With political conference season in Britain kicking off shortly, Nick Clegg has begun attempts to engage and reignite support in both the party faithful but also the wider public. The Deputy Prime Minister in a video message apologised for the breaking of party promises over the rise in tuition fees. While this message was targeted at students and a young audience, it will also interest many others who are discontented with the seemingly powerless role the Lib Dems appear to have. And so with what will no doubt be a tough conference in Brighton for Nick Clegg, has this apology helped or hindered his political career?
If you type in Nick Clegg on Google right now, a flurry of links to a video ridiculing his apology can easily be found. Although this is humiliating for him at the same time it has provided him with wider publicity, which in turn as has helped his message. The wider consensus surrounding Clegg has actually only been strengthened by this; many in Britain are sympathetic towards the Lib Dem leader whose political life seems destined to end in misery as he struggles for support. Despite some feeling a sense of pity for Clegg and may feel more so after seeing the video, they are still angry at him abandoning his promises, something no amount of viral messages will counter.
Clegg’s aides can only be happy with the public’s response towards his message. They were never expecting Britain to embrace Clegg after his apology, but just hoped for this video to be seen by many, something it defiantly has done. As the old saying in Hollywood goes ‘any publicity is good publicity’..
So although this video will fail to remove all the anger surrounding Nick Clegg, it will provide him with added motivation for his political message at the conference . A message which has the potential to break his career or return him to the heights of his popularity before the general election in 2012.