The Apollo Project
Liberal Ideas for the 21st Century
Thursday, January 19, 2006
And then there were three
by Peter

Well I am glad I did not make that post about Mark Oaten now. My original line seems to have been the better one:

Some MPs are apparently about to support Mark Oaten because they want a contest. I wonder if there is really room for both Oaten and Huhne in this contest.

Now the Guardian reports that he is pulling out.

I'll be sorrier than most. Many Lib Dem bloggers had decided that he was fourth in my preferences - and that was my view last week.

His ambition is an advantage in my view - and has led him to question the party's approach to good effect in the past. But his launch statement was not the polished document one might have expected, and queries about invisible support, the secret seven, and the hired guns are telling against him. At this moment he seems to be trailing the pack. I have him at fourth preference (ie blank). but there's plenty of time

But I had him inching into third place until the latest stories erupted.

UPDATE: the BBC has this:

Lib Dem Europe spokesman Nick Clegg, a supporter of deputy leader Sir Menzies Campbell, told the BBC Mr Oaten had come "to a mature decision ... clearly the support among MPs was never there".

Asked if he expected Mr Oaten to now come out in support of Sir Menzies, he said: "We haven't had any contact with him yet, but he would make an extremely strong member of the front bench team."
posted by Peter Pigeon @ 11:47 am  
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"What is Liberalism?: I should say it means the acknowledgment in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can at least avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life." C-B.


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