Conference Sketch: Hands up if you're a Lib Dem do-gooder

Click to follow

Are you a Liberal Democrat? Let's take this revealing quiz, culled from the conference floor, and find out.

Are you a Liberal Democrat? Let's take this revealing quiz, culled from the conference floor, and find out.

Are you in favour of routinely leaving very old men in their own excrement for six hours? No? Aha! You may be a Liberal Democrat. Are you in favour of bullying fat school children to death? Are you in favour of tying up mental patients with electrical cord? Do you want every child in this country to be lured from internet chat rooms to remote public places where they can sexually abused by gangs of middle-aged paedophiles? Do you want to remove lines 28-46 from the motion on human rights and thereby reject the encouragement of local authorities to implement a progressive agenda through devolved instruments to change the nature of this country to a rights-based culture? There you are, you see, you've got values. You may have been a Liberal Democrat all along and never known it.

Do you passionately believe? Do you want politics based on sincerity? Do you believe in honesty, fairness and decency? Are you supine on Europe or sensible? Is filling out a legacy form to leave the party a bequest the most important thing you will do today? (And what's the most important thing tomorrow? Dying. Exactly.) Has the sole gone out of politics? Where has it gone to? Another plaice?

Charles Kennedy wasn't specific but he implied pretty strongly that he is going to bring it back.

People seemed to think that Mr Kennedy was pretty good, and I can certainly find positive things to say about his speech: it was more than usually unmemorable.

He tried to tell us again that left and right are meaningless terms (you have to say that if you're wanting to put up taxes and increase the role of the state).

In many other ways he sounded very mid-Blair. Do "values" sound familiar? That was the Prime Minister's big theme last year.

How about spending money, not in greater quantities, but more efficiently? That was New Labour's big idea for their first two years. And all this rubbish about consulting and consensus - isn't that Mr Blair next week, from what we're being spun at the moment?

Not that it matters much. The Lib Dems are as far from government as the Crab Nebula is from Brighton. None the less, they can play a vital role in the nation's political life. For one thing, if we support them in every poll, we will almost certainly prompt a leadership challenge in the Conservative Party before Christmas.