The real heir-to-Blair, Nick Clog, misrepresented the history of the party he leads. He claimed to be a new face in politics, leading a new party. With Clog and his disparate band attempting to further their political interests in a hung Parliament, history sheds fresh light on them.
The LibDems began as the Whigs in the Seventeenth Century and some claim that they were the first political party in England (and later Britain after the Union of Crowns of England and Scotland). A party for the privileged and the growing middle and professional classes, they frequently held office as HM Government.
Winston Churchill was a Liberal Whig until he crossed the Floor of the House to become a Tory.
The Liberals were driven out of office almost to extinction as the First Party of Sleaze. Their habit of selling Peerages and other forms of corruption became so blatant that the British Electorate could not even stomach them as the second party in opposition.
Labour benefited and the first Labour Government was possible only through the total collapse of support for the Liberals. This first British national socialist government under a Labour banner fell apart as the Stalinist and Fascist Wings warred, leading to a hung Parliament with the Tories in the disaster of the Great Depression, Britain only clawing its way back to solvency under a strong Tory Government. Part of the Labour Party split away in an attempt to form a new break away party, The Union of British Fascists, under former Labour rising star Sir Oswald Mosley, Minister and member of the Labour National Executive Committee.
The Liberals wandered the wilderness attracting the weird and the disaffected.
The Liberals then came back into focus in the disaster of the Wilson Heath years when Wilson introduced a prototype for the Blair National Socialism that has come to bring Britain to the brink of destruction. The Tories believed that they could only defeat Wilson by finding a leader who was much like Wilson and made the terrible mistake of appointing Heath. This led to the period of hung Parliaments that brought Britain towards bankruptcy, Only to be rescued by a real Tory leader, Margaret Thatcher who turned the country around.
The Liberals were led by Jeremy Thorpe, a homosexual who was brought to trial for the alleged attempted murder of his male lover.
During the final stages of the Wilson disaster, the few Social Democrats in the Labour Party tried to form their own break away Party the Social Democrats. They failed and sought refuge in the Liberal Party, resulting in the renaming to Liberal Democratic Party, AKA LibDem
For much of their period in the wilderness they have been the party of the Don’t Knows or the None-of-the-Above. As a result voters have paid little attention to LibDem manifestos and have been ignorant of the strange conflicting collection of policies. This confusion of policies reflects the strange coalition of political interests that have collected in the party. In Labour and the Tory parties there are also a wide range of political views but the prospect of power forces focus to produce a set of policies that have some level of clarity and consistency that could be followed by a Government faced with the task of running a country.
The triumph of Nick Clog has been to hide the policies of the LibDems from the voters long enough to secure a hung Parliament. He has also hidden his own past well. Far from being new to politics, he has done nothing else, starting as a lobbyist working for a lobby firm that supported the Libyans during the time of the Pam Am bombing, moving smoothly to an overpaid job as a Eurocrat in Brussels. From there he became an MEP enjoying the lavish pay and expenses of this strange breed of rubber stamp. Strangely, he then became a British MP on lower wages and a slightly more accountable expenses system where he had to make do with the abuses that brought British politicians into disrepute.
The LibDem policies were only starting to be fully exposed during the final two weeks of the recent General Election and this may account for their failure to achieve the claimed break through of becoming the second largest Party with more than one hundred MPs, that turned out to be a reduction of seats and position firmly in third place
Recognizing that they stand no chance of wining a General Election under the current British system of voting, they have long campaigned for a form of Proportional Representation that insulates politicians from the voters and allows politicians to stitch up deals they want rather than providing a government that voters want. Ironically, experience from the most recent European Elections shows that this form of PR would place the Tories first, UKIP second, leaving the Whigs to fight for third place with Labour.