So here is the foreword to new Liberator songbook that revellers will be using in Brighton later this evening.
I am rather of the view that we fought two world wars so that we did not have to be approved by the police before we could attend the conference of our political party.
Yet when I put this to the President of the Liberal Democrats he took out an onion and said something about “some of us are willing to risk the possibility of serious harm to ourselves by not following police recommendations to accept accreditation” between his sobs.
So I suppose I must begin by congratulating you all on being allowed in to the Glee Club at all. Mind you, in my long experience the police do not always get things right. I recall one Boat Race night when…
But enough of that: let us turn to happier things.
I have often – particularly in these forewords after being sent a bottle of Auld Johnston by those amusing young people at Liberator – commented on the close relations that long existed between Liberalism and music. Susan J. Kramer and the Dakotas and all that. I am pleased to be able to report that our new intake of 2010 had done more than uphold this tradition.
The member for Cambridge, for instance, was commemorated in the Eurovision-winning “Huppert on a String” even before he entered the House, while the member for Burnley has been the subject of an entire Sondheim musical: “Anyone Can Birtwhistle”.
Then there is the traditional Redcar song about keeping a welcome in the hillside, with its moving line about “When you come home to Swales”. It always makes me blub. On a lighter note, many will enjoy Peter Gabriel’s “HamesWithout Frontiers”, though in all honesty a munt ball is more to my taste.
One final note of warning: if our President sets down his onion and makes as if to sing “Shine, Jesus, Shine” it is time to leave to catch the last bus.