Whilst Nick Cohen in the Observer is right to question whether Clegg has "the right to call himself a liberal", if he cannot "support a polite protest" against the BBC, the answer has long been all too obvious. Clegg and the rest of his party abandoned liberalism the moment they joined forces with the Bullingdon "posh boys".
Take, for example, that bastion of the liberal creed, equality of opportunity. Within months of the coalition being established, the Lib Dems had agreed to a huge rise in university fees and the ending of the Educational Maintenance Allowance, soon to be followed by them giving wholehearted support to Gove`s assessment reforms, and his ultimate objective of a two-tiered system of secondary education. Is it any wonder a recent report placed Britain bottom of 12 developed OECD countries in a social mobilty league table, or another placed us 28th out of 34 in an equality one? But not a word from Clegg on changing the system, where the country`s top jobs are dominated by the privately educated, despite only 7% of the nation`s children actually attending private schools.
Gladstone rather ruined the old liberal idea of laissez-faire, with the Tory, Disraeli, having to legislate in the 1880s to provide for better housing, safer food and increased rights for trade unions, so why the Lib Dems have given their support to every single cut and privatisation measure the Tories have introduced is a mystery, as it must be to all the party`s supporters. So many vulnerable people have been left unprotected, and so many workers exploited, not even paid the minimum wage, let alone a living one! Calling for an increase in the minimum wage now, 15 months before possible humiliation in the general election, simply won`t wash!
Belief in freedom of speech is being tested by the Maajid Nawaz case, but the duplicitous Clegg can say what he wants: greed, he now says, "brought about a banking collapse and misery", yet for three and a half years he has towed the Tory propaganda line and blamed Labour policies for the crash! How can they continue to call themselves "Liberal Democrats" when all liberal principles were long ago sacrificed to the power-gods?