Last week Iain Dale asked why the Lib Dems had suddenly become so aggressive towards the Conservatives when Labour were the incumbents. Surly Clegg and Co. would be better served by picking up seats from Labour and attacking them, he opined. My answer to that would be "yes and no". Yes to taking Labour seats but no to attacking them.
The Lib Dems have seen the Conservatives successfully woo their voters over the last few years, picking up a large number of defectors along the way.Lib Dem HQ may be daft at times but they're not stupid, they know that the Conservatives have more money and people than them and they know that people who really want a change of government will vote Conservative. Taking the fight to the Conservatives would be hard, expensive and futile.
So why the ad hominem attacks on our front bench? Because the Labour grass roots love it.
There is still a rich seam of hatred towards the Tories amongst many on the left and the Labour party at Westminster hasn't been as aggressive towards us as many of their activists would like. The Lib Dems have been two parties in one for years, the Orange Bookers have never sat easily with their much more left wing activist base. It seems the moderates at Westminster have lost the argument and the Tory bashing wing of the party will call the shots at least until the General Election.