Now listen Crilly- here's what I want you to do...
The Guardian is trumpeting an extra £39bn spending Gordo has apparently pledged since he moved next door.
Needless to say, looking at the detail reveals the usual mix of apples and pears, multi-year figures aggregated to sound much bigger than they are, and re-announcements of figures already included in existing budgets. For example, the first item is:
"An extra £7.7bn for defence to 2011, a 1.5% average real terms increase, excluding the cost of operations met from the reserve."
First, it's a cumulative figure. And second, 1.5% pa real growth is actually less than the 1.9% pa growth he'd already pencilled in for the next Comprehensive Spending Review to be announced in October. Indeed, the MOD has already conceded to the FT that it's not really enough: “at the margins of our programme there might be some changed priorities”. Still, Gordo's son isn't out East driving round in an unarmoured Land Rover and wishing there was better helicopter support.
Micro management? How about the £4bn extra education money already earmarked for Sure Start (yes that Surestart- the one that's already been proved to make life even worse for those it's meant to help- see this blog).
He may now have got the top job, but anyone who imagined he'd change his ways was way offbeam. With his old mate Father Ted in No 11, Bishop Brennan is free to spin and micro manage his way right down to the last paperclip.
PS At least Pol is happy. Hugging herself with delight at the Fist's anihilation of bantam weight Dave, she lays into the Redwood red tape plan: "Redwood is deadwood, a neocon throwback from the Thatcher era... We live in different and prosperous times now: present perils are to quality of life, the rupture between the rich and poor, the survival of the planet. Why would the patient swallow bitter old medicine, when the need is for quite different remedies - all requiring a stronger, not a weaker, state; stronger, not weaker, international action?" Never mind that in the real world the state is absolutely totally pants at sorting anything, and never mind that in the real world "international action" gives us costly corrupt excrescenses like the EU, the UN and the World Bank.