Monday, September 17, 2007

EXCLUSIVE: There might really be a Presidential contest next year!

Now I freely accept that, for this particular correspondent, the logo has a fairly obvious rationale. However, it has just taken on a whole new significance. Yes, Ros is running for the position of Party President next year, and I am incredibly proud to endorse her candidacy, for more than just the obvious reason.

The Presidency is, for most members, a little understood role, being seen as the person who visits Local Parties, eats dinner, makes the rallying speeches, and is a public face for the Party. Indeed, all this is true, but barely scratches the surface of the job.

One key role is that of chairing the Federal Executive. This requires organisation, preparation and focus and, as I have learned from watching my own Regional Executive, it isn't easy. In particular, managing egos, personal agendas and conflicting demands requires vast reservoirs of tact, diplomacy and resolve. Ros has led a County Council under coalition circumstances, and has hard, practical experience of taking tough decisions under pressure. In the House of Lords, she has laboured tirelessly to oppose legislation that is highly technical, massively complex and, frankly, desperately poorly drafted, with limited administrative support. She leads a team with enormous individual credibility and is respected by them.

Another role, which has been little exercised in recent years, is that of representing the ordinary members and activists within the highest levels of the Party, if you like, to be a honest broker when things are difficult. During the darkest days of last winter, there was nobody who could credibly go to Charles Kennedy and say, "Nothing personal, Charles, but perhaps it's time to go, whilst you can retain your dignity?".

That brings me to another reason why Ros would make a good President. As a member of the House of Lords, she has no further political ambition, and no agenda, other than the satisfaction of doing a good job. Had she been President in late 2005 and early 2006, she could have done what Simon Hughes, for example, could never have done, without being seen to have a personal interest.

So watch out for the logo, coming to a badge near you soon!


Anonymous said...

Looks good.
Shame we had to lose the drop shadow.

Tristan said...

Oh good, a contest for the job.

I like the fact that she's also not out to be leader or further her career.