by Colin Bloom
I'm not prejudiced towards Liberal Democrats. Some of my best friends are Liberal Democrats. Honest.
In fact the other afternoon I was having a Coalition cup of fairtrade tea with one of our yellow bedfellows when I raised the subject of enshrining William Wilberforce in bronze (see last post). The response that came back sent the Battenburg cake flying.
They think William Wilberforce was a Liberal Democrat!
Like the late Charlton Heston at the National Rifle Association, I spluttered, "You can have William Wilberforce, when you prise him out of our cold dead hands!"
In fairness this conversation happened the day after the Eastleigh by-election, and I can only imagine that they were still euphorically and legally high after holding onto that seat. Nevertheless, this outrageous misappropriation of one of our greatest will not be tolerated, and if any one thing breaks the Coalition, this might well be it.
It needs to be remembered that the Liberal Democrats were founded way way way back on the 3rd March 1988. Yes that's right, they were 25 years old just a couple of weeks ago, and like you I wasn't invited to the party either. I have shoes that are older. I have shoes that have done more.
The Liberal Democrats have already tried to appropriate Gladstone, for some reason nobody minded that; but even the casualist of Wilberforce scholars would know that he would never ever have been a Lib Dem. It is as ridiculous an idea as John Terry donning his full Chelsea kit - including shin pads - to collect last year's European Cup Trophy despite playing no part in the final.
This misappropriation of things Tory needs to stop. The Labour Party are not the One Nation Party that they are claiming to be and Wilberforce is most definitely not a Liberal Democrat.