I am a little confused by a line in today's speech by Nick Clegg.
On the subject of reducing spending, he says that the Lib Dems' plan is 'a down payment – a declaration of intent'. Of course, a 'down payment' means a partial payment, like a deposit. In this context, it must mean a reduction in spending now, with more cuts to follow. In other words, doing and not just telling. But a 'declaration of intent', at least in the way Nick Clegg used the phrase today, means a promise to reduce spending in future but not yet.
It is not unusual for the Liberal Democrats to contradict each other on these issues, but surely it is unusual for the Leader of the Party to set out two different positions in just seven words?
And it was only five months ago that Clegg was banging on about the need for "savage cuts". How typcially LibDem that he is now promising tepid ones.