Nick Clegg – Sir Nick to you – continues to flourish as Facebook’s hired appeaser, most recently resurfacing from his Atherton mansion with a sound bite about how his employer was “rocked to its very foundations” over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
This culture of politicians cocking up their jobs before getting even more lucrative ones has been kind to Facebook. Bringing in the former deputy prime minister might have once looked odd, but we’ve become used to news like chancellors metamorphosing into newspaper editors and Chris Grayling not living in a bin. It’s allowed Mark Zuckerberg to sign up Clegg and his special talent.
You see, for Nick Clegg, sorry seems to be the easiest word in the world. While many would hide from an entire nation’s contempt, he’s carved out a niche in professionally letting people down. It requires a unique energy, but he’s got it. It’s like someone took the moment Rupert Murdoch said “this is the most humble day of my life” and made it into a person. And that’s just what Zuck needed.
Let’s take a closer look at him in action. Referring to Facebook’s £4bn fine from the US Federal Trade Commission, Clegg said: “I totally accept that you could double, quadruple the fine and I expect people would still say it’s not enough.” Be honest. You feel a bit sorry for Facebook now, don’t you. The guy’s a maestro.