A few months ago, Nick Clegg was a nobody in politics. He had very little support from the electorate, not a great deal of support within his own party and it didn't matter much that he seemed incapable of making a decision or statement and sticking to it.
But since the election Clegg has been elevated to a position well beyond that which he deserved after his party's election performance and even further beyond his capabilities. He is, whether he deserves it or is capable of it, the deputy prime minister - for now, anyway.
People in such a position should know what to say and when to say it - and when they say something they should mean it. People in such a position should realise that they are no longer speaking to just their party supporters - they are speaking to and for the people of the country.
So how is it that a week ago Mr Clegg was telling us that the forthcoming cuts will be nothing like those of the Thatcher era (where, in reality, public sector spending actually rose), but is now telling us that savage cuts are necessary if we are to avoid “decades of debt, higher interest rates and fewer jobs"
A week is a long time in politics, but not so long in economics that what you say one week is completely negated by what you say the following week. If he didn't know just how bad things were last week then he should have kept his mouth shut until he did know.
The truth is that Clegg is so far out of his depth he is already looking like a drowning man. He's trying to balance keeping his party supporters on board while dealing with a crisis that will prove that everything he and his party believe in is false. The man has a choice to make and he has to make it soon - does he put his party first or his country?
Given his opinion of Britain from the statements he made before he found himself in a position of power I'm not putting much faith on the latter. When it comes to loyalty Clegg's starts with the EU, followed by his party, followed by various ethnic victim groups - at the bottom of the list for his loyalty is the country which he now finds himself the deputy prime minister of.
You can bet if Clegg had to make the choice between doing what is right for Britain or doing what is right for the eurozone it will be the eurozone every time. If he has to make a choice about what is right for British farmers or Greek tobacco growers it will be the latter.
I'm not sure it is good for Britain to have a man with such dubious loyalty in such a position of authority, but I'm certain it isn't good to have a man in such a position who can't make his mind up when tough decisions have to be made and made quickly and decisively.