What is it with Westminster bubble journalists? Stick them in a room together for ten minutes and they'll convince each other that the moon is made of green cheese, and then solemnly report it to the masses. Their latest piece of collective wisdom is that the Liberal Democrats have "got away" with their breathtakingly cynical about-turn on tuition fees in England, with Nick Robinson asking "has Vince pulled it off?". Er, no, Nick, is the concise answer to that one.
I really think politicians and lobby correspondents alike need to take a step back and consider just how ghastly the 'before and after' footage of the Liberal Democrats on the news tonight would have looked to the average voter. How they can even begin to judge the damage done when there hasn't yet been time for the public to give their initial reaction via polls is beyond me. This, remember, is much, much worse than the Lib Dems' finessing of their position on tuition fees in Scotland after the 1999 Holyrood election - at least then they could tenuously claim to have kept their word, even if there was a fair bit of sophistry involved (ie. that the graduate endowment bore no resemblance to tuition fees because "it didn't pay for tuition"). This time they've been caught absolutely bang to rights, and where the evidence is that the electorate are feeling particularly indulgent towards the party at the moment is a bit of a mystery.