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Kennedy’s drinking an on-going problem?

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

There’s been much speculation over the last few days concerning Charles Kennedy’s drinking past, mainly fueled by the pending release of Greg Hurst’s new book. Essentially, though, it doesn’t seem to say an awful lot more than most people already presumed.

I say past drinking problem – but just exactly how “past” is it? I know that any recovering alcoholic would say they are never really ‘cured’ of alcoholism, but there’s certainly been a general idea that Charles has given up the alcohol after being in an alcohol detox Arizona center for several months, and is doing his best to adjust to life without it: An admirable ideal. Indeed, back in January, when admitting his problem for the first time at an extraordinary press conference, Charles said:

As a matter of fact I’ve not had a drink for the past two months and I don’t intend to in the future.

But Guido now appears to be suggesting that Mr Kennedy may not be living up to the high standard he’s set himself:

Sharper readers of the dead-tree-press will realise that headlines like “Kennedy ‘must recover’ before return” and “Sir Menzies Campbell made clear that he would be welcome but only once he is ‘fully recovered’ ” don’t make sense if he is now sober …

To be fair, when asked on television recently when it was he last had a drink Kennedy avoided answering the question. Guido knows that he has been the worse for wear as recently as June.

I like Mr Kennedy. I don’t think he’s the solution to all the world’s problems, but he was a different kind of politician to those who usually gravitate to the position of leader, and that was probably healthy for democracy. I would really hate for him to be politically damaged further by appearing to be deceiving the public a second time. I don’t think he’s done that yet, but I really think he needs to watch his step, and handle things very carefully and delicately.

Honesty may well be the best policy second time around.

This post was filed under: Media, News and Comment, Politics.

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