Nick Clegg’s speech
today is meant to be one of a pair with David
Cameron giving the other tomorrow. The speeches mark an attempt to set out an agenda for the government that goes beyond deficit reduction. The idea is that Clegg’s speech called
‘horizon shift’, which is all about making government policy more long term, goes hand in hand with Cameron’s speech tomorrow on ‘power shift’, the government’s
plan to devolve power down. This twin-pronged approach came out of the political Cabinet at Chequers at the end of the last parliamentary term and a recognition that the coalition must be seen to
be doing more than just reducing the deficit.
In terms of political strategy, the next few weeks are crucial for the coalition. It needs to set out an agenda that goes beyond cuts before the cuts set out in the comprehensive spending review
drown out everything else. It also must land some early blows on the new Labour leader who’ll be unveiled on the 25th.