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Huhne has already compared us to Goebbels. Now we're as bad as Sarah Palin.

By Tim Montgomerie
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Chris Huhne will become the latest Liberal Democrat to attack the Conservatives today.

In the last 48 hours Simon Hughes give an interview in which he said the Liberal Democrats had stopped the "ruthless" Tories doing extreme things.

Tim Farron, the party's president, said the Tories had tainted his party's brand, were guilty of wickedness and had been "witless" and "reactionary" after the riots.

Vince Cable, meanwhile, likened Steve Hilton to a Victorian who sent children up chimneys. 

Not to be outdone the Energy Secretary will speed to the front of the pack and compare the Tory Right to Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

This is not as amusing as his suggestion (£), on Saturday, that the Tories had been wrong, wrong and wrong again on Europe. Nice try Chris but we remember the praise you showered on the €uro. Remember when you said that "the euro is living up to the highest expectations of the economists who advocated it, and Britain is missing out." It really isn't us that's been wrong about Europe.

None of this, of course, tells us anything much about the Tories. This is all about the race to succeed Nick Clegg. It's all about senior Liberal Democrats positioning themselves as the true voice of the party's left-wing majority. It's a rhetorical war in which each candidate outdoes the other in painting the Conservatives as the most objectionable. Huhne has always tended to go furthest. This conference bout of Tory bashing is the ugliest since the time of the AV referendum. Mr Huhne was then comparing Sayeeda Warsi to Goebbels. I'd assumed that he'd reached rock bottom in that comparison but likening Tory MPs to Sarah Palin is probably a bigger insult to many on the Left.

CableVince470 Despite this and despite Vince Cable's lack of enthusiasm for deregulation we've seen a lot of the upside of Coalition politics in the last 24 hours. The ten minute segment given to the Liberal Democrat conference on yesterday evening's Six o'clock News on BBC1 was nearly all good for the Government. You had Nick Clegg talking about the necessity of cuts and you then had Vince Cable at his sage-of-the-nation best, setting out the grim reality of the economic situation and blaming Labour for its part in it. In a kind of passage that George Osborne has never quite managed to deliver the Business Secretary levelled with his party and voters about the hard years ahead:

"We now face a crisis that is the economic equivalent of war. The financial crisis is still with us. It never went away. And we can see that recovery has stalled in the US and the position in the Eurozone is dire. But it is wishful thinking to imagine that we have a healthy economy being infected by a dangerous foreign virus. Many of our problems are home-grown. Gordon Brown regularly advised the rest of the world to follow his British model of growth. But the model was flawed. It led to the highest level of household debt in relation to income in the world. It produced a dangerously inflated property bubble. It encouraged a bloated, banking sector while manufacturing declined at an unprecedented rate. Then, they socialised the costs of the crash though a massive budget deficit, the biggest of any major economy. His disciple, Ed Balls, has – sort of – apologised but advocates policies that would repeat the disaster."