I don't think I have ever felt as disillusioned by the party as I do at the moment. What a complete and utter shambles!
We should be the party engaging with the issues of the Lisbon treaty. We should be the party putting forward the case for Britain to be at the heart of a modern, democratic and forward looking union. We should be the party rising above the splits and empty rhetoric of the other parties, emerging from the debate with integrity and an enhanced reputation amongst the pro-Europeans in our communities.
But no, what do we get? A pre-planned walk-out followed by a parliamentary party split on a three line whip to abstain. Lousy tactics meant no coverage of the Liberal Democrat position on important issues. We managed to finish up a laughing stock enabling Labour and Tories to attack us on an issue we should have been leading on. Frankly if we couldn't hold a line to abstain, we might has well have voted no. By doing so, I suspect we would have won more support in the country than we lost by playing games at Westminster.
Our hardworking and progressive MEPS, led by Andrew Duff, who led for ALDE in convention and parliament have been completely let-down by their Westminster colleagues. They are surely owed some humble apologies in Liverpool.
Finally to the rebels, consider the implications of what you promise at election-time. I hope it was worth it.