So, in the end, it seems that just two weeks is not enough time to organise a grassroots campaign for the Party Presidency, though Jennie gave it a damn good go. Still, there’s two years until the next contest, which is a lot more notice…
As it stands, it looks as though the contest is going to be between Susan Kramer and Tim Farron. While I am tempted by the idea of writing in a ‘press gang Ros Scott for another two years’ option on my ballot paper, at the moment I think I’m going to vote for Susan Kramer.
Having seen the difference in the last couple of years when the Party President wasn’t an MP, I’m not convinced it’s possible to do the job of President – or, at least, the job as I and others would expect to see it done – and be an effective MP at the same time. Susan seems to be running to replace Ros and carry on the work she’s done – both publicly and privately – and that’s what the party needs right now if we can’t have someone in there to really shake things up and give a radically different perspective.
Even with a large chunk of the parliamentary party serving in the Government, there seems to be no shortage of MPs and Lords willing to speak to the media, and the presidency can be so much more than just someone else ready to do the rounds of radio cars and satellite studios. We need someone who’s spending their days away from Cowley Street outside of the M25, not just down the road in Westminster. There are enough people out there willing to speak for the members of the party already, when what we need is someone who’s going to speak to them.