The globe was thrown into a major political and economic crisis last night following the shock decision of Sir Menzies Campbell to resign the leadership of Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party.
Eleven billion dollars were wiped off the value of shares in Wall Street before trading was suspended, while other world markets were kept closed to avoid panic and possible financial meltdown. George Bush and Vladimir Putin spoke in emergency session and later issued a joint statement urging for calmness during this period of uncertainty. But the resignation leaves Britain’s third party utterly leaderless, and marks the political demise of an inspiration and an icon who spoke for a whole generation.
‘His policies were quite like the policies of the two main parties’ said one weeping student. ‘But I think he probably wanted electoral reform as well.’ ‘We all just feel such uncertainty for the future,’ said the Bishop of Southwark, leading a candle-lit vigil in South London which spilled out of the cathedral and into the surrounding streets. ‘Those badminded waste-man gone make him resigning innit?’ said Lemar, from Brixton who had been completely uninterested in Westmnister politics until Campbell came on the scene. ‘Ma brethren was like, prayin’ for Proportional Representation an’ that, innit?’ Campbell had been able to reach out to alienated black youth in the way that no other politician had previously managed, and was of course, the hero of the British and American rap scenes.
In major cities across Africa and Asia, demonstrators rushed out into the streets, clutching pictures of their political idol who they had hoped might increase the number of Lib Dem councillors in Devon and Cornwall and maybe regain overall control of the Isle of Wight. ‘He had been leader since March last year and now he is gone’ wept one mourner. ‘It is like President Kennedy, Diana and John Lennon rolled into one.’
Sir Menzies Campbell issued a short statement in response to the incredible world wide reaction. ‘All right, I know it’s not that big a deal. But you don’t have to take the piss.’