So screamed a headline in today's Scotsman.
But if you read what Tim actually said, it doesn't quite stack up to the headline.
I always thought ‘confidence and supply’ was, for this Parliament at least, not a good option because you have none of the power and all the blame. I think in the future ‘confidence and supply’ might be an option.
“Post-2015, because we have now got fixed-term parliaments and in a calmer economic period, having a minority administration would be possible, entirely possible.It wasn’t last time because you knew that David Cameron would call an election in October and he would have won it.So, all he was saying that Confidence and Supply wasn't an option last time but it might be next time. How the flippin' eck has that come out as "we should avoid coalition"? Just how?
And the Telegraph has some cock and bull story about him supporting a confidence and supply with Labour after the election. I have it on very good authority that what he actually told the Telegraph was this:
It’s up to the British electorate – whoever is the most popular party has the right to form a government and we won’t hinder that.
At least the Telegraph mentioned that Tim was championing more tax cuts for the poorest and more house building.
The silly season continues as each newspaper tries to frighten its readers by telling them how awful the Liberal Democrats are. I was speaking to a senior government insider recently who said that they never, ever believed anything that was written in the newspapers. I'm not sure if that's because the truth is much more bizarre than the papers think.
I've been to conferences before and then read what's been in the press about them and wondered if the journalists have been at the same event.
So, I guess the lesson for the next few days is to take everything you read with a big pinch of salt.
Charlotte Henry and I may not agree about much, but we expect Nick Clegg's Conference to be much smoother than the journalists think.