There is possibly nothing more ill-fitting than a party conference: it's precisely the sort of thing that should happen briefly over a weekend in the summer, not four week days through the first weeks of a dreary autumn. And there's definitely nothing more ill-fitting than the achingly polite Lib Dems on the attack, fighting for their life one year before an election. Although it sounds like Nick Clegg may be gone already.
A million miles away from the Lib Dems' original purpose - being the party that puts the world to right over real ale in a nice West Country pub - for this year's party conference Vince Cable has had to dust off his zinger book: Labour are French Socialists without the sex, Tories are UKIP without the beer (but possibly the sex). Lib Dems meanwhile are the usual European coalition mudguard without the party leader's prestigious cabinet post. They tried that trick before, when Brian Paddick tried to simultaneously take down his fellow London Mayoral candidates Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson Shakespeare style, calling them Tragedy and Comedy. An injudicious choice, as that leaves the LIb Dems as History.
Speaking of which, history of earth-shattering proportions may indeed be made at the upcoming Clacton by election. At least that's the way UKIP people tell it, who are running out of hyperbolic scales to measure the fact that they possibly have a large voter base than disgruntled Midsomer Murders viewers and men preparing for the Apocalypse in their garden sheds. Still though, so frightened are the Tories at the threat from over their right shoulder, they're willing to kick the European Convention on Human Rights into touch, because codified rights fought for by collaborating international allies isn't at all British. What's next, withdrawing from UEFA? Satellite reruns of Eurotrash being banned?
In Little Britain, international human rights might be sprawling and out of control, but in the world beyond Narrowshire the post-war promise still isn't being quite fulfilled. Hong Kong's government strategy is a locked ballot box in one hand and a gas cannister in the other, while Sweden are in international trouble for accepting Palestine should be one in a two state solution. This angered the US and Israel, both of whom presumably advocate the Schroedinger's Cat solution.
If the people of Palestine were moved to take their case of subjection to a court any time soon though, they might be in luck, as judges are letting all sorts of much more spurious cases through the net. It turns out the venerable Poundland doesn't quite follow the It Ate Everybody principle, and they can no longer say that everything inside is worth a pound. If that seems like an unnecessarily literal interpretation of the law, then spare a thought for Red Bull compensating people who can't fly. Expect lawsuits because Flake tastes pretty familiar, Mr Muscle doesn't enjoy its work enough and Carlsberg are too indecisive imminently.