Obviously if he apologises, Rennard will imply he was aware he was being inappropriate. By not apologising he maintains his innocence - or at least ignorance concerning what constitutes personal space. It seems he isn't even going to try the old 'I am sorry you feel that way about what you perceive to be my mistake' line. Nor is he taking 'full responsibility' for anything. Which makes you wonder what kind of politician is he?
The thing is, somehow it is not Lord Rennard's reputation that is at risk. Whether he apologises or not there are enough people (male and female) who will say the women who spoke up (and I am willing to bet for every woman who did there are more who stayed silent) were over-reacting - if not exaggerating.
unacceptable behaviour that creates a hostile atmosphere for women is regularly excused and pardoned. Nah, it's them and their wombs innit, can't handle it.
Alison Goldsworthy, a Welsh activist commented that: "They have failed to say Lord Rennard's behaviour is unacceptable, they have failed to discipline him and therefore have failed to give victims the justice they deserve...Since this news became public, people from across the political spectrum have approached me to say they too had been a victim of someone abusing a position of power. Today's verdict, and failure to take action, sends the message that this behaviour can go unpunished...Now more than ever, the political parties must match their rhetoric with action. Women should not be afraid to speak up, and good men should not be afraid to support them. I stand by my previous statement and am taking legal advice."
Lib Dem party president (oh to have party president on my business cards) Tim Farron commented that: "While this process has not found to a criminal standard of proof that Lord Rennard acted with indecent intent, it is clear that he did not behave in the way that a chief executive should behave. Lord Rennard must reflect on his actions and apologise to the women involved."
Oh yeah and Rennard is totes still on the Lib Dem manifesto team. Meanwhile Sarah Teather has confirmed she will not be fighting the next General Election and amongst all the articles questioning whether or not women can be funny (yawn) articles asking if women are up to politics continue to crowd comment sections with the conclusion that motherhood is hard. Rather than unacceptable behaviour that creates a hostile atmosphere for women is regularly excused and pardoned. Nah, it's them and their wombs innit, can't handle it.
Nick Clegg and the ladies aren't coming out of this well, somehow Rennard appears to be coming out of this unscathed. Though if he is a bit concerned about his rep with the ladies...has our Lord Rennard and Nick Clegg considered tweeting a photo of themselves holding up a simple T-shirt? Does wonders for absolving anyone of a notoriously sexist schtick.