We all knew Nick Clegg was talking nonsense throughout his time as deputy prime minister; at least now he’s doing it openly.
He’s right that Labour’s decision to “demonise austerity” led to Jeremy Corbyn being elected as party leader – but completely wrong to present that policy position as something that is bad.
There was absolutely no point to austerity, other than to shrink the state, take money from the poor and give it to the rich. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the UK “living within its means”.
Austerity did not save any money at all. The UK is still running a huge deficit and the national debt has nearly tripled – as Nick Clegg well knows.
If he had wanted to get the UK out of debt, he would have advocated expanding the economy, putting more money into it and getting more out of it.
That’s what Labour’s manifesto promised.
The claim that Labour did not explain how the country could afford its policies was a lie, of course. Every policy was carefully costed and explained in the manifesto and accompanying documents.
Or perhaps Mr Clegg doesn’t understand how the UK economy works. If so, then why was he ever allowed to be deputy prime minister at all?
Nick Clegg has said Labour’s decision to “demonise austerity” as “evil” is what led to Jeremy Corbyn being elected its party leader.
The former Lib Dem leader said while he understood why voters liked Corbyn’s manifesto as it was “an invitation to the British public to have a warm bath and a nice cup of tea”.
But Clegg criticised Labour for not explaining how the country would afford its policies.
“I totally understand why they did this, but the Labour Party had been in government for 13 years and actually presided over many deeply regressive things, far more regressive than we would have allowed,” he said.
“They just loved being in Opposition suddenly in 2010 and found the easiest thing was to demonise any idea of how to save money.”
He added: “It’s what created Jeremy Corbyn. Because if you spend five years demonising austerity and some sort of evil choice, then of course you can never digest ideas that sometimes you need row back as a country in a way of living within the means of what you can afford.”