As a politician spends more time in power – and becomes more distanced from the world around them – they begin to lose a sense of the ordinary, the mundane and even the real. The risk is that if you spend your life in a bubble, being protected from an increasingly distant electorate, you begin to lack the self-awareness that is crucial for a top politician. Unfortunately for Nick Clegg it seems that, like much else about his career, the process has been a little quicker for him.
Only a few weeks ago when Oliver Letwin made his Sheffield gaffe, Clegg began to show signs of a self-awareness problem when he said that Letwin is “the most controversial politician in Sheffield.” Evidently Nick forgot to look a little closer to home…
Today though, armed with his “how I look to other people” blinkers, he began a pro-AV offensive (which is the last thing that the Yes campaign needs. In an article for the Telegraph this morning he argued, rightly, that “power without accountability always leads to trouble.” It seems likely that the four million people who voted Lib Dem but have now abandoned the party feel the same. They voted for Clegg and his party expecting one set of policies only to receive another. He has the power, but they can’t hold him accountable. Sound about right Nick?
Undeterred, poor Nick pushed onwards. Yesterday Clegg was concerned that the AV campaign was descending in to “mudslinging“. Thank goodness Nick was on hand today then to decry the “dinosaurs” who are backing the No campaign. That’s not mudslinging though is it Nick? Not if you’ve completely lost all perception of how ludicrous you look to other people. Not if you’ve got used to saying one thing, then changing your mind without the slightest warning.
The Yes campaign needs Nick Clegg like it needs a hole in the head. The Lib Dems need to ask themselves whether or not preserving Nick’s career is worth the damage he is doing to their cause.