Coalition has done great things so far
So, the mid-term review. The Prime Minister insisted: "It's not a marriage..... this is a Government, not a relationship."
Mr Cameron was standing next to his coalition partner Nick Clegg in the wood-panelled dining room of No.10 at the time, offering a hungry pack of political hacks a mid-term review to digest.
And the Prime Minister was having none of it – the policy document was not "a renewal of vows" because there had never been a "wedding", he dismissed talk of a divorce as a misunderstanding of power sharing.
Annual reports, mid-term reviews, can be humiliating affairs. Tony Blair, for example, made an announcement in his that a new academy had been built when it hadn't.
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The reason why this was more interesting was that, two-and-a-half years into their partnership, Cameron and Clegg are still together.
Not only did they look relaxed but they were able to answer those difficult questions about the differences between them. Mostly they argued that the Government had put in place a bold programme for reform underpinned by ambitious goals for financial recovery.
They told those assembled in the room that a quarter of the deficit had been cleared – Britain was on the right track – but the Government was doing much more to ensure that Britain thrived in the global race and that they backed people who worked hard and wanted to get on. They insisted they were on the right track in welfare, education, the NHS, immigration and crime because of tough decisions taken.
There were also new announcements: support for working families with childcare costs, building more houses to make the dream of home ownership a reality for more people, setting out plans for long-term investment in Britain's transport infrastructure and two big reforms to provide dignity in old age – an improved state pension that rewards saving, and more help with the costs of long-term care.
No mid-term review would be complete without a nod to a Government's achievements.
Apart from cutting the deficit by 25 per cent and setting out a plan for a balanced budget, it has overseen more than a million private sector jobs created as the economy rebalanced, and seen a record number of apprenticeships. The Government has made welfare fairer, cut taxes with huge rises in tax free allowances and introduced new anti-avoidance laws, introduced a triple guarantee for the state pension and guaranteed real-term increases in the NHS budget, and got more of that money to the front line.
Immigration had been reduced by 25 per cent and the Prime Minister had stood up for Britain in Europe. Crime has reduced and state schools have been improved. Meanwhile, we still see Labour's flat opposition to all the changes. At every turn they demonstrate they stand for more borrowing and debt. Granted, they are ahead in the polls, but I implore anyone who thinks their stance better than the one currently being staged to look across the English Channel to France.
President Hollande is Ed Miliband's closest international ally. But there has been no sea change in France since their election. There, most of the budgetary pain has fallen on taxing ordinary French citizens, not the super rich as promised. The difference between the coalition parties and Labour is that the coalition tells the truth. They do not pretend that more than a decade of over-borrowing can be wished away. In politics as in life, there is no such thing as a pain-free alternative to solving a debt crisis.