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What About the Other Lib Dem Pledge?

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Nick Clegg's apology on tuition fees took the nation by surprise - but not by storm.

What's odd is this: he is not sorry for breaking his promise on tuition fees, just for making it in the first place. "I will never again make a pledge", Nick says, "unless as a party we are absolutely clear about how we can keep it."

What Nick didn't mention is the other promise he hasn't kept.

In the run up to the 2010 election his party published a Policy Briefing On Climate Change, still available to read online here, which included the following pledge:

Fair fuel bills. Energy companies charge you less for your energy the more you use. That's unfair and environmentally crazy. It means a pensioner heating one room pays more per unit than a millionaire heating a mansion. We believe people who use less should pay less, so we'll change bills so the first units are the cheapest.

Exactly right. The way we price energy in the UK is both unfair and environmentally crazy. I couldn't have put it better myself, although I had tried to do so in a newspaper article titled Energy prices should rise the more you use just a week or two before the Lib Dem policy note came out. I was only one of many people who have commented on this absurdity.

Clegg then repeated this promise in his TV debates with Brown and Cameron and a few weeks later his party took control of the Department for Energy and Climate Change. But instead of implementing their own policy promises, the Lib Dems have spent their first 30 months in charge of this department implementing a Conservative party promise, otherwise known as The Green Deal, that is - to be generous - beset by complexity and risk.

What an absolute, crying shame. If the apology season is what we're in, shouldn't someone also be apologising for this?