Nick Clegg apprehensive about dealing with "desperate" Brown
As a hung parliament looks more and more like the likely result of Britain's General Election, the balance of power is sliding more and more toward Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democratic Party.
This puts Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a difficult position. In order to retain power, he'll need Clegg and the Lib Dems to come on-board with his government.
As Nick Robinson points out, Brown's own troubled past with the Lib Dems makes such an arrangement very difficult, if not outright unlikely.
Brown has reportedly scuttled two previous promising deals between Labour and the Lib Dems. Brown even had a troubled exchange with Clegg over as simple a topic as expense reform.
In light of recent attacks on Clegg by Brown, Clegg isn't taking the matter likely.
Even on Brown's recently-adopted agenda of electoral reform, Clegg isn't taking the bait.
"I think he is a desperate politician and I just do not believe him," Clegg recently remarked.
He insists that on many topics -- not just electoral reform -- Labour had its opportunity to deliver and failed to do so.
"Do I think Labour delivered fairness?" Clegg asked. "No. Do I think the Labour Party, in its heart, has a faith in civil liberties? No. They are clutching at straws."
If the Liberal Democrats do reject a partnership with Labour, Britons can expect to see a tumultuous and troubled Parliament ahead of them. One wherein virtually anything could happen, including a prompt return to the polls.