As noted on Friday, George Osborne’s inheritance tax announcement was crucial to the success of last week. It was cleverly-framed. Only millionaires would pay IHT under a Tory government and the raising of the threshold to £1m would be pay for by a £25,000pa tax on non-doms.
The Shadow Chancellor has also had a good weekend. He has been all over the media over the last 48 hours – performing the role that the Party Chairman might have been expected to perform – and hasn’t put a foot wrong.
"I cannot think of a recent example of when a Prime Minister has looked so weak and so cynical. For weeks his close cronies have been whipping the election speculation. Key Government announcements on Iraq, health, transport and the economy were deliberately brought forward to provide a springboard into the campaign. Instead of focusing on running the country, Mr Brown spent his time trying to spin his way into an election.
And wasn’t the way the Prime Minister broke the news revealing? No open press conference, no live interviews with different news organisations, just a pre-recorded package with one Sunday morning show. Even then he could not be straight with people. He pretended that the polls and the strong message from the Conservatives had nothing to do with his humiliating backdown, and a clutch of embarrassed Cabinet ministers are still trailing around in his wake parroting similar nonsense."
I still believe that he should be Chairman and General Election coordinator, rather than Shadow Chancellor, but he deserves warm praise for his performances over the last seven days.