Lib Dem diary: Tory traumas have been hilarious

It's certainly been a funny week in Westminster, not least because nobody can quite work out what on Earth the Conservatives are playing at, sparking a civil war once again. Meanwhile, all is peace and serenity in the Lib Dems.

No. Really.

A post Queen's Speech tiff over childcare by Nick Clegg involves the DPM and Liz Truss, and for once is unlikely to lead to a confrontation with Lib Dem members, which is rather nice really.

That's not to say people haven't tried to stir up some trouble. Headmaster Gove took to the TV cameras on Sunday to explain that the above row was not about children's welfare at all, but was in fact an attempt by the Cable/Oakeshott axis to destabilise Clegg's leadership.

It's fair to say Gove's comments were not well received in Lib Dem circles. They rarely are.

It's also fair to say that there has been a noticeably positive fallout from the Eastleigh by-election for the Lib Dems, and that's not just because they won.

The combination of the by-election and local elections seemed to galvanise the yellow troops, giving them something tangible to focus on. It's also possible that everyone who is miserable and is going to go has already done so.

Either way, I speak to activists across the party the whole time, and the mood is the most positive it's been in ages. No doubt that there will be a row, probably on the economy, come the next conference, but for now everyone seems to just be nursing their campaign blisters.

Which brings us to, whisper it, Europe. I pledged to only mention it in passing, and we Lib Dems like our pledges. Watching the Conservatives relive the trauma of the late 1990s all week has been a bizarre and, quite frankly, hilarious experience.

For the moment the Lib Dems are well out of it, not intruding on Tory grief. That's not to say the party isn't aware of some pitfalls the row could bring though.

As one party insider put it to me: "We're handcuffed to a man flinging themselves off a cliff."

The landing is likelier to be softer for Clegg than for Cameron.