I want Tavish to come out there with pride and confidence and get our messages out there. I want to hear him talking about why it's important to give local communities a say in their public services. I want to hear him talk about the dangers of a single national police force - which he'll be the only one on that stage opposing. I want to hear him talk about how impersonal a National Care Services with targets set by bureaucrats in Holyrood would be, delivering one size fits all care badly, rather than taking a more holistic view of the individual needs. I want to hear him get excited about our ambitious plans to free up money from Scottish Water to boost our economy.We've been way too timid about it during the campaign.
Tavish has done enough mea culpa for things he has no control over. It's not his job to do that. He needs to be bold, confident and noisy in the last few days of the campaign. He needs to say not one more word about the UK coalition - although I will forgive the odd mention of the number of ordinary people who are getting a tax cut, or of the restoration of the pensions/earnings link or things like that. But, in these last few days, I don't want to see him looking like he has Nick Clegg's weight on his shoulders. Despite everything, I still think the Coalition is the best UK Government I've known in my life and you can see the Liberal Democrat influence in it, but that's not a discussion for now.
We have good ideas, good policies and a good message. I want to see him deliver those ideas with confidence over the last few days and not to let anybody else deflect him in the process. When he comes out on that stage tomorrow night, Tavish has to remember that he's talking to the people of Scotland and not the other 3 on the stage with him. He must not let them define what he says - he needs to deliver our positive, ambitious ideas.
Here's what he has to say ahead of the final week of the campaign:
“Liberal Democrats are fighting a determined and positive election campaign.
“We are the only party standing up for local policing – the only main party against a single police force that Chief Constables warn could cost 3,000 police their jobs.
“We are the only party with radical new thinking that will free up £1.5 billion to spend growing our economy. We know that politicians don’t create jobs, business does. That’s why our plans will help businesses grow so that they can take on more people. We have long term solutions for the Scottish economy.
“We want to restore excellence to Scottish education. In the past Scottish education was the envy of the world: in the future it will be again.
“Scotland needs long term solutions, not short term political fixes. A Government for the whole country, not a minority party. A Scotland that looks outward and upwards and is not insular, throwing insults over Hadrian’s Wall.
“Voters who share that ambition should vote Liberal Democrat twice on the 5th May.”