He put some of the blame for the Lib Dems' setbacks in Scotland and northern cities in last week's elections on the "deep, visceral memories" of the 1980s and the fear that these areas would once again be "economically ... left for dead" as the Government cuts back on spending.Strange how the Tories, the party of Margaret Thatcher and obviously the real power in government did surprisingly well last week.
But he declared: "The '80s won't happen again. We are not in government to turn back the clock, but to move forward to a better, stronger and more balanced economy.
"In the Thatcher years, whole communities were uprooted. Because too many areas were dependent on just one industry, economic upheaval led to social upheaval. Industries went, and communities went with them. Never again."
Wonder who he blamed for the loss of five seats in the general election last May? That dastardly Disraeli maybe?