A while ago I wrote a post about Clegg's rise into the mainstream, and how people were seeing him as a breath of fresh air. I'm afraid today's is effectively an obituary of those happy times for him. I was once a fan, despite not being a Lib Dem, alas, no more.
Ever since that first Leader's Debate his personal ratings have been falling and falling. At one point everyone agreed with Nick, now no one does. He even sat in the government benches yesterday at PMQ's harping about the illegal invasion of Iraq, apparently oblivious to the fact that the people behind him and his lord and master Cameron had all supported that ill-fated war. His party's support has slipped away massively since the election and the coalition hasn't even been able to keep up its honeymoon period as their approval ratings slim massively. From highs of 20% approval early on they're now down to figures around 5-6%.
But what really convinced me has been watching him in the Common's, and especially that fated PMQ's he stood in for. He's nothing but a nodding dog, praying that Cameron will throw him the occasional treat like the AV referendum whilst still tying it firmly to Conservative policy. He may as well wear a gimp suit that says 'Property of Dave' on the front.
And for all his talk of 'New Politics', yesterday he showed the very worst of everything he's complained about. He refused to apologise for him and David Cameron misleading the house over why Forgemasters were denied a loan, it turned out the reason they gave didn't stack up and was completely false. Instead of holding his hands up he decided to make up a new reason, pretend that's what he'd always said, and then quote some of Mandelson's book which was completely irrelevant as if that was an appropriate answer. Even the Speaker stopped him because he was so completely off track.
Every question he was asked went unanswered, other than vague connections to Mandelson's book (perhaps he's a publicist these days to fill his vast amount of spare time?) and answering questions with questions. Then again, actually giving answers at PMQ's isn't David Cameron's policy either so perhaps he's been learning from his puppet master.