Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Lembit Opik Lights up the Liberals

Although the Liberal Democrats have more than their fair share of men in suits (and relatively few women MPs), they also have their characters, in particular Mid-Wales MP Lembit Opik.

Opik first gained attention because of his demands for the Government to set up some sort of body to deal with the threat of asteroids colliding with the Earth (although presumably if one landed in Mid-Wales it would threaten more sheep than people).

He then took up with a very popular celebrity, weather woman Sian Lloyd. Known for her gesticulating weather forecasts which are sometimes parodied on satirical shows, Lloyd recently became the oldest woman (she is 49) ever to be voted 'rear of the year': Rear

Many might have thought that Opik was fortunate to be involved with such a personable and attractive woman, but he ditched Lloyd for one of two twenty-something sisters who form part of a 'Romanian cheeky singing duo.' Posteriors seem to feature in their songs, so perhaps there is a connection there with Lloyd.

Now Opik is the news after a meeting of indignant secretaries in the House of Commons who were protesting at a rule which stipulates that 'busy' MPs can jump the queue in the Commons canteen, post office etc. Not unreasonably, the hard pressed secretaries felt 'disrepected'.

Opik declared that he was their champion. The meeting was packed out with many left in the corridor, but Opik used his privileges to force his way in, only to be thrown out again.

Lembit Opik is not a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats. But he is probably better known than many of the credible candidates who do not include the astute deputy leader, Vince Cable, who has declared himself 'too old' at 64.


Justin Greaves said...

Although, perhaps surprisingly, Vince Cable put in quite a good performance at this week's PMQ's.

Nick Clegg is clearly the best candidate for the leadership - telegenic and a moderniser in the Blair/Cameron mould. It will be interesting to see what happens. In particular, if he is elected and increases Liberal Democrat support, will that be more at the expense of Labour or Conservative? Certainly, a Conservative I know is so worried about Clegg that they jokingly suggested joining the Lib Dems so they could vote against him in the forthcoming election!

Wyn Grant said...

I think Vince Cable is one of the most able Lib Dems, but the age factor would haunt him in the same way as it did Ming. I think that most of the recent Lib Dem losses of support have been to the Conservatives, so any ground regained would be at their expense. I think that the Lib Dems have deeper problems than can be solved by a new leader.