It is not a happy time for the Lib Dems but I expect they are putting on a brave face at their conference.
They lost two cabinet ministers, David Laws and Chris Huhne, for wrongdoing.
Thankfully they lost the referendum on voting reform with little public support.
Their U-turn on tuition fees has become an exemplar of betrayal. How can anyone in Cambridge ever trust them again?
And of course their former chief executive is still wriggling on allegations of sexual harassment.
Locally they have sought to steal others credit for success, have been seen to be financially incompetent and seem unable to make even the most obvious decision.
So how can it be that a party that started out as a group of well meaning individuals has lost it’s way? I would also like to make it clear that locally their are still some well meaning individuals but they lack leadership.
I think their are some real structural party problems that the Lib Dems have not dealt with that makes their problems inevitable.
They do not value leadership or personal responsibility. Every decision is taken by committee. This means every horse they set out to design becomes a camel and no one and everyone is to blame.
Within the Lib Dem party, Leaders are not empowered to lead.
This means they are not able to be decisive, often miss the moment and probably worse are forced to make the wrong decisions by a group who are ill informed but experts on social engineering and ideals.
High minded ideals are great, but when confronted by the reality of life, often have to be modified. There is nothing that I can see within the Lib Dem machinery that can manage reality.
Time for them to return to pressure group politics and leave the levers of power to those that can lead.