Nearly two years ago, Liberal Democrats chose to do the right thing in the national interest at a time of crisis. We put tribalism aside and the good of the country first.
We didn’t come into politics to make cuts, but with the economy on the verge of collapse we knew we had to take the difficult decisions necessary to get the deficit under control and the country back on track.
And how did the Labour Party react?
They attacked us viciously. They refused to apologise or take responsibility for the mess they created. They opposed every cut and they indulged in cynical scaremongering.
In Sheffield, David Blunkett warned of ‘post-Soviet’ meltdown with people fending for themselves. It was the politics of fear and it was a disgrace.
But now, after nearly two years of opposing every cut, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls say they won’t reverse a single one. Yet they still say they oppose them.
They have gone from being in the wrong place to being all over the place. From denial to disarray.
Many of our excellent councillors and members of the Scottish and Welsh Assemblies lost their seats last May because of the vicious attacks of their Labour opponents. Labour must not get away with it again.
Liberal Democrats approach this May’s elections with a track record of proud, progressive achievements in Government:
Lifting a million of the poorest workers out of tax and cutting taxes, not for the rich but for 23m basic rate taxpayers;
Making the well off pay their share by raising Capital Gains Tax, a new £10bn bank levy and keeping the 50p top rate of tax;
The most generous rise in the state pension for a generation;
A revolution in the way we support the children who need help the most when it matters the most, in the crucial early years and throughout their school lives;
More apprenticeships than Britain has ever had before;