Unusually for me, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been watching PMQs.
It hasn’t been a happy experience for me. On both occasions Clegg has been felled by Brown, who on both occasions has simply swatted him away by smearing about Â£20bn cuts in public services. And I can’t help but feel that the confusion at the heart of Clegg’s own strategy has lead these blows to be effectively self-inflicted wounds.
It’s time he rethought this strategy. Instead of flailing wildly once Brown has accused him of wanting to cut public services, he should confront it face on. I’d like him to say something like:
The Prime Minister has repeatedly accused me of wanting to cut public services. If by that he means I am calling for him to abandon the appalling money pit of the national identity card scheme, scaling back the NHS IT programme and [your choice here], then I plead guilty. In this time of economic crisis, how can he possibly justify continuing to waste public money on these projects?
Come on Nick, don’t make me put my head in my hands for the third week running.