I have a lot of sympathy for the view of Contrasting Sounds:
the word “progressive” should be taken outside of UK politics and shot. Or rather, restricted to its technical meaning in tax discussions. I’m a reasonably well read chap and had never heard of “progressive” politics in the UK until the whole hung parliament circus this past May. I thought it was simply the word used by American liberals who had given up the fight against the Republican smear machine.Because Nick is really talking about is the contrast between liberalism and socialism. He complains of socialists' belief that higher public spending is a good thing irrespective of what it is spent on and of their enthusiasm for narrow and static measures of poverty.
Solution Focused Politics complains that attacks on Labour will drive voters away from the Liberal Democrats. But there is plenty of time to be more consensual before the next general election. Besides, Labour activists are still at the stage of grieving where they believe that Liberal Democrats eat babies. They will not be interested in talking to us for a while yet.
More urgent is the need for Nick Clegg to give the Liberal Democrats a bit more ideological backbone and to explain the voters - and to the party itself - what we are seeking to achieve by being part of the government. His Guardian article is a useful step along that path.