The interesting message in Clegg’s speech was the nostalgic mention of the old Liberal party and former leaders; the Liberal Democrats are seen as their heirs and, more significantly, the SDP was not mentioned. At all. Throughout the conference, the theme has been around liberalism and building a true liberal party.
Social democracy is now dead within the party. Liberal democracy is the future. The party no longer see themselves as a protest movement or an alternative to Labour. It’s official: we’re a liberal party.