On what had to have been the hottest day in London for a long time, there were few things TB would liked to have done more than sit outside Gordon’s with a bottle of ice cold white and a rather attractive young lady. It became pretty clear before even the first glass was finished that Sara Scarlett is a bit of a trouble maker, though in the very best sense of the word. Every comment that broke the wishy-washy wet Liberal Democrat line was accompanied with a cheeky look that said she knew exactly what the impact of her words would be, and she didn’t care. Starting in an obvious place, TB asked Scarlett why she would agree to talk to the Tory blogger who caused her so much grief in stirring up the Liberal Youth elections; "you don't not talk to a paper because you disagree with it's editorial line" was the blunt reply. Conversation moved quickly on to the said election. Scarlett claims she isn’t pissed off that she lost, arguing that on reflection the changes that the Liberal Youth movement needed couldn’t be implemented by a chairman in a year. It was a messy election and the whole Liberal Youth machine at one point collapsed into leak and counter brief and caused quite a headache for the Liberal Democrat HQ. One of the key moments was Scarlett’s heckle while her opponent was speaking at the Liberal Democrat Spring Forum. It was this moment that she pinpoints as where she lost the election, but cemented her reputation as a self proclaimed “political bad-ass”.
While the apparatchiks and sand pitters clearly couldn't handle Scarlett's bluntness and brutal honesty, she has managed to find friends and allies in the "political bad-ass" camp through the newly relaunched think tank Liberal Vision. Headed up by Mark Littlewood, who is another fan of trouble-making - to the extent he was punched by a Lib Dem MP at their conference last year, this band of libertarians are making quite a splash in Lib Dem land. While Liberal Vision are making inroads in trying to influence Lib Dem policy and shift the floundering, cracked coalition to the right, the organisation has one mammoth struggle ahead of it. TB agrees with the notion that "libertarianism is the natural conclusion of classic liberalism" that Scarlett mentioned more than twice, but whether libertarians will ever feel at home in the Liberal Democrats remains to be seen. For someone so young with a lot of energy and passion to give to politics, the decision has to be made soon of whether they want to be a big fish in a small pond or actually make an impact in a party that has the prospect of forming a government anytime soon. Scarlett was quick to dismiss the Conservatives of being any better as a nest for freedom lovers "I'll join the Conservatives when David Cameron legalises heroin... seriously though Cameron won't give civil liberties back" "Cameron and Osborne are very good on TV but they aren't reformers." Evidently not the biggest fan of DC, but then again the next generation of the Party, after twelve years of enslavement by Labour is distinctly more libertarian than those running the show today.