Lib Dem president complains that being in government is "distressing"
Being in Government "has led to a loss of identity and in turn a loss of support", according to the President of the Liberal Democrats.
MP Tim Farron suggests the past 19 months have been a miserable time - "particularly distressing", as he puts it - for the party.
He said: "Clearly we have not succeeded in communicating our message, which has led to a loss of identity and in turn a loss of support."
The message appears in the directory of the Lib Dem conference, taking place in Birmingham later this month. It's an official party document which will be handed out to delegates at Birmingham's ICC.
I was struck by how downbeat and unhappy he appeared to be.
Here's an extended extract:
"But let's be realistic. The consequences of being in power and of not getting our messages across to the public at large have been particularly distressing.
"For many of you this is the first party conference of any sort since the recent elections. If you are coming to conference having lost your seat in May, I am particularly grateful and proud of you. You took the ultimat hit for our national decisions, and you did not deserve to lose.
"The devastation of losing an election particularly when, like so many of those who lost in May, you have been fantastic servants not only of your communities but also of the party, is not easy to get over.
"However it's how you pick yourself up and move forward in the wake of great disappointment that defines you, and I fully believe that the best way to answer these losses is to use this conference as an opportunity to come back together, and address the issues and the problems we are facing together.
"I am not prepared to simply accept that being in government means unpopularity, or that being in coalition means lost identity. If we want to go on changing the world and making a difference, losing elections is not a very smart way of going about it!
"Clearly we have not succeeded in communicating our message, which has led to a loss of identity and in turn a loss of support. It may have been naive of us not to realise the threat we faced as the smaller party in a coalition government, that does not have a single media outlet fighting our corner.
"But we absolutely cannot wallow in self pity; we must identify our threat, respect it and then show complete determination to overcome it."