My mother reminded me of this yesterday; here are the Liberal Democrat’s pre-election promises, posted without comment…

We will be strong in defence of freedom. The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian, and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness.

We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion.

We will introduce a Freedom Bill.

We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register and the ContactPoint database, and halt the next generation of biometric passports.

We will outlaw the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.

We will extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.

We will adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.

We will protect historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.

We will restore rights to non-violent protest.

We will review libel laws to protect freedom of speech.

We will introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.

We will further regulate CCTV.

We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason.

We will introduce a new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.

We will establish a Commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in British law, and protects and extends British liberties. We will seek to promote a better understanding of the true scope of these obligations and liberties.

It is now 2010, and for those living in the UK it is also an election year.

Both Labour and Tory seem to be indistinguishable at this point, making the choice at the ballet paper a choice of which way you want to be screwed. It seems clear that both Tory and Labour seem to want to lock us into an authoritarian statist and high tax agenda for another 5 years at least.

David Cameron is so sure of his position that instead of engaging on issues or attacking Gordon Brown on his  policy failures (of which there are many) that he resorts to childish name-calling rather than entering into a real debate.

The Tories started making some good noises early in the campaign about individual liberty and transparency, and they have pledged to scrap the ID card. However, they intend to continue Labour’s authoritarian policies and (among many other things) plan to scrap the human rights act and further centralise powers into the executive.

Labour’s record on the other hand is well known – did ok in the first term, but chronic overspending on insane projects has left us with a shattered economy which tax payers are going to be working hard to repair for years to come (and there’s the small matter of that pesky illegal war).

With (politically inclined) voters crying out for an alternative, and while we still have a system of party politics, my question is simple – where on earth are the Liberal Democrats and what do they stand for?