Is there a worse week in the year than the week of Lib Dem conference? For most of the year you can – if you work at it – avoid ever coming across a liberal in the papers or in the streets. But during their conference, they are everywhere. So, given that we can’t get away from it, we might as well have a pop at them.
First off is Ming’s podcast. Today’s starts with the immortal line “It’s not just the weather that’s good here – its the political weather!” Oh, how the Lib Dem spinners are trying. Dick Morris always said that spin isn’t about changing a candidate or a policy, its about putting the best bits up front. With Ming, there aren’t any best bits.
As for the agenda – there is something for everyone. For those of you that like being angry about the Lib Dems, look no further than the motion on Small Business. Far from being a motion to debate the low pay or poor holiday entitlement of workers in that sector, it bemoans the “burden” of rules for business. They even want a deregulation Cabinet minister. Or there is the tax proposals, which have been written about extensively elsewhere. How these can add up is anyone’s guess – cutting tax for the poor and the rich and the middling well off types. Tax cuts all round!
Far be it for the The Daily to accuse the Lib Dems of trying to be all things to all people – we’ll let Graham Watson, Lib Dem leader in the European Parliament, do that: “Our party has been guilty of such populism at all levels of government. Other parties can repair cracked paving stones or improve local eyesores as well as we can, and campaign on a platform of doing so just as effectively”. Quite.
One downside to Lib Dem conference this year is the lack of amazingly silly motions to be debated. It is a disgrace that the Lib Dems have let us all down by failing to debate allowing school kids to appear in hard core porno films, or discussing standardising the distance between motorway service stations. The Daily’s favourite – also missing from the conference agenda – is whether we should let murderers, rapists and paedophiles have the vote.
Even when they are trying to be sensible, the Lib Dems are letting us all down.