Tuesday, 2 June 2015
Charles Kennedy, former leader of the Liberal Democrats in the UK, died suddenly yesterday at the age of just 55.
I didn't agree with everything he said - such is the way of politics - but he was such a gifted orator he was one of those rare breed - a politician who, when he spoke, people listened. He spoke passionately for what he believed in and went against the party line when he very publicly spoke out against the UK going to war with Iraq some years ago.
After the general election of 2010, the Liberal Democrats - by now under the leadership of Nick Clegg - jumped into bed with the Conservative Party in order they could share some power in a coalition government. Kennedy wanted nothing to do with it and refused to consider a place in the government, such was his opposition to the Tories.
Yes, he had personal problems including the recent break-up of his marriage and the death of his father during the recent election campaign. And his battle with alcohol addiction was well-known.
Nonetheless, Charles Kennedy was one of the good guys. The world is the poorer for his passing.