BY TIM DAWSON
“Bollocks to Brexit!” they screamed. “Bollocks to Brexit!”
This was less a conference, more a collective breakdown. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, with sandals and vegan salads. For three days, the Liberal (not that they’re liberal) Democrats (not that they’re democrats) tore up Bournemouth – and democracy.
Their headline act was Guy Verhofstadt. Verhofstadt, as readers will know, is a deluded Belgian politician who dreams of Empire and has never visited a dentist.
“Ze World Order of tomorrow” he roared – spittle-flecked, frenetic – to his adoring, glazed acolytes. “Ze World Order of tomorrow is not a World Order based on nation states or countries. It is a World Order based on Empires.”
The sect applauded, cheered, worshipped, praised. The crowd in a fervour; a whirlwind of aggressive Euronationalism and those beige mackintoshes only Liberal Democrats seem to wear. Well, Lib Dems and flashers.
Jo Swinson may be their Leader, but only in name. Verhofstadt is their Real Leader; the rest of the Lib Dem “top team” are merely his apparatchiks; the conference floor, his agents. This is a party which has rebuilt itself around a foreign power. It is an instrument of the EU, a genuine British Political Party only in name.
Lib Dem conferences – Lib Dems in general – are famous for their weirdness. But this one had a particularly loopy tinge.
The defectors were all in attendance, of course. Dr Bruce Lee, Chuckles Umunna, Sarah Woolenjumper – and their big reveal: Hi-de-Hi Allen. That Bloke Who Faced Deselection And Stood For the Tory Leadership was also there – greeted like a hero. Some of the younger groupies in the audience even through their incontinence pants at him.
There was a lot of dancing, of course. Dancing seems to be a new craze amongst the ilLiberal Demoprats. Not a mating dance, exactly, but a dance for people who, in real life, have no mates. It has no coherency, no value, and no appeal – so is, I guess, a perfect reflection of the Party.
And when the party started, it well and truly started. The Lib Dem Glee Club lit up Twitter; everyone loves a sing-a-long, and what better way to demonstrate you’re a clever, responsible, well-intentioned political activist than by downing 3 bottles of Auntie Eliza’s Elderflower Wine and singing “Tony Blair Can Fuck off And Die”?
For the truly desolate there was even a speed dating event with MEPs. Personally, I’d rather feed the ol’ John Thomas into a wood-chipper than spend 5 minutes in the company of Irina Von Wiese MEP, but hey – it’s a free country.
Or, at least, it’s a free country as long as this bunch of misfits never get their way.
I suppose, for a political party mainly famous for harbouring paedophiles, a reputation for hating democracy is a step up.
The truth is, they’ve completely boxed themselves in. Running on a ticket to Revoke Article 50 is an extremist pitch. Downing Street are reportedly delighted – and understandably so.
The Lib Dems had an opportunity to massively reinvent themselves, to broaden their appeal, to embrace their name. They have done the precise opposite. After 3 years pupating, they have emerged from their political chrysalis not as a beautiful butterfly, but an ugly, moth-eared anachronism.
We live in febrile times, and in the short term they may capitalise. But the coalition which they’ve constructed around the deeply-unattractive figurehead of God Emperor Verhofstadt is doomed to failure.
Lee and Gyimah were always outliers, on the authoritarian right of the Conservative Party; and Lee in particular was an antediluvian – elitist and anti-gay.
None of the Tories who have left the Tory Party are a loss – they were all, one way or another, electorally damaging and deeply unpopular in their constituencies. The only thing that unites the clowns who have jumped aboard the Lib Dem clown-car is their anti-British EU fanaticism. Still, they claim they are ready for an election – although, like Labour, not right now.
But what will they call their manifesto? I’m with Twitter: “Bollocks to Voters” would work nicely.
Tim Dawson is a Writer and Journalist, and the Editor of Free Market Conservatives. Follow him on twitter: @tim_r_dawson