Drunk on the sweet, comforting soft words of the new pin-up boy of British politics, many voters are now waking up to a dreadful hangover and a sobering realisation that Clegg is actually not what he at first seemed.
Far from being a man of the people, this is a man who has enjoyed in his very understated words a 'very lucky' upbringing. Many of us would call it privileged, elitist, establishment and far from average. The fact that it was all of those things is not an issue - there is not an ounce of jealousy, avarice or envy for any of that. The issue is that he seeks to be something he is not - he may never have denied his background, but he was happy to bask in the sunshine as the media and Labour poured hot scorn over David Cameron's. The difference though is that Cameron has always been very up front about it. Clegg is embarrassed and suddenly, we see a chink in his armour.
Then of course we have the expenses scandal. Clegg offers to 'restore the pride' in our parliament by removing the stench and causes of expenses corruption. The hypocrite. All the time he is making these claims, always as if it's been about all those other MPs, he was happily dipping his hand into the pool of taxpayer funds to make a claim on several houses, to buy three new kitchens, hire a gardener, buy pots and pans and cushions form IKEA, all for the house in his Sheffield constituency - at the tax payer's expense. In a twist to this, under scrutiny by Andrew Neal, he oddly described his house as a modest, pebble-dashed affair and that is was actually not his house at all, it was 'your house', a house owned and paid for by the taxpayer, which he was privileged to live in. This whole episode shows lack of propriety and poor ethics and even worse moral standards.
The latest revelation for Mr Clegg, our man for all seasons, of the people, for the people, for which the term primus inter pares really does apply, is that he omitted to mention that he ever worked for a lobby firm. For some reason he thought it was not necessary because it was for such a short period of time within his working life. The real fact is because so many senior and prominent MPs were caught selling themselves to provide influence and access to government for pecuniary advantage, he thought he would avoid the danger of being implicated, however innocent his position was. However, this is the man who spoke of the dangers of powerful lobbyists and his desire to clear up this whole area of British politics. If that was the case, it would have been more honest to have come clean and told voters that he had actually been a lobbyist for a very short period of time and that would have been the end of the matter. The fact that he has chosen to be so secretive leaves one to question his motives and his integrity.
Whatever his reasons, to deceive or not in relation to all of these individual matters raises more questions about Nick Cleggs's veracity, his judgement and honesty. As the media bear down even harder on Clegg and the Liberal Democrats (the donor issue is not yet done with), he had better pray that there's nothing else he should have mentioned because there's no wrath like that of the British voter.
1 hour ago