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Ming the Merciless?

One of the contenders for the leadership of Britain’s Liberal Democrats is Scot, Menzies Campbell, known as “Ming”. I am not sure how he got this moniker. Was it because his friends thought he resembled the villain of the Flash Gordon series, Ming the Merciless?

I feel sorry for his supporters. They are destined to be known as a lot of mingers.

(That’s enough adolescent humour, Ed).

26 comments to Ming the Merciless?

  • RobtE

    …known as “Ming”. I am not sure how he got this moniker. Was it because his friends thought he resembled the villain of the Flash Gordon series, Ming the Merciless?

    No, it’s because one of the traditional pronunciations of the name spelt ‘Menzies’ is ‘Mingus’, of which ‘Ming’ is the diminutive.

    That said, however, if Campbell were to win the leadership election, and assuming Brown follows Blair as the Labor leader, then then next election will be Ming v. Gordon.

  • If only I had a pound for everytime I heard the joke about Mings followers being Mingers…

  • Russell

    I must congratulate you on coming up with the ‘Minger’ gag – a full 2 weeks after the rest of the country 😉

  • Julian Taylor

    Mingers and Blingers – a ‘street’ term.

    Bling = New trainers (sneakers), loads of heavy gold jewellry, diamond encrusted watch etc etc. (Example)

    Minger = (lit) foul smelling but generally taken to mean a particularly ugly girl (can be in personality more than in looks). The glamour model Jordan in the UK is generally held as a prime example of that (see also ‘chav’)

  • Chris Harper

    Ming vs Gordon,


    I hope he wins just so we can have that outcome.

    How come I haven’t seen this earlier? Or is it just that RobtE and myself are showing our ages here and the younger ones just don’t get it?

    Bob Menzies, Liberal (conservative) Prime Minister of Australia in the 50’s and 60’s, had the nickname ‘Ming’ and ‘Ming the Merciless’ as well.

    Besides, if you listen to the news, Menzies Campbell is always pronounced as Mingus Campbell. Or at least he was so called while I was living in London. I don’t see the mystery.

  • Julian Taylor

    I always was told that ‘Menzies’ was pronounced ‘Minnis’. In fact there are people with that surname in Scotland, in the same matter that there are people with the surname ‘Fanshawe’, despite the original spelling being ‘Featherstonehaugh’.

  • If it is Ming vs Gordon, then David is “Prince Carr’ron”,
    NeuLabour MPs are clearly the Clay People and Kennedy is “Dr Smirnoff”.

    I’ll get me cloak…

  • Just for general information. The ‘z’ is Menzies isn’t actually a zed (zee for our American compatriots), it is an ancient Scottish letter called “yogh” which is pronounced as a soft ‘g’.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Russell, nuts to you!

  • RobtE

    If it is Ming vs Gordon, then David is “Prince Carr’ron”, NeuLabour MPs are clearly the Clay People and Kennedy is “Dr Smirnoff”.

    Alternatively, if Cameron takes the Conservatives close enough to New Labor, the merest slip of the finger can easily transform ‘Dave’ into ‘Dale’.

    Hmm. I wonder how far we can run with this…

  • Chris Harper

    the merest slip of the finger can easily transform ‘Dave’ into ‘Dale’

    Maybe your finger matey, definately not mine.

    Besides, a scalpel would be more appropriate, don’t you think?

    Although, using a blunt fingernail might cause a very satisfactory level of pain.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I should have mentioned there is a rather amusing spoof called Flesh Gordon. The master villain is called the Emperor Wang, and looks remarkably like George Galloway in his declining years.

  • RobtE

    Maybe your finger matey, definately not mine.

    Oh dear. On reflection, I can see that I should have said, “the merest slip of the typing finger. Sorry ’bout that, Chief.

  • Rich

    Just in case anyone was wondering why Mark Oaten dropped out of the race…

    an affair with a rent boy apparently(Link)

  • Julian Taylor

    Oh dear. Scurrilous accusations against Mark Oaten, yet the truly disgusting ones seem to be being levelled against Menzies Campbell. Stories abound now of alleged ‘spanking’ orgies and there is one particular sexual allegation which it is claimed he enjoys which I certainly won’t repeat this close to dinner time in the UK.

  • Rich

    Any chance of repeating it after dinner time?

    I’m sorry but the schoolboy in me is really enjoying the disarray the holier than thou liberals are finding themselves in.

  • Julian Taylor

    By all means …

    General question regarding the Liberal Democrats:

    “Which Lib Dem potential leader is a regular visitor to a very well known brothel in Paddington where he pays girls to defecate in their underwear for him, and then puts said panties in his briefcase and takes them home?”

    It is not Mark Oaten or Simon Hughes.

  • Rich

    The schoolboy in me is now feeling poorly and will be less likely to ask such questions in future.

    Thank you for trying to protect me from this!

  • Is it too late to nominate Charles Kennedy? No wonder the poor guy took to the bottle if this was the quality of his high command!

  • Verity

    Poor Charles Kennedy. No wonder, indeed.

    Is this the end of the Lib-Dems or are there more details? My question is purely objective – so I can weigh up the intellectual pros and cons. I have no interest in scandal.

    It really is the most pointless political party, so perhaps this is Darwinism at work.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Verity, sad to say you are probably right. With the Chocolate Orange Etonian running the Tories, the market for lame-brain liberalism has been captured. It would be nice if there could be a true Gladstonian liberal party wedded to free markets, liberty and low taxes, but that ain’t going to happen with this lot.

    The LibDems traditionally fight the dirtiest political campaigns so their disarray is not entirely without its amusement.

  • Julian Taylor

    Gladstone? Give me Palmerston any day – a man who even managed to withstand public scandal after being named as the co-respondent in a rather messy divorce case (he was then aged 79) and who shaped much of the British empire. He was also famously one of the few men who ever understood the Schleswig-Holstein question – the famous quote was that of the 3 men who knew the answer one was Prince Albert, who was dead; the second was a German professor, who had gone insane trying to comprehend it; and the third was Palmerston himself, who had forgotten it.

  • KevinR

    I see Sean Gabb has a new piece on this.

    Interesting quote “I have never met an MP who was not obviously into drink or bribes or unconventional sex”.

  • Ron

    Re: Sean Gabb’s new piece…

    We don’t live in a police state yet, but we’re heading there

    To see this in the Observer/Guardian was a surprise…

  • Best line I have heard about the Cameron’s Tories is that they now should be referred to as:

    Chav & Dave Conservatives