Imagine if the Conservatives hadn't selected any Black or Ethnic Minority candidates to replace retiring MPs, or that none of their top 25 target seat candidates were BME. There would be all sorts of media stories about how the Tories were subliminally racist or behind the times, and were still the same old "nasty" Tory Party.
Of course, no one can say that about the Conservatives as they have selected at least half a dozen BME candidates in safe seats and plenty more in winnable seats. There are likely to be 15-20 BME Tory MPs on May 7th.
Sadly the same is not true of the LibDems, who are light years behind. Seven LibDem MPs are retiring, yet every one of the candidates replacing them is white. And you have to go down to seat number 29 in the LibDem target list to find an Asian candidate (former MP Parmjit Gill in Leicester South).
So the LibDems would have to have 92 MPs before they get an MP who isn't white.
I'm well aware that ten or twenty years ago that used to be the case in the Tory Party. It isn't now because over the last decade huge steps forward have been taken by successive Tory leaders and party chairmen to ensure that change happened.
For those who reckon the LibDems are more progressive than the Tories, perhaps this should give them pause for thought.
Joseph Harker from the Guardian agrees. He fears that white LibDem candidates will push out black Labour ones. A slightly odd perspective maybe, but the rest of his article makes some valid points...
Only four minority candidates are fighting for the Lib Dems in the party's top 100 target seats.
Henry Bonsu, co-founder of Colourful Radio, said: "In terms of the selection and promotion of minority candidates, for all their niceness, the Lib Dems are nowhere near good enough."
Dean McCastree was a Lib Dem councillor in the 1990s and is now standing as an independent in the Brent Central constituency — where the combined black and Asian population is over 50%.
He said: "We have to have representatives who reflect the society we have. By effectively pushing Dawn Butler out in this constituency, they're saying to minorities: 'You don't need representation, we can do it for you.'
"When I was in the party, I tried to press them on equality but they didn't want to know. There's a lot of window dressing but most minority candidates are in unwinnable seats."
David Cameron made highly publicised gestures to show that the Conservative party had changed and, before the Lib Dems' surge, had 15 black and Asian candidates either defending majorities or, based on opinion polls, likely to gain seats.
Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote, which next Wednesday hosts what is expected to be the largest ever black British political rally, said of Clegg: "He inherited a party resistant to change, and although he has made good progress, he still needs to convince a black electorate that transforming the party's racial make-up is a priority."
* LibDems get very angry with me when I write about this subject, yet if you talk to them privately they acknowledge they have had a real issue in this area. They are belatedly taking steps to address it, but it should have been done a long time ago. They would lose nothing by admitting it.