Poor Nick Clegg. Precisely a year on from his supposedly Churchillian performance in the pre-election TV debates, the Lib Dem leader has become the UK's favourite punch bag.
Despite, and perhaps because of, his insistence that he is still a human being - and one who cries to music and has to explain to his son why the students hate "papa" at that - Clegg is now cemented as the "most loathed man in Britain" (trademark: the whole of Fleet Street).
And just as the deputy prime minister looks forward to a much needed Easter break, yet another credibility shredding u-turn could already be emerging on the horizon.
Clegg may still be working out how to rebuild even a modicum of trust after catastrophic u-turns on student tuition fees, the pace and scale of spending cuts, and the increase in VAT, all of which Clegg opposed in the run up to last year's election before rather too enthusiastically endorsing once in power.
But another pre-election pledge looks as if it could come back to haunt the Lib Dem leader, in the form of a January 2010 letter to then business secretary Lord Mandelson calling on the government to introduce mandatory carbon reporting rules as soon as possible.
The letter, orchestrated by The Aldersgate Group of businesses and signed by Clegg and 17 other Lib Dem MPs, makes a strong economic and environmental case for mandatory reporting rules.
"Making [carbon reporting] mandatory for all large UK organisations would ensure greater accountability and transparency. This will help companies identify cost savings through greater resource efficiency and more effectively address material climate risks and opportunities," the letter states.
"It would also create a level playing field, allowing investors and consumers to make meaningful comparisons, thus driving further emission reductions. The administrative costs would be minimal for those who report anyway, and help those who don't to identify significant cost savings."
The letter adds that legislation should come into force "as early as practicable before 2012", arguing that "it is no longer justifiable for the government to continue to lag behind mainstream business opinion on this critical issue".
Significantly, the letter was signed by a host of big businesses, including Aviva, National Grid, Lend Lease and Sky, while the CBI has similarly argued that it wants to see mandatory reporting introduced.
However, 15 months on from the letter and 11 months on from the formation of the coalition and there is still no official indication as to whether or not the government will impose mandatory reporting rules. Meanwhile, rumours around Whitehall suggest that those opposing binding reporting rules are increasingly confident that emission reporting requirements will be watered down or scrapped altogether. Clegg could be about to find himself embroiled in another row over policy u-turns and an absence of Lib Dem influence.
Defra is preparing to launch a consultation on whether or not to enact powers in the 2008 Climate Change Act allowing it to require firms to report on their carbon emissions. The department has already said that the consultation will provide no indication as to the government's preference - itself a tacit admission that it is not fully sold on the merits of mandatory reporting.
Sources suggest that the Department of Energy and Climate Change is keen to see reporting rules introduced, accepting the argument that standardised emissions reporting is a vital first step towards delivering reductions in corporate carbon footprints (it is also worth noting that the Conservative climate change minister signed the Aldersgate Group letter last year).
But the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, under pressure from small business groups, remains highly sceptical about the need for further corporate reporting requirements. Meanwhile, Defra's ministers are said to be sending out mixed messages about whether they want to see rules introduced.
Add in the fact that the government's absurd "one-in, one-out" rule for new regulations provides an obstacle for any new rules regardless of whether they are necessary, and it becomes easy to see why those campaigning for the new rules are increasingly nervous about their prospects.
However, hope remains that the Lib Dems, emboldened by their partial success in securing a rethink of NHS reforms, can find their voice and force the coalition government to deliver the mandatory carbon reporting rules that Clegg and many of his colleagues are on record as supporting.
Clegg may have had plenty of time of late to reflect on the stupidity of making pre-election pledges that he was in no position to keep once in power, but his support for mandatory carbon reporting is something he really should be able to maintain in office.
The CBI and numerous big businesses are actively lobbying for the rule to be introduced; there is ample evidence that standardised reporting will reduce costs and carbon emissions, there is broad cross-party support for the proposals; and even those business groups protesting against the plans should be won round once it is explained that the rules would not target smaller businesses. Moreover, senior Lib Dems head up two of the three departments tasked with making the decision in the form of Chris Huhne and Vince Cable.
There is a risk that Clegg could honour his commitment to mandatory reporting in word if not in spirit by agreeing to a narrow reporting regime that covers only FTSE 100 firms, but yet another coalition fudge would do little to appease green businesses or Lib Dem voters.
The onus is now on the Lib Dems to face down those anti-regulation Tories in the coalition who are attempting to torpedo cost-saving environmental regulations that have managed to unite everyone from Friends of the Earth to the CBI.
Clegg, Huhne and Cable have the perfect opportunity to force through mandatory carbon reporting requirements that really should have been in place a year ago and position the coup as an important green victory for the junior coalition party.
If, with such a broad base of corporate support and genuine political capital to be gained, they can't deliver, then we really will be justified in asking what the Lib Dems are actually for?
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