His latest move however has all the elegance of a John Sergeant/Ann Widdecombe pairing. Vince says the Coalition agreement between the LibDems and Tories trump any commitments and promises made in the party's manifesto. In his own words:
We didn't break a promise. We made a commitment in our manifesto, we didn't win the election. We then entered into a coalition agreement, and it's the coalition agreement that is binding upon us and which I'm trying to honour.Someone ought to tell Vince he's being a silly sausage. If I promise to my nearest and dearest to take her out for a drink, but then a couple of acquaintances ring up and invite me and not her to dinner, by accepting their invitation I break my earlier promise. Justifying my actions by saying I had a better offer would be like dousing her anger with paraffin. And so it is with tuition fees. Whichever way you slice it, a broken promise is a broken promise and Vince's attempt to make it look like anything else comes across as feeble and desperate.
As we now know, the LibDem leadership made another rod for their back by signing personal pledges to vote against tuition fees, even at the very moment they were considering abandoning the pledge. By signing them, Uncle Vince, Little Dave and all the rest made personal guarantees to their electorates over and above the party position. This means the crisis of LibDem support is simultaneously a crisis of their standings as politicians.
No amount of political wash powder will shift this stubborn stain on their character in a hurry.