By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter
When David Cameron appointed Michael Fallon and Matt Hancock to the Department of Business many of us expected that it was a declaration of intent; a declaration that something needed to change and change radically in the Government's relationship with business.
Michael Fallon has got off to a flying start this morning with a declaration that he's gunning for changes to employment law and red tape in general. The Sunday Times (£) reports that Mr Fallon will announce that he will get rid of half of the more than six thousand regulations that burden small businesses. Mr Cable is apparently in on the general initiative too. "The business secretary", says the newspaper, "will confirm details of reforms to employment laws that will streamline the process of hiring and firing employees." As always the devil will be in the detail but it's good to see movement on these issues that are so vital for business.
Mr Fallon uses an interview in The Sunday Telegraph to talk about his deregulatory plans, to champion wealth creators and to signal that he wants to see further privatisations. "I want business to feel it has a strong Conservative champion in the department,” says the new Business Minister, continuing: “I’m not there to keep an eye on Vince Cable, I’m there to keep both eyes on growth.” If Mr Fallon can get his plans past the Business Secretary, it will add up to a "revolution", says the Sunday Telegraph in a leader.
Over at the Mail on Sunday James Forsyth explains why progress might be real. He argues that the length of the recession has "spooked" the Lib Dems into action, breaking the "Coalition log-jam". He also writes about a new industrial strategy that business ministers Cable and Willetts (and researched by Tory MP George Freeman) have been working on for some time. I wonder if there's been some sort of backroom deal where progress on deregulation has been agreed in return for a new 21st century sector-based manufacturing strategy?
> Over on LeftWatch I challenge Vince Cable to denounce the Opposition's economic strategy after Ed Balls has become the latest Labour politician to woo the Business Secretary.