Former British Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy dies

This video from Britain says about itself:

Charles KennedyIraq: “I was right.”

2 June 2015

Charles Kennedy being vindicated in his opposition to the Iraq War on series 38 episode 9 of Have I Got News For You.

RIP Charles

Copyright BBC/Hattrick/etc (i.e., not me).

By Jack White in Britain today:

Charles Kennedy: Ex-leader was at odds with his party’s lurch to the right

Mr Kennedy’s greatest political tribute came from the anti-war movement, to which he became something of a hero in 2003 when, as Lib Dem leader, he broke the Establishment line to condemn the Iraq war — although he did so on the basis that there had been no UN resolution.

Addressing the largest protest in British history that year, he said: “I can assure you there is no way, in all conscience, that the Liberal Democrats could, or should, support a war.”

Labour anti-war MP Diane Abbott said that opposing the war was a difficult call for Mr Kennedy to make. Establishment-minded Lib Dem politicians were pressing their leader to back the government.

“You cannot overstate Charles Kennedy’s bravery in finally coming to the right decision,” said Ms Abbott.

“I was on the huge Stop the War march and rally. It was the biggest ever and on the platform at the end was Charles Kennedy. He was not a regular on left platforms but his determination and convictions shone through and the crowd loved him for it.”

Mr Kennedy’s family announced his death in a statement “with great sadness and an enormous sense of shock,” adding that they would comment further following a post-mortem investigation.

“Charles was a fine man, a talented politician and a loving father to his young son,” said the family statement.

He leaves a parliamentary record of voting against the Lib Dems’ fatal 2010 sell-out over university tuition fees and for the raising of benefits in line with prices.

Charles Kennedy’s 2003 speech at the over a million people strong anti-Iraq war demonstration in London:

“I’M NOT persuaded by the case for war. The arguments have been contradictory and inconsistent and the information has all too often been misleading as well as inconclusive.

“It’s no wonder that people are scared and confused.

“I say this to you quite seriously as somebody who personally happens not to be a pacifist but has the utter respect for anyone on grounds of conscience who is. As somebody who’s not actually anti-American but who’s deeply worried by this Bush administration and as someone who is under no illusion about the brutal dictatorship and appalling regime that is Saddam Hussein.

“But I conclude by returning to the United Nations.

“If the great powers of the world ignore it, then great damage will be done to the world order and the best hope of international justice for everybody in the world.

“And without a second UN resolution based on authoritative fact from the weapons inspectorate, I can assure you there is no way, in all conscience, that the Liberal Democrats could, or should, support a war.”

This video says about itself:

R.I.P Charles Kennedy: His finest hour

Charles Kennedy speaks at 2003 Stop the War rally

10 thoughts on “Former British Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy dies

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