100 coalition days are up and Cameron has gone on holiday, leaving Clegg alone to run the country and survey the dissolving remnants of his poll numbers, though not necessarily in that order. Mr Clegg is thus in the position of a child whose only friend has gone down to Cornwall for the remainder of the summer holiday, leaving him the back garden to kick the football around on his own.

That the deputy prime minister has few, if any, other friends left in politics, seems fairly evident.  Hardly a day goes by that his own deputy, the deceptively earnest Simon Hughes, doesn’t issue some blood-curdling warning or new demand, the latest being that Lib Dem MPs should hold a “veto” over the policies of the coalition, and now Ed Miliband – or it might have been David – says that Labour would never be able to form a coalition with the Liberals with Clegg in charge. I took Gordon Brown three years to achieve a position of such repulsiveness that no one would work with him; Clegg has managed it in three months.

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