The more Cameron talks like this, the better for the Tories. As Robert Chote points out in his article for the Times - highlighted by James earlier - the next government will be forced to "squeeze" (i.e. cut) public spending and raise taxes. Being part of a "conspiracy of silence" over this is counterproductive, and the Tories can afford a bolder approach. Not only does the economic climate make spending cuts a much easier sell, but if Cameron & Co. fail to come clean about the full scale of the problem now, they'll find it much more difficult to keep the public on side should they return to government. That's why the speech today was so important. And there's now reason to believe that the acorn Cameron planted on Monday - so unimpressive at the time - may grow into something bigger.