The Guardian reports that the police bill to protect the Liberal Democrats at their part conference in Sheffield this weekend will reach £2 million (Police spend £2m to protect Liberal Democrats at Sheffield conference| guardian.co.uk).

Police are spending an estimated £2m to protect this weekend’s Liberal Democrat conference, with measures including a 2.5m high steel and concrete fence to deter up to 10,000 protesters.

A thousand officers will be on duty or standby from Friday until Sunday to shield the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, in his own city from anger over public spending cuts and his party’s U-turn on student fees.

Apparently Nick Clegg is to tell his party to ‘hold their nerve’ – I wonder how successful he’ll be with Lib Dem support slumping.  The Guardian reports (Clegg tells Lib Dems to hold nerve) that

The latest YouGov survey for the Sun puts the Lib Dems on just 9%, trailing far behind their Conservative coalition partners on 34% and Labour on 45% – the largest lead recorded by the poll for the opposition since the general election.

And this on top of their hardly stellar slump to 6th place at the recent Barnsley Central byelection.  I guess this is the penalty you pay when you discard your principles for a slice of political power.

One wonders whether the 1000 or so police officers would rather be doing something else, particularly when faced by the police service cuts to be imposed by the minority Tory government with support from those LibDems inside the conference centre…