I have been, as many readers of other blogs and this will know, the subject of some abuse in the last few days from one of the glitterati of the Lib Dems. I have had e-mails asking me to respond to the accusations made against me, indeed someone asked why I allowed some abusive, possibly even libellous comments to be sent my own blog.
Perhaps I should explain.
Some people have something of a name in the Lib Dems. They will be a regular speaker at conference, a former name in LDYS or whatever it was called back then, indeed, pick up any few copies of Lib Dem news, and you are bound to find certain names in there over and over again. The problem is, nobody is ever sure quite what they have achieved.
Yes, they have been elected in numerous internal party elections, and why not, they are famous within the Lib Dems for being, er, well, always at conference, a former bigwig in LDYS, indeed every few weeks they seem to be in Liberal Democrat News, but the problem is, what do they do.
"He sits on the FPC", they tell me. "He used to be on the English Party Committee", someone adds, "He's a former member of several internal party committees", I hear you say. Yes, but what has he actually achieved ?
Of course he might have come third a few times at the general election ? No problem in that, particularly if he saw the Lib Dem vote go up sharply ... possibly ... no. Apparently not. Indeed, it is often the case that the people famous in their own backyard, famed for their ability to speak at conference, be important in LDYS indeed, they may even get their name in Lib Dem news very often suddenly find in the real world, the world of real electors more concerned with real issues, not sitting on internal party committees suddenly ask the question "but what have you actually done ?"
So if I am slagged of by people who as far as I can see are famed for their fame in the Lib Dems and not because they have actually genuinely achieved something, then I cannot be that concerned by their criticism.
If they had been involved in a local party, helping turn them around as part of a small team which over the course of ten years saw that constituency turn from also rans to a safe Lib Dem seat, if they have agented dozens of Lib Dem council gains, never ever losing a campaign, if they had perhaps got themselves elected by the electorate at large, then I would be more concerned about their criticism. But as they are more likely to be seen at conference, on internal party committees, perhaps have their name in Lib Dem news every few weeks, I will leave them to their abuse and petty nastiness.
If this is how you get famous in the Lib Dems, then the party has some serious problems.