I'm just catching up after a week on the waterways of Warwickshire. One of my first ports of call was Liberal England ( incidentally I did think that the photos of the Saxon church, canals with their locks and peculiar architecture was very much in their house style). I learnt there that the knife sharpener (reported in the FT) given by my fellow loch labourer, the Disgruntled Radical, to David Laws had been handed down to Danny Alexander. David explained:
At the Yeovil constituency post-election party I handed David Laws a present to help with his job as Chief Secretary of the Treasury - a knife sharpener. Not a knife, because I didn't want to promote cuts but a sharpener because I wanted him to make fine cuts.
As Liberal England says:
I like to imagine it being passed from Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury to Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury down the generations.
I can exclusively reveal that the young Mr Grace knew nothing of the bequest. I can remember when David Steel stood down as leader he passed something down to Paddy, Archibald's Sinclair's desk -it had apparently been the tradition. I wonder if Clegg now has it? I don't suppose it is much suited to modern technology. There is a Pathe news clip of Sinclair sitting behind a desk. I've no idea if it is the same desk that he passed down to Clem Davies et al.