CGT tapering came next. Clegg was diffident in his admission that the ‘homework had not been completed’, but assured that a fair and sensible deal was in the offing. And to think we marvelled at Lord Mandelson's savoir faire? He has the dexterity of a trucker next to Clegg’s mix of earnestness and insouciance.
At last, Naughtie asked a tricky question. How would the Lib Dems maintain their identity as the junior partner in the coalition? To date, the Lib Dems have dominated proceedings but their novelty will wane. They will maintain momentum by gradually enacting Lib Dem policies that survived coalition negotiations. Clegg intimated that it would take five years to deliver voting reform; it shouldn’t: it only takes a minute to print the AV forms. The Lib Dems will be the Civil Service’s dream government: their policy is to procrastinate.