I note that there is no consideration of the fact that he could have teamed up with Labour. As many of us thought at the time, that was clearly something which he did not want to do.
Nick Clegg will tell the Liberal Democrats today that there was no alternative to entering the Coalition with the Conservatives as he rebuffs internal critics who claim he is shifting his party to the right.
In his speech to his party's Liverpool conference, Mr Clegg will declare that the Liberal Democrats would never have been taken seriously by voters if they had spurned a historic opportunity to share power.
He then comes out with this to justify the cuts the coalition intends to impose on some of our poorest citizens.
The Liberal Democrat leader tried to reassure his party's doubters yesterday by promising that a shake-up of welfare in next month's government spending review would squeeze so-called "middle class" benefits as well as those paid to the poor. His remarks suggest that child benefit, child tax credits and winter fuel payments for pensioners could be curbed.Why does Clegg imagine that there is some equivalence between him giving up benefits which his family don't really need and removing benefits from people who are utterly dependent on them? Some of our poorest citizens are going to lose their homes if Osborne carries out his proposed changes to Housing Benefit, so how does that compare to Clegg foregoing £2,450 a year in benefits which he doesn't actually need?
Mr Clegg told BBC Radio 5 Live he would happily give up his family's £2,450-a-year child benefit payments for his three sons. "It would be unfair to only deal with those benefits which only go to people on very low means. You have to also – because that's the fair thing to do – look at benefits that go high up the income scale to people who maybe are not so much in need and that's exactly what we're doing," he said.
There is an utter lack of compassion and empathy on display here which is unlike the attitude one would usually expect from a Liberal Democrat. The problem for me with Clegg is that he sounds like a Tory. Indeed, only a Tory would make the point he made about benefits, imagining that he is sounding reasonable.
This Liberal Democrat conference will be the first in their history that everyone will be paying very close attention to. And we are paying attention because we cannot believe that his party are going to allow this dramatic swing to the right without a serious fight taking place.
Bob Russell, the MP for Colchester, said: "Nick says there is no future for us as a part of the left. Well, there is no future for us as a party of the right."
Sandra Gidley, a former MP, said: "We seem to be drifting as a party towards the right and there are quite a lot of people feeling disenfranchised because the party we see now isn't the party we joined. The public see us as a party that is putting power before the people."
David Rendel, another former MP, said the leadership "seem terrified of stories that they might get about splits in the Coalition ... so terrified that they pretend that every coalition policy is agreed on both sides. The result is that people who are normally not our supporters get a misleading idea about what our policies and ideas are."
They are tanking in the polls, because no-one understands what they are for any more. Clegg will today attempt to apply a tiny dressing to a gaping wound. For the sake of unity his party will probably attempt to swallow his bullshit. But the truth is that he has utterly destroyed their credibility.
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