It doesn't seem that long ago that Nick Clegg wafted into our lives, like a breath of fresh air in the grubby world of British politics. We were so naive, or so in need of change, that many of us actually believed he could and would make the difference.
What happened that he so easily betrayed the trust of believers and instead sided with power over principle? Was he so embittered by his party's disappointing results in the General Election, that he decided to spit on the rest and out of revenge joined with the Conservatives in the Coalition government? At what point did he surrender to the politics of the Establishment, or had he been an impostor all along?
Clegg, deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, made a prat of himself when he failed to appear in the House of Commons following Cameron's walkout in Brussels. Mr Clegg's actions were that of a sulky teenager, rather than a leader and just added to the impression that he lacks judgement and backbone.
He and his party are now being accused of going behind the Prime Minister's back to seek support from the business community to put pressure on Mr Cameron to "re-engage" with our European partners. Shouldn't Nick Clegg be doing this face-to-face with the occupant of No 10? Instead of going behind his back like it was one of the Lib Dems sleazy local election campaigns, when the party was often accused of hypocritical dirty dealings.
I like to think that Nick Clegg is a decent man, but he has lost the respect of the British people and every time he pronounces on an issue, he attracts only apathy. Somehow and, I don't know when and where, he lost his political soul.
To the majority of people in the country, the Liberal Democrats just bolster the Conservative government with its 59 MPs in the Commons, but come the next General Election one wonders how many of that number will still be there? As for their leader? Nick Clegg is likely to retire from mainstream politics, a man without principles.