I knew that things were quite challenging for our party at the moment, but I didn't really think we needed to channel the spirit of Neil Kinnock.
Irrepressible party president Tim Farron did just that last night in his speech at the Conference rally:
So this is the Sheffield Rally. And you know what normally happens when a party holds a Sheffield rally? Well, traditionally, some ginger bloke gets on stage, makes an absolute prat of himself, and completely wrecks his party’s election chances. And I’m a great believer in tradition, so here goes…
Mind you, I'm sure he tried to spin himself to me as a strawberry blond during the Presidential election.
Anyway, those adorable people at Liberal Democrat Voice have published his speech in full, cos presumably Tim's people send them stuff, but I wanted to give you a summary of what I thought were
the best bits.
On what the world would have looked like without us in Government:
We could have sat on our hands, and you know exactly what would have happened then. A second election in October, a Conservative victory, no electoral reform, no tax cuts for the poor, big tax cuts for the rich, no banking levy, no pension increase and billions wasted on replacing Trident. And what about the Liberal Democrats? Would we now be being praised for keeping our hands clean at a time of necessary cuts? Not a flaming chance. We would have been the lilly-livered Lib Dem bottlers, the first time in 40 years when the parliamentary arithmetic had given us the chance to take responsibility, and we walked away from it. Too chicken to go into the big league. Our credibility would be shot to bits. Our electoral standing in tatters. That’s what the parallel universe looks like. It’s not pretty.
On the importance of the AV Referendum: