Nick Clegg's backtracked on tuition fees, secret courts, public-sector cuts and a mansion tax, but today said it's the Tories who can't be trusted.
The Lib Dem leader riled trade unions in Scotland with a speech promising "a fairer society," even as his coalition government prepares to cut benefit payments from next month.
Mr Clegg told delegates at the Scottish Liberal Democrats conference in Dundee today that he knew his deal with the Tories remained "particularly controversial."
"People in Scotland know that the Conservatives cannot be trusted to deliver a fairer society.
"Not on their own anyway."
But Mr Clegg, who apologised in September for his party's broken pledge on scrapping university tuition fees, insisted his party had delivered.
"Having Liberal Democrats in government, anchoring it in the centre ground and delivering for Scotland, is so important.
"Building a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life."
The speech had been expected to ruffle feathers in the party ranks and came just days after lawyer Dinah Rose QC publicly quit from the podium over legislation which has been accused of creating a system of secret courts for investigating state-sanctioned torture and kidnapping.
Party activist Caron Lindsay echoed Ms Rose's sentiments today, pleading with delegates to commit to repealing the law in its next manifesto: "This legislation should never have seen the light of day, and certainly never with the Liberal Democrats' name on it."
Meanwhile trade unionists and welfare campaigners currently lobbying delegates over next month's controversial bedroom tax were scathing.
STUC assistant general secretary Dave Moxham said: "What Nick Clegg has said proves that he's living in a parallel universe.
"We're in the one where the Lib Dems have failed to deliver any of their social justice agenda."