That call was made in an email to Nick Clegg and other Lib Dem MPs, which somehow found its way into the hands of the media.
What strikes me most about the email is its defensiveness:
“The Labour and Trade Union movement are saturating the streets of Liverpool, even in our heartlands.And:
Never before in 35+ years have I seen the streets of Wavertree snooing with Labour activists, never before have I seen Labour posters in a local election.I am not sure what snooing is, but the implication seems to be that Liberal Democrat success in local government is only possible if we do not upset the Labour Party. Otherwise they may start canvassing and putting posters up and where will we be then?
Yes, we face a difficult set of council elections - parties in power often do - but Bradley's views sound like a counsel of despair to me.
Contrast this with the view of Richard Kemp. Writing on his own blog under the title "I'm proud to be a 'Cleggista'", he argues that we need to be far more aggressive in promoting two ideas:
This bold stuff: not just campaigning on a strong local record and waiting for the storm to blow over, but defending the Liberal Democrat role in government.
- The type of success stories that I have mentioned above. Too few people know that pensioner’s standards of living will be protected for the first time since Thatcher abolished the earnings link. We need to be getting out there with all the good news stories that will affect people’s lives for good.
- We need again and again to nail the deceptions and distortions of The Labour Party. They twist and turn like a worm on the end of a fisherman’s hook. We are dealing with the financial mess that they have left us with. There is a total of £11 billion difference between their spending plans announced in November 2009 for the current tax year and that which the government is running with. Not such a big difference on a total budget of £750 billion. But you wouldn’t think that by listening to ‘Nelson’ Milliband would you?
It more challenging approach - Sir Humphrey might call it "courageous" - but it is surely the right one.
Besides, if we did take Warren Bradley's advice and withdraw from government because the going had got hard, why should anyone vote for us at the resultant general election?