Faced with a wipe out due to the Liberal Democrats coalition agreement , The Party realised that its best ploy is to claim
"Yes we know its bad; But if we weren't there and the Tories were on their own then things would be much worse for the less well off ".
Hence the apology and the " Pledge"" That he will block the Treasury's demand for more cuts before the 2015 election to compensate for lower-than-expected growth. "Not a penny more, not a penny less," he declared.
He disclosed that he will limit the scope of the government-wide spending review due next year to a single financial year, 2015-16, a shorter period than the Treasury wants. He will approve "no cuts" for the post-election period unless Mr Osborne brings in a wealth tax or mansion tax on homes worth more than £2m
Interviewed on the eve of the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton by the Independent Clegg: saod
l backed a move at the conference to censure the Chancellor for obstructing the drive towards green energy, saying the industry needs more certainty from the Government to attract investors;l demanded the Chancellor announce in his Budget next spring that the threshold at which people start paying income tax will rise from £9,205 to £10,000;l vowed to block the Conservatives' plan to bring in regional pay for public sector workers if, as he expects, it would "widen the north-south divide".Mr Osborne wants to announce a blanket two-year freeze on state benefits from next April in his autumn statement in December
Independent 22nd September
So it looks like Clegg is standing up to the Tories.
But lets face it if Clegg had allowed the cuts in welfare that a freeze would have resulted in, he would be even more doomed than he is now and it remains to be seen if the LibDems will oppose Osborne other proposal to link welfare rises to the average pay rise rather than inflation.
It may be to late for Clegg to re-establish himself as a champion of the poor and what ever he does may not change peoples view of him as a politician who has betrayed his principles.
Indeed the public may take an even cynical view that Cameron shift to the right and Cleggs to the left is more about appeasing disgruntled party members and they have agreed to throw a few bones at them , They may even have agreed on it. Cameron allowing more euro scepticism and calls for more welfare cuts . Clegg to call for a tax on some of the rich. Whilst agreeing that there will be no real change of the main thrust of government policy.
Clegg's apology may however have the same effect of a mother faced with a child accused of bad behaviour who cries
"I'm sorry mummy"
"Sorry's no good"