That alone should disqualify this lot from being a party with any liberal credentials at all.
Its passionate love of the European Union, obsession over climate change and the "need" for unilateral British action regardless of cost and who pays that cost, and wet attitude to foreign policy and defence are little compared to the latest ramblings - which is that everyone earning over £50,000 should pay more tax because it is "fair".
The Liberal Democrats are social democrats, and are, as advocates of the status quo and more tax, simply socialists. They are where Labour now is, under "red" Ed Miliband, the unions' choice, and given the party is keeping the Conservatives in power, deserves to be obliterated at the next general election.
The big debate in 21st century politics is, once again, the role of the state. On economic policy, there is nothing liberal about the Liberal Democrats, with no interest in abolishing the absurd shop trading laws that keep London's Oxford Street closed before 11am and after 5pm on a Sunday, no interest in liberalising planning laws that mean planning permission is needed in most boroughs for the smallest of works on your own land, and a religious opposition to more airport capacity. On social policy the Liberal Democrats are uninterested in talking about laws on drugs, laws on censorship and as we have seen, are incapable of understanding state surveillance. Finally, their attempts at reform of the "constitution" consisted of trying to adopt a version of the Australian voting system and making most of the House of Lords elected with 15 year terms.
Pointless and counter-productive.
The socialists of the Liberal Democrats should go to the Labour Party where they will find the usual interfering busybodies keen to create new laws, spend more money, invent new taxes and be forever committed to thinking that they are uniquely placed to know better how to spend other people's money. The liberals, wherever they may be, should go to the Conservative Party, and help it dry up and become, once again, the party of less government and more individual responsibility. For the SDP part of the Liberal Democrats have no raison d'être given Labour is no longer the home of Erich Honecker like economics, and the Liberal part has largely evaporated, in part because the Conservatives are no longer out to bully homosexuals, scaremonger about dark skinned people and fear ambitious women.
Not that I have time for either of them, Labour set the scene for the current recession and for years kept a delusional paranoid megalomaniac in charge of the public finances (so deluded he boasted that he had abolished boom and bust), the Conservatives are now in the thrall of Whitehall and are led by an indecisive whim and poll worshipping pragmatist.
However, the Liberal Democrats have no purpose anymore. Voters, who once saw them as a protest vote whenever Labour disappointed them, know this. In 2015 opponents of the government will mostly vote Labour, supporters will vote Conservative, there is no point in voting for a version of Labour that keeps the Conservatives in power.
It's just a matter of time.