Every time I hear a Labour party talking about the Lib Dems (including Dave Anderson MP during the election campaign), I hear us being split into the good Liberals, who are slightly deluded but well intentioned, and the Bad Thatcherite Economic "Orange Book" Liberals. The Orange Book liberals believe in a small state and want vicious cuts. They are virtual Tories except they are maybe a bit more in favour of civil liberties.
This Orange Book must be a very powerful book, I hear people say. Well not really. I bought a copy when it was launched in 2004. It's name is a sly reference to the Yellow Book (aka Britain's Industrial Future) of 1929, which outlined a firm shift in the Liberal Party towards a Keynesian agenda.
It's a book of disparate essays by a variety of Lib Dem parliamentarians who were seen as prominent at the time. Some like Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne (both then MEPs) and Vince Cable, have gone on to great things. Others such as Mark Oaten and Susan Kramer, have foundered politically (but for very differing reasons!). It is seen as marking out a more economic Liberal direction for the party (ie small state) but in reality is a bit of a mixed bag. What I think it marked was the party starting to transform itself from one of protest to one that may be able to exercise power. It started a serious debate about our values. But there is no "Orange Book" wing in the party. We leave internal factions to the Labour and Conservative party. We are too small to be able to fall out between ourselves. As long as there is a need for a Liberal agenda to be presented, we will be here.