Poor old Nick 'Saint Nick' Clegg. A few weeks ago, most people had never heard of him, and - although he was the leader of a political party - he could pretty much do and say whatever he wanted.
He could certainly say whatever he wanted in the House of Commons: his pre-allocated 'slot' at Prime Minister's Question was always used by most MP's as a chance to chat to their neighbour, continue bellowing about the last Cameron question or pop out for a quick snort of meow meow.
And he and his party could definitely say whatever they wanted to to the electorate. After all, they had no chance of getting near the levers of power, so no chance of being called upon to deliver - or even go into detai on - their many promises.
Jam tomorrow? Why of course. Mansion tax? Why not? Dive into the Euro? Absolutely! Amnesty for illegal immigrants? You betcha!
But now, all of that has changed. Cleggy is a celebrity. He was the outright winner of the first round of EleX-Factor, and the nation hangs upon his every word. He's going to be the next Prime Minister you know; and Chancellor, and Home Secretary.
And with great fame, comes great scrutiny, grasshopper.
So, Cleggy needs to be whiter than white. He's spoken out against sleaze, against expenses fiddling. He's not part of the 'old politics', he tells us. How does that stand up to scrutiny, then?
Well it collapses immediately, of course.
We learn today, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph that forf some time the Sainted Nick was paid regular monthly sums, donations, by three unnamed "senior businessmen", directly .. wait for it ... into his personal account.
What? Donations to the party, channeled into an MP's private bank account? Sounds like the corrupt, pocket-lining old politics, doesn't it?
Good job Clegg doesn't do 'old' politics, eh?
Clegg claims that the money was not for him - oh no - but to pay for staff. As the Telegraph says
"It is not clear why Mr Clegg would require the extra funds as the salaries were apparently covered by the taxpayer. He also made separate claims from his office expenses to cover staffing assistance provided by the Liberal Democrats"
And a spokesman for Mr Clegg, while insisting that the money was for 'part of' a researcher’s salary, admitted that he was “not in a position” to provide the necessary paperwork. Yeah, right.
Good job Clegg doesn't do all that 'sleaze', eh? It's well beneath him.
And how did the Telegraph get hold of these statements? Did they go through his bins? Nah, not necessary. Clegg lazily submitted copies of his personal bank statements to the House of Commons when claiming expenses, highlighting the items he wanted us to pay, like the mortgage payments for his second home.
That sounds a bit like, well, every-other-fucking-MP, doesn't it? The expenses gravy-train.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all get the highlighter pen out, mark a couple of items on our bank statements and then have them paid for us? No tedious forms, no justification, just a swipe of a pen. 'Pay me this, this and this. Oh, and this.'
Good job Clegg's loftily above all that expenses nonsense, eh?
In fact, all in all, it sounds like Nick Clegg is just the kind of breath of fresh air, the kind of 'change' that our tired ol' corrupt political systems needs, doesn't it?
Like fuck it does.