The question has been asked before. What is the point of the Liberal Democrats? Who are they? Why are they? And now that they are in government, what do they stand for?
I don't think, so far, this government has put a foot wrong politically. I don't agree with their abolition of regional development agencies, to reinforce that I mean this in a political sense, not practically. But I do accept the basic premise of the modern times: there is a financial crisis that needs to be faced up to. When the previous government, bravely, bailed out the banks there was a recognition that this would have to be paid for in the future. I'm not sure Labour had the stomach to do what George Osborne and David Laws settled down to do. That Laws is not now in government is a great shame, for him and the party. But there is a fundamental question gnawing at their very being and I don't ask the question with quite the sneer it may first convey.
There are turf wars between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories and the same team wins every time. RDAs, personal allowances, defence spending, VAT and capital gains tax are all Tory victories. They are all sensible practical policies that can cut the deficit and stimulate economic activity, but I don't detect they are part of the liberal agenda, in the way that they serve a conservative one.
Here's the marker though, what happens at the end of this parliament? Where will these leave the junior party in this government? What will they campaign on? What will they attack? What will they defend? What, I can only say again, will be the point of the Liberal Democrats?