I have decided that I am no longer going to be grateful for small mercies.
It is a small mercy that Andrew Rawnsley has said very nice things about us in the Observer today. He says the LibDems alone are truly serious about electoral reform. He skewers Cameron for his non-credentials on the issue. He excoriates Brown for his puny record on constitutional reform and his opposition to voting reform. He says quite correctly that the Liberal Democrats are the only party that has been consistently in favour of transparency about expenses. (How David Cameron must wish for a bit of Stalin's power to rewrite history so that he could forget the Conservative attempt - abetted by Labour - to exempt MPs from the Freedom of Information Act). He says if you want serious constitutional reform you should vote LibDem. And then he says - "This is not an endorsement of the Lib Dems." I'm sorry, Andrew, but why can you not bring yourself to give us an endorsement? Where is the logic in saying all that you have just said, and then saying that you are not going to give us your backing? You have just become a microcosm of the self defeating political behaviour of this country. Yes, we're great, you say. Yes, we are the party with the consistent policies on green issues - which you like. Yes, we are the party with the consistent policies on the economy - which you like. Yes, we are the party with the consistent policies on poltiical reform issues - which you like. Yes, we are the party - the only party -with the consistent policies on transparency issues - which you like. Yet, you are still not going to endorse us. Why not, Andrew? Why not? We are the party with the answers you like on environmental issues, on reform, on transparency, on Europe, miles ahead on the economy. Stop being so mealy mouthed. Put us in power and give us a chance to show you what we can do.
It is also a small mercy that the Observer has editorially endorsed us for Europe on Thursday. That's nice. Here's what they have to say.
"On the environment, on civil liberties and on the mounting debt bubble, the Lib Dems were quietly but consistently ahead of the Westminster curve.
"Likewise on transparency. In 2007, they opposed the Conservative move, tacitly encouraged by Labour, to exempt Parliament from the Freedom of Information Act. The Lib Dems alone took a party line for openness.
"That is worth recalling as Mr Cameron and Mr Brown engage in an unseemly scramble for reformist credentials."
And yet despite being accurate about our policies and our consistency on major domestic and international issues as well as Europe, they have only endorsed us for the European elections. They haven't said a word about the local elections happening on the same day. Why ever not? We have a great record on local government as well as all the nice things they said about us in their editorial. But still only half an endorsement. I said it to Rawnsley, so I'll say it to the Observer. We know we can do it. You know we can do it. You've just given all the reasons why we can do it. Give us your backing and give us a chance to do it.