What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
35 views
35 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
69 views
69 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
109 views
109 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
93 views
93 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
121 views
121 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
169 views
169 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
124 views
124 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
261 views
261 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
205 views
205 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
216 views
216 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
248 views
248 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Bliss Signal Album Review
News
2 views
2 views

Bliss Signal Album Review

Ryan Bridgewater - October 18, 2018
204 Views

Charles Kennedy, the left-wing Lib Dem: The Badger pays tribute to ‘a brilliant politician’

The BadgerHarry Howard believes Charles Kennedy, the former Liberal Democrat leader who died yesterday, was a ‘brilliant politician and decent human being’. 

Tributes were pouring in throughout yesterday after the sudden death of former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, aged just 55.

Kennedy was first elected as an MP at the age of just 23, representing his home constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands.

Notwithstanding the hugely impressive feat of becoming an MP at such a tender age, Kennedy was an extremely talented politician.

He led his party to their greatest ever result at the 2005 general election, gaining 62 seats and nearly six million votes. This feat is all the more impressive if it is compared to the party’s 2010 result, where they actually lost five seats, despite their leader Nick Clegg riding a wave of unprecedented popularity in the run-up to the election.

Amongst Kennedy’s best features was his principled leadership of the Liberal Democrats. He distanced himself and his party from Tony Blair’s New Labour despite previous leader Paddy Ashdown’s close relationship with Blair.

Perhaps most striking was when he refused to support the commencement of the Iraq War, arguing that evidence to go to war was sparse at best. He was, as we now know, proven right; but despite the situation in the Middle East getting decidedly worse in later years, he showed his good nature by refusing to play the dirty game of saying “I told you so”.

The Iraq saga wasn’t the only time that Kennedy refused to bend in the face of the political consensus. He spoke in favour of the legalisation of cannabis and put his words into action by pledging to look seriously at the issue if he ended up in government.

He was also one of only a handful of Liberal Democrats to refuse to support the 2010 coalition with the Conservatives, seeing it as driving a “coach and horses through the long-nurtured re-alignment of the centre-left.” His opposition was immediately made clear when he objected to the raising of tuition fees, leading a number of rebels to vote against the policy.

Indeed, for a party that had done so well positioning itself to the left of New Labour, Kennedy was right to spot the damage that a coalition with the Tories would do to his party, and it was unfortunate that he himself was a victim of this damage.

Perhaps most presciently, Kennedy spoke out in favour of electoral reform in 2011, referring to the “grotesque distortions” of first-past-the-post. His point was highlighted aptly by UKIP getting four million votes but only one seat in last month’s election.

More evidence of Kennedy’s talent was made clear by a number of appearances on the BBC’s satirical news programme Have I Got News for You in which he was shown to be easily capable of holding his own amidst humorous attacks from the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Ian Hislop.

Yet Kennedy stood out most for his humanity, with his faults as obvious as his virtues. He fought a career-long battle with alcoholism, and despite repeated refusals to admit to having a problem, it was this issue that forced him out as party leader in 2005.

His alcohol troubles even provoked a vicious joke from Ian Duncan Smith during the latter’s pathetic tenure as leader of the Conservative Party. Speaking on the issue of tax rises at his party’s conference just days before resigning, Duncan Smith said, “Charlie Kennedy wants to raise them [taxes] even further, except of course on wines and spirits”.

This low blow did little to save one of the worst party leaders in British political history, and Kennedy – with the phenomenal 2005 election result ahead of him – was to last another two years.

The Scot was one of the many inevitable Liberal Democrat victims of both the rise of the SNP and his party’s decision to stick to the Coalition, as he lost his seat at last month’s election. It was certainly sad given his principled and prescient stance on many issues that have since become part of popular opinion.

Certainly, it was the tributes that came in from all sides of politics after news of his death emerged that made clear his popularity and decency. Perhaps most touching was the contribution from New Labour veteran Alastair Campbell who said that Kennedy “was a terrific communicator and a fine orator. He spoke fluent human, because he had humanity in every vein and every cell.”

Harry Howard

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
35 views
35 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
69 views
69 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
109 views
109 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
93 views
93 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
121 views
121 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
169 views
169 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
124 views
124 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
261 views
261 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
205 views
205 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
216 views
216 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
248 views
248 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Bliss Signal Album Review
News
2 views
2 views

Bliss Signal Album Review

Ryan Bridgewater - October 18, 2018
Name Changes Made Easier for Students
Campus News
7 views
7 views

Name Changes Made Easier for Students

Matthew Nicholls - October 18, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

De-Stressing with Rob Cowen’s Common Ground
Arts
24 views
Arts
24 views

De-Stressing with Rob Cowen’s Common Ground

Hal Keelin - October 18, 2018

Upon my transfer to Sussex University, I found Robert Cowen’s Common Ground a particularly comforting read. After nearly a year out from academic study, I was finally…

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
35 views
Arts
35 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
69 views
Arts
69 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
61 views
Film & Theatre
61 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
93 views
Arts
93 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
88 views
Campus News
88 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
124 views
News
124 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
109 views
Arts
109 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
93 views
Interview
93 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
124 views
Lifestyle
124 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
121 views
Lifestyle
121 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
169 views
Arts
169 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
124 views
News
124 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
261 views
Arts
261 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
192 views
Film & Theatre
192 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
205 views
Sports
205 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
216 views
Arts
216 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
248 views
Arts
248 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1303 views1
Campus News
1303 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Bliss Signal Album Review
News
2 views
News
2 views

Bliss Signal Album Review

Ryan Bridgewater - October 18, 2018

By Ryan Bridgewater CD/Vinyl/Download At first glance, the worlds of black metal and electronic dance music do not seem to have very much in common. The former…

New Student Energy Project Launches at Sussex
Campus News
5 views
Campus News
5 views

New Student Energy Project Launches at Sussex

Jessica Hubbard - October 18, 2018

A new Student Energy Project has started at Sussex. The project is run in collaboration with The Student Energy Project, the University Sustainability team and Sussex Students’…

Name Changes Made Easier for Students
Campus News
7 views
Campus News
7 views

Name Changes Made Easier for Students

Matthew Nicholls - October 18, 2018

The University of Sussex will now accept unenrolled deed polls as proof of name change to those who wish, granting more freedom and anonymity to those in…

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
27 views
News
27 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

The court of appeal has quashed sentences handed to 3 fracking protestors calling them "manifestly excessive". Jail sentences of 15- 16 months were given to the three…

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit
News
28 views
News
28 views

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, gave a talk on campus. Known for his work with the LGBTQ+ community, he spoke about free speech under attack and…

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
18 views
News
18 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018

The NUS has expressed its support for a national referendum on the final Brexit deal, also referred to as a ‘People’s Vote’. This came after Labour MPs…

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
21 views
Campus News
21 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

An open letter started by Sussex academics has gained over 1,000 signatures. The letter, entitled ‘Open letter from UK academics: The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets…

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News
43 views
National News
43 views

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

Written by Danielle Ball Shocking witness statements have been heard from the fire crew and call handlers involved in the response to the tragedy The Grenfell Tower…

Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
31 views
National News
31 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research. Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
52 views
Music
52 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
60 views
Arts
60 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100
Music
98 views
Music
98 views

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100

Ryan Bridgewater - October 5, 2018

Released 28th September Available on: CD/Vinyl/Download   The anticipation couldn’t have been greater when the final instalment in London nightclub Fabric’s legendary DJ mix series was announced…