It was announced this morning that Charles Kennedy, former MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats party had died at the age of 55. His alcoholism is well documented and in recent years he had become a shadow of his former self. By all accounts he was a very decent man, self-deprecating and with a tremendous loyalty to his party who he had served in parliament for over 30 years until his defeat at the last general election. He made regular appearances on the BBC programme “Have I Got News For You” where his wit and humour were often on display.
What I find quite strange is that the BBC have spent the morning eulogising Kennedy on both radio and TV, MPs rolled out along with numerous political commentators to say what a wonderful man he was. Even worse Alastair Campbell (Blairs former press thug and bully) has written and been interviewed about Kennedy and the “shared demons” they both faced.
I have no doubt of this but can we get things in perspective. He was an MP, not exactly the most demanding of jobs as you are not required to attend parliament at any time and are free to do “other jobs” if you so wish. Being an MP is the only job I know with a starting salary in excess of £60+k where NO QUALIFICATIONS at all are required (can you think of any other?). He has made no great scientific discovery, no medical breakthrough, not created an organisation of international repute, not come up with any new “breakthrough ideas” that have significantly benefited society……………so why all this eulogising?
He was by all accounts a very good constituency MP, well liked and respected but interestingly, voted out of office at the last general election by the SNP “tsunami” and he apparently took the rejection very badly (understandably after representing the constituency for over 30 years).
Yes, it is very sad that he should have died at the very young age of 55 and by all accounts was a very nice man, but I find it difficult to understand why the BBC in particular, have gone overboard on this story!