Apparently David Steel has been speaking for me and plenty of other party members about the future of the party. Except he is not speaking for me in the slightest.
How anyone who was out of touch with his party even as party leader can claim to know what the party is thinking when he hasn’t dignified a conference for years, is basically unknown to many younger Lib Dems and lives on for others as one half of a Spitting Image double-act is beyond me.
In his wisdom he says that:
“I’m pretty certain that the mood in the party will be to say the very most we would accept would be confidence and supply.
“I just detect that there’s a general feeling that we need to recharge our batteries and recharge our values and that association with another party is not the way to do it.”
I’m also not sure what sort of idiot thinks a confidence and supply arrangement would help us recharge our batteries? It seems like a recipe for all of the criticism and none of the credit. And I don’t know what sort of idiot thinks talking about in the ins and outs of post-election arrangements is a Good Thing? Perhaps one who hasn’t been involved in democratic politics for the best part of twenty years and who has not engaged properly with the party in coalition or been an advocate for its achievements.
Such considerations are for the other side of May 7th, not pointless and distracting speculation at the start of the campaign.
Steel should stop patronising the electorate and the party, get off his ermined backside and get out and campaign hard to ensure Lib Dem achievements in government are championed and as many Lib Dem MPs as possible are elected. (They’re called leaflets, David. You put them through letterboxes.)