It is disturbing how irrational and idiotic how may of these supposedly experienced party men are.
If I were Lord Rennard desperate to get back the party whip, here is how I would have played it.
This is how I would have put it to Clegg:
"If I apologised do I have your word as a gentleman that you will call off the bitches and tell them you will expel them for bringing the party into disrepute if they carry on asking for my head on a platter after I apologise? No? Then I won't apologise. Yes? Then I will. I think my apologising and their gracious acceptance of my apology would be the best result all round for the sake of the party, don't you, Nick, if you are prepared to put your foot down on this one? Do let me know after you have had a word with Miriam, eh?"
If he received no answer then he should take no action and await the results of the third "investigation" into his conduct, whose "conclusions" will only published after the next LibDem leadership election, I imagine, which will be after GE 2015, probably.
Why he wants to get back into that party when they are so obviously on their way out is a mystery to me, but perhaps the House of Lords is a lonely place if your fellow LibDem peers shun you and turn their backs on you. It is rather like a rat apologising for being a rat begging to go back on board a sinking ship and makes no sense to me at all.
If these experienced party men don't even know how to manage their own affairs and negotiations, how well do you think the are managing the affairs of the nation?