Actually, since apparently one third of the British people don't know who he is, I could have asked "who IS Nick Clegg" and still hit a topical note. But the point of this post is simply to note the difficulty of being a Liberal Party leader. Like his predecessors, Clegg has some vague notion that, as leader, he determines policy and so on. Unfortunately, there's a group of some 29 volunteers, working under a catchy little name like "The Policy Council" who think they determine policy, and 18 of them have gone public with a letter that says Clegg's decision to keep tuition fees as a new Liberal commitment (thus scrapping the scrapping of tuition fees, so to speak) is, er, rubbish. the Liberals are still committed to scrapping them.
Add to that the fact that his deputy and Treasury spokesman, the saintly Vince Cable, has announced a policy to tax mansions which was challenged the following morning by the party's MPs, and you don't seem to have a very coherent Liberal party at all. Which doesn't really matter, since they are very far from looking like a Third Force ready to seize government. Their electoral efforts at present seem aimed at the Tories, who look as if they might be grabbing quite a few Liberal seats back at the next election (amongst the targets - Carshalton and Wallington, and Sutton and Cheam). This is a pity, since we desperately need a viable, fresh alternative to the main parties, who increasingly argue on the basis of a technocratic "who can run government better" rather than on any real ideas. Wonder how UKIP are doing?