Simon Carr:

The Sketch: The twist in the party's DNA won't humanise the Tories

Share
Related Topics

Being as God made them, the Lib Dems have always had a decent line on transgendering, no less than on transexualising (that's the one that needs the operation).

The members debated it – or discussed it – or aired their amiable views on it at length yesterday. If the conference knew what they were saying, they agreed they were all for the trans experience in all forms.

It's in their self-interest too because the party will be putting itself forward for transgendering every five years. It's now clear that they mustn't have the operation. Transgendering is reversible, and they do need to be able to present us with their Hermes and their Aphrodite turn and turn about.

Some of us thought the Dems (who are leftier than the Libs) might surgically remove themselves from the Coalition and have themselves grafted on somewhere below Labour's waist.

In fact, staying where they are is essential. The party's left (which is still quite a large, if latent, presence) are the carriers of the other lot of chromosomes – and when the time comes for gender reassignment they'll give a twist to the party's DNA and come to the fore.

Thus Simon Hughes, Chris Huhne, and no doubt Vince Cable. They'd all deny being on the left of the party ("left and right aren't useful terms" etc). But it's as hard to see any of them leading a Tory deal as it is to see Nick Clegg leading a deal with Labour.

And they've got the hang of the hermaphroditic thing better than any us had thought. Simon Hughes (who is, remember, deputy leader of the party) got a round of applause by telling the hall, "I am a rock solid supporter of the Coalition." He went on to denounce Trident, tuition fees and obscene bank profits.

It's not exactly granite of the first grade is it? I've known roast beef that was more rocklike. But nonetheless, it's clever coalition politics. And all this harping on about fairness – whatever they mean by it, it's something they do with far more gloopy credibility than Tories. Fairness for Tories is flat tax and a seven-litre Bentley.

In that sense, the Lib Dems humanise the Conservative Party. What they'll do to or for Labour remains to be seen. They'll find something, if the parliamentary seats are there.

Their talk about the enduring nature of three-party politics may be less than fanciful, as long as they can get enough runs on the board.

So they should thank Chris Huhne who named his four "towering tasks". The first two were to reform something and restore something else – tall towers indeed. The third made me laugh – "make Britain a less selfish society". Yes, good luck with that. And the fourth was saving the planet. And not just the bits we live in. It's a Lib Dem commitment (though I'm not sure conference approved it in a properly referenced and tabled motion) to save the world.

And he thinks we'll be grateful?

I'm no optimist, but if they save the world, and they get the credit for it, it is just possible they'll keep their seats.

twitter.com/simonsketch

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Women are working in some of the lowest-paid sectors such as cleaning, catering and caring  

Women's wages have gone backwards. Labour would give women the pay they deserve

Gloria de Piero
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?