Arising from this, it struck me that there is something very important about continuity in politics. In many ways, it’s a habit – the group of professional rightwing publicists who invented “teabaggers” in late 2008 were clearly very well aware that a movement survives by acting out its emotional rituals and internalised skills. Whether it’s accurate to say that they looked at the new organising models and styles of the 2000s and installed them onto their wetware, they got the trigger-movement right. (This is roughly what I was thinking of at OpenTech a couple of weeks back – even if most of the people who signed up for Democracy Club would drift off after the elections, the ones who didn’t would be the ones you’d need for the next election. It’s a kind of neural Darwinism.)
So I reckon Labour is recovering, while the Lib Dems have just discovered the joy of doing the exact opposite of whatever party conference votes for.