Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The new Liberator Songbook

A year ago, sitting in my hotel bedroom on Fifth Avenue, I wrote:
Far away across the grey eternity of the North Atlantic, my fellow Liberal Democrats are preparing to enjoy this evening's Glee Club. 
As ever, we at Liberator have produced a new songbook for the occasion, complete with an introduction from Rutland's most popular fictional peer. 
You can find last year's introduction and links to Lord B's earlier essays in this genre elsewhere on this blog.
This year I have to write "over the Warwickshire border", but otherwise all that holds true this evening too.

Bonkers Hall
Telephone: Rutland 7

Welcome to the Glee Club – surely the most enjoyable part of any Liberal Democrat Conference? After all, it is much more fun than the Leader’s speech, though we did all roar the year that Charles Kennedy said “I won’t let you down.”

However, you may have noticed some changes to the security arrangements for this evening’s entertainment. In the past, if you were unlucky a particularly officious steward might have a Hard Look at your badge. I remember one year having some trouble convincing one fellow that my likeness had been taken whilst my moustache was benefiting from the lush pastures of the Welland Valley.

This year, I fear, your experience will have been very different. You will have been asked to show your passport, to recite your National Insurance number, to provide your mother’s maiden name, to open your bag, to submit to a pat-down search and quite possibly to remove all your clothes while members of the Federal Conference Committee pulled on rubber gloves with an intimidating snap.

When I queried these new arrangements with the bigwigs at Cowley Street (as it then was) I was told that if we, as a party, wish to fight against the database state and the infringement of individual rights, then we must insist that our members suffer every possible indignity and packed off to Guantanamo bay in orange jumpsuits at the slightest excuse.

Well, I am a Liberal and, in the immortal words of Clarence “Frogman” Wilcock, I am against This Sort Of Thing. I expect you are against This Sort Of Thing too. And the best way for us to fight This Sort Of Thing is to sing ‘The Land,” “Jerusalem” and “Lloyd George Knew My Father” as loudly as possible.


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