"As for the Labour opposition, who should be riding high in the effort to turn out this government, they claim to be the party of brotherhood, but they seem to have taken their interpretation of it from the earliest biblical example – Cain and Abel. It doesn’t really matter whether Denis Healey or Tony Benn is the bloodstained victor. Neither the bankrupt right nor the hard left of the Labour Party have anything to offer this country any more. Their slide downhill has gone too far. It is irretrievable and irrecoverable. The party’s over."
So said David Steel, 23 years ago to his Party Conference, just before he told delegates that they were the new party of government and that "I have the good fortune to be the first Liberal Leader for over half a century who is able to say to you at the end of our annual Assembly: go back to your constituencies and prepare for government." That was September 1981. In the election of June 1983 the Alliance was hopelessly defeated as the Tory voters stuck with the Tories they knew. As the Lib Dems tell people in more detail what they DO stand for, they will say, Sorry Charlie, but pigs don't fly!