Charles Kennedy in his own words

The former Lib Dem leader said it was a privilege to represent his constituency

Charles Kennedy died at his home in Scotland last night at the age of 55.

Some thought of him as a fiery but fair opponent, some a loyal and trusted colleague, others a loving father and family man.

Above all, Kennedy was known as a wise, honest politician.

What better way to celebrate the former party leader’s life than using his own words.

Before losing his seat at the general election:

“The greatest privilege of my public life over these past 32 years has to be being entrusted with the responsibility of representing this constituency. That is thanks to a generation and more of voters who have extended that trust to me and I hope, looking back over those 32 years, they will feel that it was trust well placed.”

His best quotes:

“The one thing we can all be sure about in politics is you are as well to expect the unexpected.”


“Courage is a peculiar kind of fear.”


“I’m not someone who dwells upon past events, taking the view that life is too short.”


“Three simple words - freedom, justice and honesty. These sum up what the Liberal Democrats stand for.”


“I can hardly think of an occasion when I’ve got into a stand-up fight with any political opponent. I’ve got my views, people know what they are, they can agree or they can choose to disagree. I’m not going to waste time just rubbishing everybody else.”


“Politics is much too serious to be taken too seriously; equally, there are many aspects of it so laughable as to be lamentable.”


“To run an effective political party you need a degree of tribalism, it’s the glue that holds everyone together.”


“I will go out of this world feet first with my Lib Dem membership card in my pocket.”


“I believe that access to a university education should be based on the ability to learn, not what people can afford. I think there is no more nauseating a sight than politicians pulling up the ladder of opportunity behind them.”


“The point never to lose sight of is to be guided by the correct thing, as you see it. It’s the only way to approach such profound matters and retain your integrity.”


“If you were to describe me as teetotal, on behalf of my constituency I’d have to sue; that would lose me every vote in the Highlands.”


“Politicians are good at saying how Government must do more, but we must also think carefully about where Government should do less.”


“Actually, I think it’s quite sensible not to take yourself too seriously.”


“I’m a fully paid-up member of the human race.”


“People are not stupid.”


“To be seen to be human, provided you’re doing your job at the same time, is definitely not a negative, not at all.”


“Yes, you need substance in politics - but I think your style also says something about how you arrive at some of your conclusions.”


“I want to see far more decisions taken far closer to the patients, the passengers and the pupils. Far more power for locally and regionally elected politicians who understand best the needs of their areas. And far more say too for the dedicated staff at all levels in health and education.”


Tributes roll in to Charles Kennedy who has died, aged 55

Charles Kennedy

Former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy has died

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