As the First Post Daily says:
Why has Clegg, who espoused the eminently sensible Blanchflower line during the election campaign, morphed into a public spending axeman?
Many will suspect that he's simply caved in to Tory coalition pressure. But in reality Clegg was never the progressive, social democratic figure that many Liberal Democrat supporters believed him to be. The public-school educated son of a wealthy banker, who worked for the Thatcherite EU Trade Commissioner Leon Brittan in Brussels, Clegg is an Orange Book Liberal, a believer in privatisation and the rolling back of state provision.
By hyping up the need to make urgent cuts in public spending, Clegg can see to it that the Orange Book agenda - for a much smaller state, which has hived off many of its functions to the private sector - is indeed implemented on grounds of unavoidable financial necessity.
Before the election it amazed me that some from the same Manchester School of economics- like Giles Wilkes of Centre Forum were being called “progressives”. He wasn’t – he’s now a ConDem adviser. The positions are simply irreconcilable – and I bet he’s loving every minute of all the cutting he’s no doubt relishing.
As I suspect Clegg is.
These people infiltrated the Lib Dems better than the Trots (thankfully) ever did Labour. But as the First Post concludes:
Clegg joked during the election campaign that he was the only man who’d gone from being Winston Churchill to Adolf Hitler in just one week. But both Churchill and Hitler are poor comparisons.
The politician Clegg resembles most is the former Labour leader and fellow crypto-rightist Ramsay MacDonald.
MacDonald fought the 1929 election on a programme of helping the working-class, but then two years later joined a Tory-dominated coalition government which proceeded to make the swingeing cuts in public spending that international capital had demanded.
Labour supporters never forgave MacDonald for his treachery and my guess is that in the years to come Lib Dem supporters will be equally unforgiving of Nick Clegg.
I sincerely hope so.