I just want to draw everyone's attention to this brilliant post over on the Social Liberal Forum which brilliantly highlights the problem with the current Lib Dem approach to coalition. Here's a quote but you should definitely go and read the original post in full:
I don’t mean that it’s not a good idea to restrain the Tories. Of course it is. I don’t mean that activists don’t like to hear this. Of course they do.
But the party’s key messages have to be those that are relevant to, and strike a chord with, the wider audience. And the wider audience will simply not be won over by this Tory taming narrative.
Let’s take a rather crude example.
Imagine David Cameron, George Osborne and the lot of them with a litter of kittens. The room is full of piteous mewing. But the Tories don’t want the pesky things. Imagine David is about to wield the knife and kill every single little one of them.
Nick Clegg bravely steps in. “At least spare some of the kittens” he says.
So instead of all ten going under, three are spared and scamper away somewhere.
The problem is most people, and certainly most of our potential voters, don’t want to kill any kittens at all. And we have just become complicit in felicide. What is more newsworthy, the seven dead ones or the others?
So the message has an obvious weakness.