“The Lib Dems are like a new girlfriend – when you get into bed, you’re on best behaviour, you fold your clothes properly and so on. The Right are a long-standing partner, so you’re not worried about leaving your towel on the floor or breaking wind under the duvet.”
Nothwithstanding the coarseness of the metaphor - no doubt the minister's own soiled sheets were purchased at Peter Jones on expenses - the attitude to his own side is deeply revealing. The party leadership holds its own membership in contempt. Yes the hard working, leaflet delivering, cheese-gobbling and wine-swilling membbership who get him and his sort into office. By his thinking they can be ignored, patronised and treated like old baggage. After all they will never leave will they?
But those days have long since passed. Expanding his metaphor, he is suggesting that his own people are like the long suffering wife, comfortable butyt not exciting. Whereas the Lib Dems are the sexy new mistress, the one that gets the braclet as long as she supplies the frisson of excitment. A dangerous game to assume that the wife will stay and accept this public flaunting of the mistress today. They are more likely to leave, taking the house, the children and a great chunk of the money.
When will the grassroots realise they are held in such disdain by those who purport to represent them?