George Osborne may be right to boast that opposition to what he's doing is "crumbling", after Ed Balls agreed to work within the coalition's spending limits. The Chancellor would enjoy further clout after the IMF and OECD rallied behind his deficit reduction plan. But such groups have tended to be rather fickle in their support for the Chancellor. Osborne should beware relying on fairweather friends as justification for his economic agenda, as they can easily turn against him.
As Chancellor George Osborne stated at the beginning of the year, the payments systems sit at the heart of the banking system. They are the invisible networks that allow your wages to be paid into your bank account and withdraw money from cash points.
Although braced for bad news in terms of cuts to their budgets, many cities also held high expectations that the Spending Review would bring some good news on additional freedoms for local areas to prioritise spending, and new capital investment to boost local growth.
Museums are a UK success story. Half the population visit them annually - they're even more popular than football matches. Museums contribute hugely to jobs and the visitor economy, as well as providing education and pleasure: eight of the top 10 visitor attractions are museums.
Allowing someone to claim unemployment benefit only three days after losing their job quite obviously did not crash our economy and is not holding back the long-awaited recovery. What else to conclude, however, from George Osborne announcing yesterday yet more ways of turning the screw on the poorest and most vulnerable in our society?
Research on shale gas reserves by the British Geological Survey has bolstered George Osborne's dream of bringing about a new dash for gas in Britain. The survey looked at the amount of gas trapped underneath Lancashire and Yorkshire, and it found lots of the stuff.
To give the Chancellor credit, there is now no serious politician arguing that we don't need to reduce the deficit and find a way to run a balanced budget again in the long-term. Given we are spending almost as much this year on debt interest as we are on education, that is something to be thankful for.
Looking back, democracy now seems to be a distant memory. We have been ruled by a Tory-led government for just over three years despite their failure to secure a majority at the 2010 general election, and ever since they have hacked at all remaining remnants of people power.
So the government's Spending Review for 2015-2016 has been delivered. To the usual fanfare of cheering and jeering in the House of Commons, Chancellor George Osborne kicked off with the assertion that we're "all in this together" - is that still going? - but then comprehensively managed to prove quite the opposite.
Even though the UK is now in a more stable economic condition than it was, our situation is still critical. We mustn't forget the very real hardship that many millions of people, especially our young people, are enduring - especially given the worst job market for generations.
As the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, noted, George Osborne spoke for over 50 minutes. This was a statement that was Budget-like in length. Combined with tomorrow's announcement on infrastructure expenditure it is looking Budget-like in scope too.
George Osborne was clear from day one as Chancellor of the Exchequer that we had to cut borrowing and the nation's debts; so that we could once again live within our means as a country. In a changing world, to be competitive, create the jobs of the future and support those who need care, you have to be able to pay your way.
Come Wednesday I would like to see George Osborne take action to match his fine words and bolster his commitment to research and to universities. We have plenty of evidence that such an approach delivers immediate, medium and long term economic benefits.
The most immediate question, of course, is: how much of the report will be implemented? The sweeping nature of the proposals, across criminal sanctions, accountability, remuneration, competition, governance and regulation means that even doing half of it would be a serious legislative undertaking.
The UK government has made a critical mistake: George Osborne's 'help to buy' scheme is off to a roaring start with money pouring into house-buying, including many first-time buyers... but there's a big problem.
Sometimes I am worried for the papers. No, I mean I am worried BY the papers. The Telegraph is a great read. That is the one that I would buy if I was...