Amid all the feverish commotion about cuts, it's easy to forget that it took the Tories
until November 2008
to ditch Labour's spending plans - and, indeed, that it was barely a year ago
when George Osborne first mentioned the c-word in public. Even David Cameron admits
that this delay was his biggest mistake. It weakened his party's claim to foresight, and gave
them less time to embed a new narrative about the economy before the election.
So it's noteworthy that Alistair Darling exhumed this mistake on the airwaves earlier, telling the Beeb that "the Tories supported [our
spending plans] until the end of 2008." This may sound like a cheap shot at Cameron and Osborne, but I expect we'll hear more of it in coming months. As Labour try to rehabilitate themselves, they
might be keen to remind us that their approach wasn't always dismissed by the current party of government.