Nick Clegg has taken a mostly unjustified pasting in the media over the past couple of days for his answer to the question:
If you had been in the restaurant eating close by to Nigella and Saatchi when he disturbingly put her hands around her neck, what would your reaction had been?
Stephen Tall was right to say yesterday that his response was a bit ill thought out and incoherent. I preferred to think of it as him taking the pony to get to the point rather than the helicopter, something that he does quite a bit. Nick did get there in the end and made it clear that if he saw someone being violent to their partner, he hoped he’d intervene to protect the weaker person.
Nobody could be justified in thinking for a second that Nick would ever condone domestic violence. Yes, Yvette Cooper, that would be you I’m talking about. Dr Sarah Wollaston MP was as bad.
There’s another dimension to this, though, that I’ve become aware of today: Nick’s wife, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez and Nigella are friends. They knew each other before they did a video for The Stylist way back in 2011. Nigella had taken over the site as editor for that issue and she and Miriam cooked croquetas together. There’s even a You Tube video.
This makes Nick’s awkwardness a bit easier to understand. Put yourself in his position. If you were on live radio and somebody asked you something about the personal life of one of your partner’s friends, how would you feel?
* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings