What's the Point of Nick Clegg?
Nick Clegg and his ilk are the irrefutable proof that politicians are there for status and not for convictions, writes Andrew of band Manifest

From plucky idealist fighting above his weight to a complete irrelevance with a Mitty-esque look on his future, Clegg’s career as a career politician is getting shorter and shorter. I actually hold him to blame for the state of the country equal with Cameron and Osborne. Face it; we knew Cameron and Osborne were Wolves in incredibly thin (but well-tailored and far too expensive for you!) Sheep’s clothing, desperate to appear moderate enough to be elected by a public still irritated with Labour over Iraq and hamstrung with an indecisive Prime Minister who bottled it at the wrong moment. That much was obvious.

It should be noted that even with that amount of ill feeling towards his main opposition; Cameron didn’t actually win enough seats for a majority. Not that you’d know now.

What’s even more bizarre is that there was a point when Nick Clegg was the most powerful man in British Politics. That is no exaggeration. That time was from 6 May 2010 until the 12 May 2010.
There was a hung parliament. The Tories had the most seats, but they didn't have enough to make a government. They needed someone else. It wasn't going to be Labour, obviously, and a coalition of all the small parties wouldn't work either, so it could only be the Liberal Democrats.

In general the Liberals lean to the left. Their popular support always has and always will. Nick Clegg leans to the left. It’s rare for a political party to change its basic principles. It’s even rarer for a party to adopt a left wing libertarian position, and then change it overnight on the premise that “we will be the hand on the tiller”. So why did they jump into bed and swallow all that right wing policy? Do they think they’re in power because they're sat on the government side?
Well they aren’t. They are Yes Men. The Government knows this and it knows that generally, it can count on Lib Dem support because of the way party politics works. All Clegg did was provide 53 more Tory MP’s and in return, he got a referendum on voting reform where the only option for change was one that he didn’t actually want, and a debate on House of Lords reform which fell spectacularly on its arse. After that, unless Cameron was on holiday, you wouldn’t know Nick Clegg was alive. At one point, Theresa May took PMQ’s.

Free School meals are a great example of the Lib Dem role in Government. Free School Meals is an odd Lib Dem policy as it benefits many of those who already have the means. In order to get that through, Clegg had to relent and allow the Tories ANOTHER tax break policy (Married Couples) in order to get it.

The Tories have played the Lib Dem's like the political masters the Tories are. The meeting in the garden? The laughs and taps on the shoulder? The camaraderie? All a Tory show. David had a Joy Buzzer full of polonium. Clegg’s victory was Pyrrhic in the extreme.

Now, Clegg is talking about another coalition at the next election? Presumably it will be between the Lib Dems and the Greens and it will total 1 MP, providing Caroline Lucas retains her seat.
What annoys me is that I fell for it. During the 2010 election, the Liberal Democrats gained so much support from people like me. Disaffected Labour voters who allowed ourselves to dream that things could be better. We thought that the biggest underdog movement in British politics might just get in while a nation fills with apathy. Not only has Clegg ensured that every disaffected Labour voter will now either go back to Labour or not vote at all, he’s also made the left leaning party activists feel sick by mixing with an enemy they have fought, in some cases, their whole political lives.

I voted for the Liberal Democrats based on their manifesto. Clegg told me there had been too many broken promises and they were there to do things differently. Nick Clegg believes that promises should be kept. I didn’t vote for a Tory Government and I didn’t vote for the Lib Dems to immediately throw out 95% of the Manifesto I wanted them elected on.

When Nick “sang” I’m sorry, he wasn’t just talking about tuition fees. He was talking about the whole coalition.

Andrew, Manifest