In which our intrepid hero valiantly struggles to remove his foot from his mouth.

Okay, maybe it is that life-threateningly important.

Perhaps my criticisms of Brogden were harsh, but I’ve said what I’ve said; I don’t feel that they’re any less valid. If my words are used to judge me, then so be it; they remain on record that I may be judged fairly.

In light of last night’s events, I issued the following email to various friends and colleagues. It sums up what I’ve wanted to say for a very long time, but have lacked the impetus to speak upon:

Dear friends,

Please pass this email on to those whom you feel need to read it.

The unfortunate events of the last 48 hours have been shocking, traumatic and grim, to say the very least. John Brogden was and is, to many of us, if not a friend, then a leader, an inspiration and the embodiment of our hopes. The consequences of the past two days extend far beyond the man himself; his absence from the leadership will have repercussions not only on our chances of victory in 2007, but on the very future of the Moderates.

But all is not lost.

In a bombing campaign spanning 1940 and 1941, the Luftwaffe inflicted tens of thousands of civilian casualties upon Great Britain. This, too, had a devastating effect on British morale. At the very moment the war seemed to be lost, Winston Churchill came forward and entreated the citizens of the free world to rally and fight back against Nazi oppression. The next four years proved incredibly gruelling for the Allies, but in the end, their determination to remain free won the war.

Whilst I’m no Churchill, I ask you to keep this in mind. Now, more than ever, we must hold together and fight our enemies, tooth and nail. Things will get worse before they get better, but they will never get better if we just give up. This does not change what we must do; it merely makes it more difficult to achieve.

Remember why we all joined the Party—to preserve and protect the tradition of liberal democracy that has made this country safe and free. Our enemies would see that tradition cast aside, would silence any opinion that differs from their own, would crush dissent and non-conformity to their ideals. Keep in mind your noble purpose: the defence of freedom. Now, in our darkest hour, that freedom needs you most.

Let it not be said that John acted in cowardice; he fell upon his sword to protect the Party’s honour. What he did—though ill-considered—took immense courage. John was willing to sacrifice himself to protect the ideals which we all hold dear. We should honour his commitment to Liberalism, and support his friends, relatives, colleagues and—most importantly—John himself.

It is my sincerest wish that John will soon resume his seat in Parliament and put this tragic episode behind him as best he can. Even if he does not resume the leadership in due course, I would certainly hope that he assume a leadership role in the Parliamentary Party. If he cannot stand at the helm as we pilot our Party to victory, then he deserves—at the very least—a position of honour on the quarterdeck.

But that lies some distance in the future; we have more immediate obstacles to overcome and a more immediate threat lies at hand. Do not give up hope, do not waiver in your resolve and do not yield our enemies any ground. We can still succeed, but not without courage, determination and strength of character.

Our future lies in our own hands, both collectively and as individuals. Please remember this as events continue to unfold.

I thank you for your time, and once again, ask you please to pass this on as you feel the need.

The sad thing for me personally, I guess, is that it took events of such magnitude to galvanise my opinions and spur me into action. These interesting times in which we live are much greater than one political leader or, for that matter, the comparatively trivial life events of one eccentric young blogger.