Wednesday 22nd January
This has been one of the longest running, slowest boiling and yet most toxic of problems for the Lib-Dems. And we still do not know exactly what the randy old Lord is supposed to have done. Was it just inappropriate language, demeaning, maybe bullying or something worse? Was there touching involved, just brushing up against, hand on a knee or just above it? No-one has suggested that he touched a bum or squeezed a tit (which incidentally is what most of the allegations against ageing celebs seem to consist of). But the way it has been handled, (not the way Rennard may have handled things…hahaha) by Nick Clegg is causing quite some embarrassment.
And really it should have been something and nothing. When the original complaints were made someone should have had a quiet word in his ear and told him that (whatever it was) it was inappropriate, that “Girls don’t like that sort of thing, old boy…changing times and all that, just say you are sorry and keep your hands to yourself in future.” And that might have been an end to it all.
I suspect however that politics, internal politics were at play, and whoever wanted to do Rennard down has almost succeeded. The poor man has had his name and face all over the media, and everyone speculating if he really is a letch, or just a bit old-fashioned and deluded. And still Nick Clegg squirms on his hook, trying to be fair and above the fray, when he should have known that nothing short of an abject apology, groveling and castigation would do at this stage. Strange how the world has changed. At one time it was real affairs that brought people down, (Parkinsons love child for instance) now it is using or not using the word “Pleb” and inappropriate behaviour, maybe a hand carelessly left on a shoulder or maybe worse (trouble is we can only speculate) are the things that hit the headlines. Politics is a funny old game really.