Of course, with this roadmap being drawn out in Westminster, we already know some of the details. This morning's papers major on the fact – snapped from Danny Alexander's hands yesterday – that almost 500,000 public sector jobs will be lost over the next four to five years. And then there are the actual departmental settlements. Defence will face cuts of 8 percent, as set out yesterday. Schools will come out of the process with even smaller cuts, perhaps around the 5 percent mark. The Home Office and Justice department will face much larger ones. Still, though, question marks persist over what will, I think, be the bloodiest political battleground of this Parliament: welfare.
It is always worth reminding ourselves, and the government, that the spending review will be easy compared to what is to come. Yes, the numbers don't look all that significant on a graph. But, as Fraser pointed out yesterday, there are lives behind the statistics. Recent polls suggest that the public are firmly behind Cameron and Osborne when it comes to the public finances – which is to say, they agree with the coalition in theory. From today, we will discover whether they agree in practice too.