Just now I was to be found issuing a schoolmarmly ticking awf to noted libertarian Ms Charlotte Gore for being a grumpy sourpuss over the advent of the (noted social democrat) Social Liberal Forum. I paraphrase:

“It’s not fair!” said she.

“It is fair,” said I, “Work harder.”

But here’s where I think she may have a point:

Is this really a sign that the people who used to be the cool hip young things in the party, the people with all the influence and all the power are beginning to feel marginalised, out of touch and losing their ability to act as this party’s brain?

I’m not so sure about the people actually behind SLF, but this diagnosis certainly chimes with the tedious fact-free internet arguments I’ve been involved in with other self-styled social democrats. Some of them do seem remarkably keen to assert their age, experience and length of time in the party as proof that they are more likely to be right than I am. It’s as if the 1960s never happened sometimes. Irony of ironies.

Anyway, this isn’t based on an sample of one. We’ve seen this before. When normal men enter into their midlife crisis, they buy a sportscar. Perhaps when political men enter their midlife crisis, they start a ginger group.