Today I had a day off which got off to a shocking start. Waking up from my sleep, I picked up my phone to find numerous alerts indicating that the former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy had passed away. Any death is awful, but this particular one was astonishing. Oor Charlie? Dead? At 55? It just could not be true.
But, very regrettably, it is. Charles Kennedy was a man who put a huge smile on my face when he appeared on my television screen. Witty, laid back yet politically articulate, he is without doubt a Scottish political legend. Whilst I am a member of a different political party to the one he represented for many years, it never stopped me admiring him. If I rightly remember, the only time I got to see him in real life was during a recording of BBC One Sunday morning programme, The Big Questions, which took place in Glasgow. With regret, I never got a chance to shake hands with him and say hello.
Charles Kennedy has personally taught me that politics doesn’t have to be a boring affair. Politics needs characters and unique contributors to the ongoing debate. Nobody can deny that I do hold politicial ambition and if there’s anything that I vow to do in the future, it is three things:
1. Be a friendly face and show humanity in dealing with people, yet maintain a strong sense of political assertiveness.
2. Be outgoing at all times as well as constructively reflective about what is going on around me and within.
3. Never to be boring and monotonous, ever.
Oor Charlie has left me a legacy that I will proudly honour. Rest In Peace.