Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg is finally on the verge of doing something impressive by taking on a 30 minute call-in show each week on LBC.

As a general rule anything that Clegg says tends to be in the language of cliché and the tone of a self-righteous and ignorant teenager. For example it seems that anything which happens more than say, once a month, will invariably be described by Clegg as happening "on an industrial scale".

Words like "insipid", "iconoclastic" and "vitriolic" also seem to be over-deployed and, again, seem to belong in the fifth rate poetry of some angst-ridden student taking his frustrations out on George W. Bush circa 2003.

Leaving all that aside it is admirable that Clegg has decided to spend some quality time with LBC listeners, a demographic that is not as forgiving as Speaker Bercow is when it comes to the non-answering of questions.

Already Clegg's move has been derided as "bizarre" by Tory MP Peter Bone, who points out that he'll spend more time answering the questions of LBC listeners than he will answering questions in the House of Commons.

But actually Clegg is taking on one of the biggest problems of modern politics, namely that politicians are far too detached from the people they are supposed to represent, and he is making a real effort to connect with the voters.

Of course his first attempt to do this, his apology for tuition fees, was ridiculed without mercy and became more famous for the parody than for the original message.

Attempts by other party leaders to get down with the voters have also failed due to the apparent terror that said voters might actually express their views. Remember the infamous grinning Gordon Brown Youtube video on expenses? No comments allowed.

On LBC however there will be nowhere for Nick Clegg to hide. He will have to face the calls of enraged middle class parents having to pay £9,000 to send a child to university and of the family having their benefits cut and there will be nowhere to hide.

Already Clegg's opponents are saying he is setting himself up for a fall and indeed there will be some uncomfortable moments for the Deputy Prime Minister. But consider the example of Jacqui Smith.

The former Home Secretary was arguably completely discredited during the expenses scandal to the extent that she lost her seat at the general election. Post-election she found herself presenting on LBC and was initially welcomed by the listeners with jibes about her husband's erotic expenses claims. Despite this she quickly became a more settled presence on the airwaves.

Could it be that despite the ridicule and rage Clegg is bound to receive on LBC he might actually emerge stronger from it and perhaps even a better politician? Might it happen that LBC listeners will start to respect Clegg for sticking up for his position even if they disagree with it a la Livingstone? Might the cliché count even start to drop?

Maybe not, but given his current standing and that of his party, surely the only way is up and, if nothing else, he deserves credit for going where no other party leader dares to tread more than they have to.