‘He (Cameron) is now pledged to a revolutionary shrinking of the state without being able to specify how he will go about making the big changes. His speech last week about cutting the subsidies on meals in parliament was beyond parody.
Yesterday Mandelson made use of the space that has opened up in policy terms by highlighting the differences. For all the Government's recent hopelessly agonised contortions, his main arguments are irrefutable. The Government had to invest in the recent past in order to revive derelict public services and it has to do so now to stimulate economic recovery.
As ever with this opposition, the devil is that there’s no detail; it’s laughable, but slightly worrying, that the Tory’s most developed policy to date is the re-pricing of bangers and mash in the Commons’ bar. But what is irrefutable is that the Tories' are correct about the urgent need to address the budget deficit. Whilst unemployment benefit bills continue to increase, whilst debt repayments mount and tax receipts dissolve rapidly, borrowing beyond the current £175bn per annum is both undesirable and unsustainable. Labour has withdrawn to the comfort of its fanciful original dividing line: the Tories must be ecstatic.