A year ago, after giving the Tories some grief during their conference in Cardiff, we wandered into the Welsh LibDem Conference after party at the Angel Hotel with the intention of locating their chocolate fountain. Sadly, their tiny budget didn’t allow for such luxuries, so they got a dose of anarcho folk and dancing instead, as well as nearly four hours of us engaging with them about the coalition, drinking their booze and getting them to admit that Nick Clegg was a cunt.
We were invited to return the following year by Sian Cliff, then prospective AM for Penarth (well, as much as the LibDems can be in Wales), so it seemed rude not to make an appearance. Apart from anything else, we’d googled Sian after meeting her last year, and wanted to ask her about the time she pretended to be a nurse on some LibDem campaign literature, and how she thought that had affected her chances of getting into the Welsh Assembly.
This year, the venue had moved to the Mercure Hotel. We thought it’d be nice to go along with a few friends and fellow South Wales Anarchists this time, so in we all wandered wearing our posh as fuck homemade rosettes and armed with the words to Cosmo’s version of Love Me, I’m A Liberal. I’m sure it would be unfair to gauge the importance of the Welsh LibDems by the non-existence of any security whatsoever but, for the second year running, no-one stopped us making a beeline for the bar.
The first recognisable face I clocked was the ‘Tory Twat’ who’d made some watery attempt at kicking off at us last year. The conversation between him and his colleagues as we waited to be served overpriced drinks turned to punk rock. One of them was overheard saying that the LibDems were the closest party to Anarchism. Oh, how we laughed.
While we were sat down drinking and sussing where best to perform, in walk a pair of fuck-me-shoes. ‘Sian!’ I thought. Sadly, it wasn’t. It turns out that she wasn’t even there this weekend. How terribly rude to invite folks and not bother to turn up!
We wandered over to where the hub of the party was (I use this term loosely. It was more like the usual backslapping bullshit with added alcohol). Out came the guitar, songword sheets were dished out to our largely confused audience, and the craic commenced.
We did manage to get most of the words out, despite uncontrollable giggles at the reaction. One woman ripped the songwords up, there was much initial agogness and then some trying to talk very loudly over us. Unfortunately for them, their deep, my balls have dropped further than yours because I went to public school tones were no match for us. We were already turned up to 11.
Cosmo – Love Me I’m A Liberal UK 2012
A couple of blokes did attempt a funny half way through the first song by chucking some loose change into the guitar case, and then skipped off with smug expressions. Bless them. It reminded me of my Dad’s sense of humour. He’d have been 91 this year. At least they didn’t dance.
The hotel manager turned up just after the second song – Strike! Occupy! Resist! – had started. At this point, I was having my hair touched by the girl in the fuck-me-shoes who felt the need to make it clear that she wasn’t a LibDem. Then she confessed to being a sponsor ‘which I know is worse’. The manager had asked us to leave, and instructed the bar staff to phone the police. When asked why he’d done that, and had it pointed out that we’d spent money in is bar, he said it closed to the public at 11pm. You’ve already broken your own rules there then, big man. It was 2am.
Cosmo – Strike! Occupy! Resist!
One of the blokes who’d chucked pennies in the guitar case, after proclaiming that ‘we hate the Tories more than you do’ (it’s not a competition, love) decided to make a speech, which started with ‘I know we won’t ever agree politically, but..’ and ended with ‘Let’s give them a round of applause.’ Nice attempt at patronisation, sunshine, but your gritted teeth spoke much clearer than you did.
I also liked his comment about our gorgeously crafted rosettes. ‘Not very original, are they? You can buy them on the Labour Party website.’
‘Oi! I used my best felt tip pens on these!’
Just before we left, I spotted the nice chap who got us pissed while engaging with him last year. He only vaguely remembered it as he was ‘very drunk’. At least he knows where all the money in his wallet went now, and can rest easy that no call girl or drug scandal will dent his clearly thriving career.
We waved goodbye and said we’d see them next year.
The ‘Tory Twat’ from last year followed us to the bar doors as we made our escape. I’m beginning to think that the perfect smug expression is part of the LibDem initiation training process. He obviously doesn’t come across the working class fuck you council estate hardstare too often, mind. He didn’t hang around to wave us off.
The manager and some dogsbody of his tried to escort us orf the premises, even though we were leaving anyway, much to the disgust of one of the more distinguished ladies in our group. ‘Fuck off, mate, I’ll see myself out. I don’t need a fucking escort!’ Or something like that. She refused to move, so he backed down and came down ahead, muttering about how he’s used to dealing with children.
‘Thankfully, so are we, love. Enjoy your power wank!’
With a glass raised in their direction, we were out of there….til next year.