right and Centre. Belated Thoughts on Charles Kennedy.

April 10, 2018

Since everyone is writing about “centrism” right now – I thought I’d repost something I scribbled following the death of Charles Kennedy…



Most people have had their say about Charles Kennedy by now.  His memory provokes a kind of rueful smile.  One of the few politicians of his age you’d actually want to have a drink with… which turned out to be the problem.  He seemed kind of human, and it turns out that being kind of human is not the way to get on in politics.

Perhaps most important of all, Charles Kennedy was not a centrist.  Never trust a centrist.  Charles Kennedy did not define himself along a continuum.  Charles Kennedy was not the prisoner of a paradigm derived from the seating preferences of the 1790s French national assembly.  He did not wake up in the morning and consider ways in which the political agenda seemed to have moved to the left or the right and move his party accordingly.

Because that’s what a centrist does.  Someone who is obsessive…

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