Yesterday I had a meeting with someone about a thing. Before we got started my interlocutor looked at me rather accusingly and, apropos of nothing at all, said “Someone tells me you’re a member of the Liberal Democrats”. This was a decidedly unexpected turn of events.
I felt obliged to concede that, yes, I was a member. Indeed, not only am I a member I am a Federal Conference rep. Some might even suggest I’m a grassroots activist. Grassroots, certainly. But activist might be putting it a bit strongly.
I felt compelled to stutter and stumble that I’m not one of those “Liberal Democrats” that you hear so much about – the nasty yellow Tories. I’m one of the nice ones who still believe in the balancing liberty, equality and community; that no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity; and all that sort of thing. The ones who think that every good thing the party has done in Government has to be set alongside its enthusiastic support for Tory policies that are an affront not only to liberal democracy but also, all too frequently, to good sense and rational thought.
Alas, my plea of guilty to the charge of Liberal Democracy elicited a look from my accuser that mingled disappointment with disgust. However, politeness dictated it was quickly banished.