I am told that last evening’s gathering of the shadow cabinet was "sobre" as the implications of David Cameron’s message on public spending sank in. The FT reports that David Cameron has launched a "tough" review of public spending as part of a hardening of overall economic policy. The Times publishes an insidery story of how the Tory policy was changed. The Mail leader-writers welcome the replacement of "the touchy-feely environmentalist" with the new austere David Cameron.
Having campaigned for this very policy ConHome obviously welcomes the new stance but a question for you on electoral tactics: Do we need to identify some public spending commitments that are 100% protected from economies?
On Saturday’s ConservativeHome, Dr Rachel Joyce identified her public spending priorities. They included a promise to protect all doctors, nurses, police officers and teachers in "frontline" positions. She also called for special honopuring of the Military Covenant and investment in apprenticeships.
I have mixed feelings about such a list. Part of me says, yes, it will blunt the nastiest of Labour attacks but I also worry that it will just focus more attention on those areas that we might be vulnerable to economies. I’m also unsure whether we should make a commitment on anything. There may well be overstaffing in certain frontline areas. What do you think?