Mandelson for Labour is talking about spending wisely, not throwing money at problems. Ken Clarke for the Tories is saying whichever party wins the next election they'll need to make cuts and Labour are being dishonest.
Both resonable positions; both sensible forays into the cut-and-thrust of political debate.
So what is the Lib Dem position reported as? Apparently, the Lib Dems attacked both parties for "pre-election positioning"?
What did we expect them to do?
I don't know if the report of the Lib Dem line is accurate or not, but it came across as the party having no opinion on the public spending debate at all and trying to complain that the other parties do.
Not good enough. We can't sit here months before a general election and complain about the other parties saying things. We must be putting forward our solutions, saying why the others are wrong and we're right, presenting our positive solutions.