Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

RIP Charles Kennedy

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 09:11 am
miss_s_b: (Mood: Bugger)
Everyone in the Lib Dems (and many beyond) is feeling this one, and I'm no different. Like many others in the Lib Dem family, I couldn't call Charles Kennedy my best friend, but he meant a huge amount to me none-the-less. My first conference I went as a steward, because if you work conference you get in for free. One thing that most people outside the party (and even many people within) might not know is how Charles was revered among the stewards at conference - because even when he was leader and always after he always made time for a stewards' thank you party, and he didn't just stick his head in, he really had time for them and was genuinely grateful for how they made conference possible.

So my first conference, having worked my arse off at the least popular stewarding post because I was the n00b, I went to the steward's party. And was welcomed joyously by Charles. And every conference after he always said hello, and remembered my name. A couple of times we'd end up in the smoking zone having a companionable rollup. My second autumn conference we went back to Bournemouth and I'll never forget being sat on the wall by the Marriott Highcliff with Charles, kicking our feet and smoking a fag apiece like naughty schoolchildren behind the bikeshed and chatting about nothing much. I was - still am, really - nobody in the party. But Charles didn't give a rat's arse about who he was supposed to talk to.

He was a witty and inspirational speaker. He was a principled Liberal, and he stood by those principles even when others condemned him for it. But I'm going to remember that man who always had time for others, no matter how low down the pecking order they were. If you judge a man by how he treated those society considers less than him, then Charles Kennedy was a King.

My thoughts today are with those who knew him better than me, but also everyone else whose life he touched in little ways like mine. We've lost a good one.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Belligerent Wheel of Fortune)
I'm not going to give these people the publicity they clearly crave by linking to their poisonous words, but those of you who think it's acceptable to use someone's death to rake over old coals or score cheap political points - Salmond, Oakeshott and (inevitably) Öpik among them - need to take a good long look at yourselves.

A man has died. Even if he wasn't the much-loved person he clearly was, even if everyone hated him, it is not appropriate to use a person's death for your own ends, even if you think those ends are the noblest ends there are. When someone has just passed you need to leave some time for people to process it before you start making snide little asides or even blatantly laying into them. As [personal profile] matgb just said to me, they could leave it till tomorrow. Or even the afternoon.

And finally, if your comments lead people to say things like this:
...it's maybe a sign that you do the classless thing a bit too often. Grow up and let people grieve before you loose your poison on the world. Thank you.

ETA: this post from Dr Nerdlove has some good advice for you guys and your ilk.

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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