Is it possible to bring the Liberal Democrats into disrepute?

I only ask because David Ward MP has got off without even a slap on the wrist for his tweet that “If I lived in Gaza, would I fire a rocket? – probably yes”.

Don Foster, the party’s chief whip, said, “I do not believe it was in any way anti-Semitic or motivated by anti-Semitic intentions and I do not believe his tweet brought the party into disrepute.”

This is a man whose past comments have landed him with the nickname David “The Jews” Ward, and whose own Facebook account plays host to a running sewer of abusive comments and conspiracy theories. But apparently that context is no cause for concern.

The apology which Foster thinks excuses the rocket remark went as follows:

“My comments were not in support of firing rockets into Israel. If they gave the opposite impression, I apologise.”

In translation, it’s everybody else’s fault for getting confused and thinking the words “would I fire a rocket? – probably yes” meant that he supported the firing of rockets. How stupid of us.

If, as they have now officially stated, this behaviour does not bring their party into disrepute, I’m left wondering what would? Is it that they don’t care, as long as they cling onto one of their own? Or is it that they don’t think there is much repute to lose?