Sometimes the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg attacks the Government but he does this much less than most of his Party colleagues. Mr Clegg generally grasps that being in the Coalition Government while constantly trying to distance himself from it does not have credibility.
Lib Dem councillors often spend more time opposing Government policy than supporting it. In his speech today at the Lib Dem Local Government Conference, Mr Clegg urged them to take a different approach:
Imagine yourself on the doorstep – two different conversations.
Hello, I’m from the Liberal Democrats, for which I am truly sorry...
No, I’d rather not talk about the things we’ve done in national government if you don’t mind...
Around here we’ve been terribly nice, would it be possible to just stick to that?
I’m from the Liberal Democrat Party.
When the country needed it, we stepped up to our responsibilities...
Entering into Coalition with our opponents for the sake of the national interest.
We have taken some difficult decisions, but by doing so the country’s battered economy is on the mend.
Well over a million jobs have been created...
As well as record numbers of apprenticeships...
And we have managed to cut taxes for the vast majority of British taxpayers.
Here in this neighbourhood we have also protected vital services that matter to you.
Vote for us again and you will get more of the same.
That’s the conversation that will inspire people to support us. We will not be rewarded for hiding our achievements and beliefs. And our biggest error would be to come this far only to head into retreat.