Many commentators attribute Clegg`s decision to challenge Farage to a head-to-head debate on Europe to "sheer desperation", with his party around "eight to eleven points" in the opinion polls. However, this rather misses the point, as this is clearly yet another in a long line of political gaffes by Clegg. He, no doubt, is "desperate" to try and salvage something from his disgraceful role in the coalition, and perhaps even save his position as party leader, but the closer the election gets, the more numerous the mistakes and misjudgements, and the more obvious the lack of principles.
Not content with digging a hole for himself in his attempts, late last year, to defend the honour of politicians in the wake of criticism from Paxman, he then had the temerity to front the coalition`s attack on Boris Johnson for his "greed is good" speech, Cameron`s patsy to the last. He attacked Johnson for suggesting "we should give up on a whole swath of fellow citizens", without seeming to realise that is exactly what he and his coalition colleagues did by giving their support to Gove`s examination changes, which in the long term will lead to a two-tier system of education! It`s hard to believe the Deputy Prime Minister seems unaware of the damage his government`s austerity policies have caused, but this is the same man who, after three years of being in government, declared it was time to "hardwire fairness" into policies! He continues to talk as if the inequality which this government has increased and encouraged has nothing to do with him; recently giving his support to the living wage is all very well, but has he instigated any policy to make it compulsory, and why not two years ago? "Greed", he now says, "brought a banking collapse and misery and hardship", yet for over three and a half years he`s joined in with the Tory propaganda, blaming the Labour government`s spending and borrowing for causing the problems. Even when standing in for Cameron at PMQs, he has been unable to resist criticising Labour, until, that is, his recent epiphany, which also rebounded badly, with Labour`s insistence on a majority government being their election target.
Clegg`s lack of political nous has revealed itself again with the Farage debate. He may attempt to present himself as the "principled champion" of European unity, but as he has sacrificed all liberal principles at the altar of the power-gods, Farage will be the only victor. The career of the duplicitous Clegg could well be over by the time the Euro election votes have been counted!