There is something deeply depressing about the latest Lib Dem ploy. In response to the exposure of certain Labour peers in respect of their "consultancies", the Lib Dems have "called for a police inquiry" - see here.
The conduct of the Labour peers appears to be highly disappointing. If the allegations are true they should be disciplined by Parliament as well as their parties. The allegations are serious. Ken Clarke's demand for an urgent ministerial statement was exactly the right response.
But the Lib Dems now want to turn this into a police matter. One wonders, yet again, what part of "liberal" and "democracy" do the Lib Dems not understand? For the demands for the police to get involved may be neither liberal nor democratic.
The now-common calls for a police involvement are in fact a bad sign of a trend in modern British politics, the creeping normalization of involving the police into political controversies - the Lord Levy matter, then Damian Green (on whom, more later), the lobbying for 42 Days, even the chumminess of Sir Ian Blair and the former unlamented Mayor of London.
Outside of high level politics, it is also now a routine weapon of pressure groups and campaigners to make a complaint to the police, allowing the lazy journalist an easy introductory paragraph.
By normalizing police involvement in political controversies, the Lib Dems (and others) are slowly shifting the grounds of the domestic political process.