Nick Clegg may believe that he is being genuine in refusing David Cameron's offer to power share with the Conservatives (Lib Dems spurn olive branch from Cameron the ‘con man’, News, last week).
Nevertheless in the event of a General Election resulting in a hung Parliament or indeed one that simply gives the Tories a slim majority, I am sure that Mr Clegg will find it difficult to resist Mr Cameron's courtship. After all, what with the talents that the Lib Dems have for 'swinging all ways', in order to tout for votes (rather than having any semblance of an ideology of their own) they would not find it hard to add a little hue of blue to their rainbow of alliances.
This tactic is not a dalliance whereby the vulnerable and inexperienced are seduced by the worldly and the wise, but a marriage of convenience between hard bitten cynics in search of power. I doubt if - before New Labour’s landslide victory in 1997, ultimately making a Lab/Lib pact unnecessary and irrelevant - Paddy Ashdown (the then Lib Dem leader) would have turned down the same offer, touted by Tony Blair, which turned his head and flushed his cheek New Labour rosy red. Or was it the harlot’s rouge?
However despite all his holier than thou posturing Mr Clegg knows that, bottom line, his party and the Tories would not make such strange bedfellows. The liberal doth protest too much methinks.
The Green Party
Parliamentary Candidate for Leyton & Wanstead