Nick Clegg is the Deputy Prime Minister and who, as the leader of the Liberal Democrats, is the man, barring a miracle, likely to take his party spiralling downwards into the political wilderness, come the May 5th local elections and the next General Election.
These days he has the habit of creating negative publicity wherever he goes and whatever the pronouncements he makes, even when the latter could be seen to be worthwhile and correct. His attack on "jobs for the boys" and a society where it is "not what you know, but who" sounds quite noble, but until he came under pressure later, he somehow failed to declare that HE got his first internship after his own father had a word in the ear of a colleague.
Now, had he made the admission at the time of his speech attacking the system where influence is more important than ability, then it would have seemed like he had a humbling "road to Damascus" experience. But by being forced to admit it later, it appeared that Mr Clegg was deliberately hiding the privileges his very rich privately-educated background provided.
The handsome Nick Clegg started off as the "golden boy" of this Coalition government, but there are times when he appears to be its most lonely and impotent figures. He has also managed to make his party, the Liberal Democrats, appear to be the messengers of doom for Coalition policies, while somehow David Cameron and his party have mostly escaped the public's censure.
Of course the current debacle over the NHS overhaul has created real problems for the Prime Minister and Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, a fellow-Conservative. Mr Clegg and his party are against many of the proposed changes, whilst Mr Cameron is being seen to wobble in the face of public scrutiny over a policy that was originally hailed as a cornerstone of Conservatives-in-government dogma.
Mr Cameron, in full spin doctor mode, has now declared that people should be consulted before major changes are made, making the hapless Mr Lansley look isolated and guilty of delivering ill-prepared and badly-judged reform proposals. The Prime Minister's backtracking and new desire for further consultation at such a late stage makes the government look incompetent and himself weak in the face of criticism. It also, perhaps for the first time, makes Nick Clegg look less a poodle of the Conservative majority in this Coalition.
Perhaps Mr Clegg's gamble, that by the next General Election the Liberal Democrats will be seen by a currently ungrateful public as the conscience of the government in its pursuit of social equality, will prove correct?