From Bagehot in the Economist this week:
In some ways, miraculous to report, the Liberal Democrats have the most mature position on the deficit. Nick Clegg, their leader, this week demoted some of the party’s spending pledges (for example, on pensions and university funding) to aspirations, pre-emptively narrowing his manifesto to a few, affordable core themes. He has not promised to protect any departmental budgets. Vince Cable, his Treasury spokesman, has a longer list of items for the chop than Mr Osborne, including some cherished defence projects, but accepts that the axeman’s hand should be stayed for another year.
Nick’s speech was a good idea, and the follow up in the FT hopefully had an appreciative City audience, hearing the message: there is nothing to fear from the Lib Dems holding the balance of power in 6 months’ time.