As he puts it:
The Tories are no longer committed to matching Labour's spending plans. In a speech this morning David Cameron says that his party will take another look at what government should be spending in what is likely to be general election year 2010-11. However, he doesn't and won't say what level of spending there should be.
This is designed to get them out of the political bind they've been in.
Leaving aside the fact that cutting wasteful public spending has always been a key plank of conservative policy - from Thatcher to Cameron and beyond - I would draw to Nick's attention the fact that, for all the increases the public services have enjoyed under Labour, it is still obvious that many are failing in what they do. I, and many others, will be thinking of the Panorama programme last night which revealed that between 60 and 80% of social workers time is spent doing paperwork - and in particular the anonymous social worker who said at the end "all the boxes were ticked, just like they wanted - but that child should not have had to die like that"
So my answer to Nick is really a question - The IMF has stated that a 2% improvement in GDP, applied in the right areas without delay, would make a real difference to the economic situation. When are you going to start asking Government ministers on your news programmes whether they really believe that there is no such thing as waste in their beloved state machine and whether a reduction in the bloated public services and the raft of ridiculous legislation we have seen under Labour wouldn't be a good way to start paying for it?