Earlier this morning I was walking over Lambeth Bridge when I ran into a senior figure in the government. "It's going to be a good Conservative day," he remarked. "Indeed," I agreed. Not because the CSR is going to inflict policies on the country which will inevitably lead to job cuts - no one would want to do that in any normal economic circumstance - but because it means that after a very long time, the British government will be returning to policies based on 'sound money'. Short term individual pain will lead to long term economic gain. It did in 1981 and it will now. There's no way of soft soaping that message. And I firmly believe it is one the British public understands.
If this CSR is to work there will indeed be a lot of painful medicine to swallow. But no one ever said it would be easy - well, that's not quite true. Labout try to make out that armageddon is over the horizon just because the Tories would cut by 5% more than Labour would have, and will be doing it within four years, not five. Everyone knows it's complete hogwash, the rubbish they come out with, and they haven't really got any alternative plan. And they have an economically illiterate shadow chancellor who hasn't an original economic thought in his head. And in his first week in the job has disagreed with his own leader on the issue of banking regulation.
A lot of his will be watching his performance this afternoon to see if he can provide a propoer critique of what George Osborne announces, and to see if he can indeed offer a viable alternative to the CSR. I am not holding my breath.
This CSR is not the end. It is the beginning. Even with the painful cuts which will be announced today, we will only be returning to the spending levels of 2006. There's a lot further to go before we can truly say that the days of 'sound money' really have returned.
UPDATE: Liam Murray has some wise words HERE.