There is a remarkable paucity of information about the sudden political death of Ming Campbell. I mentioned Nick Robinson's brief entry on his BBC blog yesterday, but his entry could win prizes for literary development compared with Sky's Adam Boulton, who has had to satisfy himself with basically reprinting Ming's letter of resignation. Longer articles in the dead tree press today have not yielded much insight either. The Independent's main news article moves sharply away from objectivity in its description of Ming as 'a respected elder statesman', and his resigning being 'dignified'. There's not much dignified about leaving a letter with your deputy and tailing it up to your home in Edinburgh to hide from any questions.
The Independent, however, also has a more illuminating piece by its Commons sketch writer, Simon Carr, about why Ming failed in the Commons, and why he never gained the stature he had as a foreign affairs spokesman.
The truth is, he didn't know what to do with his leadership. He was happy to take advantage of Charles Kennedy's misfortunes, and then had no idea how to lead. For the leader of a third party at a time when the two major parties are viewed as being clones of each other, that really is failure on a grand scale. We should not weep for Sir Ming.