"Red Charlie"

By Whelan, Charlie | New Statesman (1996), September 29, 2003 | Go to article overview

"Red Charlie"


Whelan, Charlie, New Statesman (1996)


Charlie Kennedy should be delighted with the vicious attack on him by the Sun in the Lib Dems' conference week, It means that he is a real danger to the Tories. Let's not forget that the Sun has never actually backed Labour, only Tony Blair. When Blair is finally forced out, Rupert Murdoch will reassess his options, and what he would really like to do is support the Tories.

The problem is that they are becoming unelectable and their complete disintegration could come at the hands of the Liberal Democrats. Most Lib Dem target seats are held by Tories, which is why Kennedy is keen to play down being left-wing. And that's why the Sun is eager to say not only that he is "Red Charlie" but also that he's a drunk. Showing a picture of him on a whisky bottle and giving him scores in little whisky bottles was its subtle way of smearing him.

Still, it could have been worse for Charlie--or Charles, as be prefers. …

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