Saturday, January 07, 2006

I just wasn't made for these times.

Winston Churchill, during the darkest days of the Second World War, imbibed at least one bottle of champagne and half a bottle of brandy daily.

His iron constitution was legendary, but this intake seems inconceivable given the vital importance of decisions that he was required to make on a daily basis. I have a suspicion that the power naps with which he rejuvenated himself may have been supplemented with a little chemical assistance from the good doctors of Harley Street.

The media was less intrusive in those days, and had the general public been aware of the general sozzledness of their political masters I am sure that there would have been riots in protest.

John F Kennedy was kept functioning by an ungodly combination of steroids and amphetamines: his legendary sexual incontinence possibly augmented by these substances. It didn’t prevent him acting with cool resolve during the Cuban missile crisis, or responding to the clamour for civil rights in the American South.

Charles Kennedy is a figure of much less significance, but I very much doubt if alcoholic impairment is the main cause of his political demise. His excessive consumption of alcohol has been an open secret for years. In reality, the Liberal Democrats have ditched him because they are shit scared of losing their seats to a rejuvenated Tory Party.

Charles is my MP, and is a man whose fundamental decency is unquestioned. He has a high media profile, and will no doubt retain his position in the public eye. If I was Charles, I would reassure myself that my political comrades would probably have nailed me for smoking twenty a day if they had failed to decapitate me with a dram glass.


Sniffy said...

You're spot on. I don't like the man's political ideals, but I admire him more now.

Having a troublesome relationship with booze is something that curses many people. Alcoholics do not know they are alcoholics, and recognising a problem is made even more difficult in a society where it is acceptable and expected to drink. His denials were not lies, they were simply failure recognise a problem. It's only when you recognise that you have a problem that you actually become an alcoholic and this is the first step to recovery.

It's a shame that such terrible stigma is associated with alcoholism ; I guess people associate it with weakness. I still do not admit that I am an alcoholic when questioned why it is that I don't drink. I just say that "I'd had enough of booze" that I was "fed up of the hangovers and lost weekends". Reading between the lines anybody with half a brain would be able to see what I'm saying, but I think people are scared of alcoholics. They are scared because alcoholics are normal people, just like them and they wouldn't want to associate their drinking behaviour with that of somebody with an addiction.

I think the Liberal Democrats have damaged themselves far more by their treatment of Charles Kennedy than he could ever have done by himself. It looks like they'll now have a leader who goes by the name of "ming".

becca said...

This seems to be the general consensus . My mom is still with us and is obsessed with the morning news and paper. She keeps asking me, "Are you sure he didn't do anything else?"

Herge Smith said...

It's politics by Big Brother - and I mean Channel 4 style - break everyone down to a single soundbyte personality trait and then vote them off.

Charles was always doomed because he had a real personality, a liking for normal stuff (the booze), would work whilst hungover and would happily take the piss out of himself.

As I say, he was doomed.

I do rather tire of the 'alcoholism is a disease' thing - cancer is a disease, wanting booze is not.

frobisher said...

Personally, I think Charles Kennedy is better off without being leader of the Liberal Democrats. As Herge says in this reality-show panto of a world where people are judged by looks/clothes/private vices anyone with any conviction is ridiculed and slandered. How superfical everything seems now.

funny thing said...

Liberal Democrats - not liberal, not democratic.

So the bastards resorted to threats and blackmail to ditch him. For what? For being on the wagon for 2 months?

I suppose the deserters would have started a new political party called erm... "The Not So Liberal We Hate Anyone With A Flaw Party".


S.I.D. said...

I'd buy him a drink.

surly girl said...

it's just a poorly disguised witch hunt, isn't it? poor old ginger charlie. bless.

BigDov said...

bet he could have murdered a pint after his speech