Now, that's not to say the welfare reform agenda should be jettisoned. There's overwhelming evidence that it works better than centralised alternatives, and with unemployment levels shooting ever upwards - and with some 5.2 million Brits on out-of-work benefits - there's a clear need for drastic action. But, if the country's going to get out of its current mess, there's also a clear need for a new framework, a refinement of Freud's orignal vision.
But where to start? One idea may be to work closely with those private sector organisations which are actually expanding during the recession - such as KFC, which announced the creation of 9,000 new jobs today. If the Tories can pull it off, there's a chance they can steal a march on Labour in this vital, and closely-contested, policy area.