Sad news, former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy has been found dead at his home aged 55. A liberal yes, but also a staunch internationalist and proud scot. On all accounts a kind hearted man, seemingly unencumbered by institutional political spite, humorous and quick to smile. Unlike most politicians he seemed almost human and was one of the few politicians that I respected.
The only Lib Dem who retained his integrity while the rest betrayed us all, who in his innate wisdom stood out against the coalition, while the rest of his party ignored him. Always a man of the left, he acted as the unofficial leader of the opposition to the coalition in the Labour Party's 5 year absence. Such a shame people will only learn about this mans steadfast principles through todays obituary columns.
I remember too his courageous opposition to the Iraq war, the only party leader to do so, while others flinched, who said at the time ' I find it personally and politically very difficult indeed to support a war in which there is no mandate from the UN and no sense of legitimacy on the international stage.' Not afraid to stand up for social justice and what he believed in, who was able to admit his own human failings, with great dignity, his humanity and his kind nature endured him to many. Sadly this did not extend to the Palestinians, he did have close links to the JNF , a group that wants to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian, sometimes we make mistakes. But for many a good and decent man, a genuine person. And at end of the day we all have to make hard choices and then live with them.
He will be missed by all that encountered him.
Charles Kennedy R.I.P
Charles Kennedy's finest hour