18 MAY 1962, Page 7

The Illiberals We have pointed out before, to be abused

for our pains, the striking all-purpose wish-fulfilment aspect of the current Liberal revival. In the latest of the Campaign for Democratic Socialism's broadsheets thqre is a report from a recent by- election about three people who were going to vote Liberal: the first because 'he had fought the Germans and Italians and didn't want any- thing to do with them in the Common Market'; the second because the Government was 'more Concerned with the blacks in Africa than with the People of Britain'; and the third because 'the Tories had given the Empire away.' Now we all know very well that these aren't Jo Grimond's opinions, but how will he and his like-minded lieutenants keep his party respectable if it con- tinues to swell out monstrously with this sort of support? They haven't had the good grounding of the Tories in rendering such incipient ex- tremism down into harmless eccentricity. I should think that a good many Liberal candidates were borne home at the local elections on malevolent waves. A friend of mine who was a Tory candidate was discussing the outcome with his Liberal rival, who had obviously been Too slow off the mark. 'I'll make it next time,' said the Liberal. 'How do you work that out?' 'I didn't cotton on to the ill-feeling about America until it was too late,' said the Liberal, `but 1'11 come home next time, mark my words, on a solid anti-American platform.'