James Forsyth

Defining the government through argument

Defining the government through argument
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Every government spin doctor knows that one of the ways you can get media attention is by picking a fight. So, when the Cabinet all return to their desks in September, expect to see the coalition getting into some scraps to try and define itself in the public mind.

Greg Clark, the newly appointed minister for cities and one of the most highly thought-of members of the government, has already spent much of the summer skirmishing with the National Trust and The Campaign to Protect Rural England over the government’s planned changes to the planning system. The aim is not only to push these very necessary changes through, but to show the country that the coalition really is putting growth first.

Downing Street knows that one of the challenges of the autumn is to put forward an economic message that goes beyond cuts and the deficit. So, expect to see Cameron and Osborne taking on all comers over planning, labour law and regulation.