Will Clegg’s statement be a vote winner or a vote loser?
If Nick Clegg had been running for the president of the US then his comments today about not believing in God could have been the defining moment of the campaign.
Just a fortnight ago in one of the Republican debates a questioner pushed forward a copy of the bible and asked whether each of the contenders believed it to be the truth. All of them, including the thrice-married Giuliani, declared themselves believers.
In the UK things are different. Everybody always remembers Alistair Campbell’s famous response when asked if Bush and Blair prayed together – “we don’t do God”. But Campbell was a party official – not the party leader.
The questioning today came in a rapid-fire interview on Radio 5 when Clegg did not have the chance to elaborate on his answer. When the question of whether he believed in God his answer was a simple “no”.
Although the proportion of believers in the UK is much smaller than the US to declare himself a non-believer in such a bald manner might not have been wise.