Bursting The Liberal-Democrat Balloon

Matthew Parris is underwhelmed by Nick Clegg's allegedly apolitical stance:

Extraordinary, the potency of cheap politics. Mr Clegg is personally a good, public-spirited and capable man, of sound small “l” liberal economic and social instincts; but he’s a party leader, just like the other two, and prey to the same constraints, the same small dishonesties, the same necessary accommodations with the truth.

It simply isn’t the case that he or his party are in a different league of straight-talking, no-nonsense politics. But the plague-on-both-your-houses Lib Dem pitch looks capable this weekend of suckering itself on to popular alienation like a leech. Mr Clegg swelled visibly as the debate drew on, and, as I write, he is swelling further in the polls. Very slightly in love with his own probity, he may have some way yet to swell.

In time the sanctimony will sour. A week? A month? A year? Could the Liberal Democrats, engorging themselves on popular alienation and feeding on their own Outsider narrative, lift themselves into coalition government? What can David Cameron do to stop this?