NICK Clegg is going to have to do better than this. On the principal economic issue of the general election the Liberal Democrats consistently said that Britain should adopt a policy of maintaining a stimulus in 2010/11 before introducing a deficit reduction programme in the following year. This was also broadly Labour's position whereas the Conservatives argued for early deficit-reduction measures -- the policy now being vigorously implemented by the Lib-Con coalition government.
Immediately after the election Mr Clegg performed a stunning U-turn by adopting the Conservative policy, claiming that the failure of the Greek economy and other warning signs had led him to change his mind. He said that a personal conversation with Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England had influenced him. Yesterday Mr King said he told Clegg nothing that he had not already said at a press conference. But now, in a BBC documentary shown last night, Mr Clegg said that, actually, he had changed his mind some time before the election but just didn't bother to tell anyone -- least of all the millions who watched the TV leaders' debates in which the Lib Deb leader advocated a policy which, apparently, he had already abandoned in his mind. So now we have a prime minister and a deputy prime minister who both misled the electorate by failing to tell the whole story -- Mr Cameron on the NHS and Mr Clegg on the economy.