It wasn’t, as expected, Nick Clegg on Marr this morning but
George Osborne as the coalition attempted to move the argument back onto the economy. Osborne kept stressing that the government would focus on the things that ‘really matter’ to
people; code for we’re not going to spend too long on Lords reform. Indeed, given that Nick Clegg has "http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2140089/Why-Cleggs-crisis-Daves-best-hope-seeing-glad-confident-morning.html">turned down a compromise on that, we now appear to be heading for
— at most — a referendum on the subject.
Osborne defended his deficit reduction programme, arguing that the lack of growth was a result of the Eurozone crisis and the oil price spike. But he did concede that a Tory government would be
going far further on employment law reform than the coalition is.
When asked about Nadine Dorries’
"http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2140153/Nadine-Dorries-warns-David-Cameron-Be-warned-Party-bosses-need-46-signatures-ditch-leader-Theyll-Christmas.html">latest salvo against him and
Cameron, Osborne dismissed her as someone who has not agreed with anything the Tory leadership has done for the past seven years. Dorries has "https://twitter.com/#!/NadineDorriesMP/status/199063200677888000">disputed this, saying she doesn’t oppose modernisation but just social liberalism. But my sense is that Dorries’
criticism is too trenchant even for those Tory MPs with worries about the leadership’s direction.
The latter part of this week is going to be dominated by Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks at Leveson. Osborne said that knowing what he knows now he wouldn’t have pushed Coulson for the job of
director of communications for the Conservative party. This exchange was a reminder that Leveson is going to make it very hard for the government to get its message across for at least the next six